While we may think we know ‘how students learn’, do we?
This post called “The virtues of daydreaming and 30 other surprising (and controversial) research findings about how students learn“, from Julie DeNeen, has some interesting findings, of which the following are interesting (to me – read the full list on the link above to see what gets your interested):
- Scary/violent video games … “can be an alternate way to release negative emotion, and help children alleviate their innate desire for risk and adventure.” I’ll sit on the fence on this one: while there may be some positive benefits to these kinds of games I’m not sure if they outweigh the negative?
- Science practicals … “isn’t always as effective as it may appear on the surface.” This statement says that science or lab practical work isn’t working – is it the actual time spent in a practical or the actual experiment itself that isn’t working? I enjoyed my science lab work, even more so when it didn’t work, but (and this was more down to the way it was taught and not the subject, I think) I was not given the opportunity to ‘try’ out different things.
- Chess … “forces students to slow down, concentrate, use precise thinking, active both inductive and deductive reasoning, as well as recognizing difficult and complex patterns.” Yes, but so do lots of other ‘games’ in different and equally beneficial ways. Let’s not single out a specific game, we should be able to advocate all game-based learning, especially when there is scope for the student to “understand that ‘losing’ the game is as valuable as winning.”
- Building blocks … “one of the simplest and longstanding toys, teach geometry, patterns, shapes, colors, and physics” not to mention spatial awareness and dexterity?
- Music and movement … help children to “learn to appreciate the pacing of words and how to speak more clearly” through rhyme. “Children who engage in music from a young age have a more finely tuned ability to speak and communicate” therefore are more articulate when it comes to reflection and critical thinking in later life?
- Drama and comedy … induce a “vibrancy of emotion that shows a student’s entire mind and feelings are engaged in the activity” and learning, in various ways, is a result from an engaged child – “one who is more likely to absorb information, retain it, and make real-life associations with the knowledge.”
These are just a few of the interesting ‘findings’ on how students learn, so be sure to read the full article on the link above to read more about these and:-
- “Children who construct their own video games experience increased cognitive and social growth”
- “Engaging children in planning and reflection enhance their predictive and analytic capabilities”
- “Children are not blank slates on which adults imprint knowledge”
- “Children learn more when they initiate an activity and are actively engaged in it”
- “Children behave better when parents are involved in their education at home and at school”