I’m a huge fan of teaching students how they learn. It seems like that should be easy, right? NOT! The challenge is that not all students learn in the same way. And it’s the same for adults. We all learn at a different pace and have different learning styles. That is why teaching kids to learn is hard.
My son had two significant learning disabilities. One of the many investments I made in his education was sending him to Super Camp. The strategies he learned in Super Camp are often believed to be elementary for students at the secondary level. That belief is not based in research. In fact, these same strategies are often used in corporate training today. Sadly, as students move up in grades, they feel they don’t need the strategies any longer.
One of my high school students wouldn’t use color-coded graphic organizers. He made it very clear by stating, “That’s babyish, Mrs. Fitzell. I’m not going to do that. I did that in elementary school. I’m in high school now.” Many youths believe in the myth that, after elementary school, they shouldn’t need those fun, creative strategies they used in elementary school to learn… and if they do, it means they’re not smart enough. Continuing to use these tools is not “babyish”. It’s the way people learn; especially for our Millennials who need and expect it.
I have spent most of my career teaching at the high school level and today, in my work training in the corporate world, I hear time and again that corporate trainees want and need these strategies. They want hands-on. They need movement and activity. They want and need the same things that our students do. Corporate trainers need to provide that hands-on delivery of information for trainees. Adult learners want to be actively involved and engaged in what they’re learning. This is what’s happening in corporations and business learning environments.
Please don’t get caught up in myths about learning. Teaching kids to learn is hard work when they believe in these myths. Once they see that these learning strategies are used by the largest generation in the workforce today, they will realize using learning strategies is not “babyish”; it’s how we all learn.
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