This Is Your Child on Accelerated Learning!
Category : Uncategorized
This Is Your Child on Accelerated Learning!
We have all heard the story for too many years now – public education is a failure. America is continually losing educational ground to other industrialized countries, the education gap between the haves and have-nots, the white and minority, continues unabated, seemingly impossible to close. The system in a word seems, broken. Depending on whom you ask both the fault and the solutions for this situation lay with a host of different characters. Some say the system is failing because of the unions, others will blame inept teachers, cold hearted politicians and policy makers, still others will cite the community, poverty, society, the parents and also the children themselves.
Without question all of these elements do play some role in the current situation, but with few exceptions, proposed solutions to America’s education problem, seem to focus on whom, instead of the how. In other words it seems that the missing part, the aspect seldom taken into account, is the very structure of education itself.
To the degree that structure has been considered at all, we have seen the rise of the charter school movement, as well as suggestions of longer school days, smaller classrooms and others, yet at the level of actual structure – the nuts and bolts – of the content and its delivery, little has been done until now.
But what if there were ways to teach and to learn, that while taking into account all of the above, was able to transcend all of that to produce real academic success, real results in breathtakingly short periods of time. What if there was a way to reach all students, minimize classroom misbehavior, and condition students to love learning and excel at doing it?
Well such a way does exist! And it is called whole brain learning, and it is the core method and philosophy of the programs that we are running at Foundations for Life Learning. And although it is never sensible to suggest any one method or school of thought can be the panacea for all ills, this is as close to a magic as I have seen take place in an educational setting.
How magical? Here is a quick example: the children in our educational summer camp recently took a trip, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. Two days later I conducted a twenty-minute lesson on the basic history and features of the bridge, using the methods of whole brain learning. Now certainly, except for the most science and engineering inclined, the history of a bridge is probably not the most exciting lesson most people could think of learning, and the thought alone would make many begin to yawn or fidget with boredom. It should also be mentioned here that the students in this group are not middle or high school children, but range in age from six to eleven.
The lesson went off without a hitch, and because of the method of delivery, neither participation focus nor misbehavior were any issue. Given the potential “dryness” of the subject matter that alone was gratifying enough. What followed though, is where the “magical” part comes in, and although I am well aware of what this method can do, even I was shocked by what happened next. Two days later, during a short lull in the day as we waited to take the children down to lunch, a few of them asked for markers so they could draw on the whiteboard. At first they drew cats, and hearts and dogs and trees, all the things that children draw. Some minutes later though, one of my instructors practically screamed to me, “Look what they’re doing!”
I looked up to see that the rest of the children had joined the original small group, and from youngest to oldest, they were spontaneously recreating the entire lesson I had given two days earlier! They had reproduced all the data, the dates, the facts, and the concepts, every picture and graphic with 100% accuracy! What was even more astounding was that they had done this on their own, without being asked to, and without our assistance. Having started off just playing at the board to kill a little time, they had self-generated the decision to instead do something academic, i.e., they had decided that the educational task would be more fun, more interesting! Prior to this moment none of the children had shown any exceptional abilities regarding memory and retention. And although we are lucky to have a group that indeed is quite bright in general, none had shown the inclination to grasp such an involved presentation with such ease and clarity.
It was indeed a magical occurrence, and one that we have since replicated with consistency, and all without a ten-hour school day, a classroom loaded with the latest technology, or governmental legislation. What it did take was a method that works – whole brain learning- and a properly trained and committed instructor.
Director of Educational Programming
Foundations For Life