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Tuesday, 24 April 2018

How You Can Teach Your Child to Learn

Piaget Discovery Learning and Vygostsky Cooperative Learning
The environment in which your child learns is just as important as, if not more than, what you teach your child. It's how you teach your child that will determine whether he or she will want to learn or not. A good teacher who knows how to teach so children will learn can always make a boring topic interesting (most of the time).

To discover the secret, we need to understand how children think and learn. We will look at the two Cognitive theorists that have influenced the field of cognitive development.

Piaget and Discovery Learning
Piaget believed that children learn by interacting with their environment. This means that the teacher sets up the learning environment so that children can discover for themselves through interacting with their surroundings. 

The activities are set up to encourage exploration. It is not random activities either but well thought out learning experiences that build on children's current level of thinking. Since children develop at different rates, the activities are not one size fit all but rather there are different activities set up for individuals or small groups of children.

What this means for you as a parent is to think about where your child is at in his current thinking and then think about what he needs to learn. Next, find activities that are hands-on and that will encourage your child to explore and discover for himself that bit of learning. 

Vygotsky and Cooperative Learning
Vygotsky believed that children learn by interacting with others. This means that not only does the teacher sets up the environment that encourages discovery but it also allows students to learn from others. This is called assisted discovery. So the children's peers assist each other in teaching and learning.

This is where the idea of reciprocal teaching and cooperative learning came from. Children working in groups and helping each other as they discuss, plan and problem solve. The teacher's role in this is to set up the learning activities and groups and making sure that children are on track guiding them where necessary. 

As a parent, what this means is that you need to find suitable peer groups for your child to engage in a problem solving activity of discovery. If you have different aged children, then you'd need to make sure that the elder ones don't take over the lead and tell the younger ones what to do. Give each one a clear role that they can be the 'expert' of so they can lead in that area. 

These are just one aspect of Piaget and Vygostsky's contribution to how children think and learn.

To read more about Piaget and Vygotsky, keep a look out for my new book on child development that I'm co-authoring with other experts in the field. Subscribe below to get an update on when it'll be released and other teaching and learning tips.

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18 comments:

  1. It's amazing how much children learn from their environment without being formally taught. Even my 2 month old is learning the art of turn taking in conversation already with her 'coos'

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    1. It sure is. May this be the start of some beautiful conversations with your daughter. Ameen.

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  2. It's amazing how much children can learn without being formally taught it. My 2 month old is currently mastering the art of turn taking in conversation with her 'coo's'

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  3. Great article, children definetly benefit & learn more by the environment they're surrounded by. Thanks for the info!

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  4. I really love when my kids learn from the environment!! I feel they get to explore more from the environment. Thanks for writing this

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  5. I wish I knew all this when I was homeschooling my son. I think I focused more on the Piaget method from what I have read.

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    1. You did well using Piaget's method.

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  6. Homeschooling is not really well known in UAE but I am sure many parents are slowly turning to it... this article would be a lovely guidline for them...

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  7. Just love this summary on Vygotsky and Piaget's theories of learning -takes me back to my PGCE years. Love how you summarised in easy read language. looking forward to reading your book iA!

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    1. Thank you. I try to make it easy for parents to understand and apply.

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  8. This was very informative and there were so many excellent points mentioned, mashallah! All four of my children differ in how they learn, SubhanAllah, so I love reading blog posts like these!

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    1. Thank you! I like to share what I've learnt.

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  9. JazakAllah Khair for sharing. I have a 6 year gap with my children so it can be hard to teach them and get them working in a group as the eldest dominates. But they get their groups at school as I don't homeschool. Interesting to learn as I hadn't heard of these terms before

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    1. If it's a good school then they'll be using group learning.

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  10. I have studied Piaget & Vygotsky's theories in psychology & I got to know how much it is important for us to create a proper learning environment for the child considering the individual differences as well. Very well written post��

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