Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Learning Barrier One - Purpose & Value

Purpose & Value – Learning Barrier # One

From Education Week, December 11, 2012
U.S. Math, Science Achievement Exceeds World Average

In a finding that may come as little surprise, students across nations seem to lose some enthusiasm for math as they get older. Nearly half (48 percent) of 4th graders said they “like learning mathematics,” but that slipped to one-quarter (26 percent) by the time they hit 8th grade. And at both levels, that attitude has a correlation with test scores. That is, the less students like math, the lower their achievement, on average.

Another troubling indicator is that, across the globe, students report a drop in engagement with math lessons as they move from 4th to 8th grade. And once again, that level of engagement is correlated with a slip in average scores. The Engaged in Mathematics Lessons scale was based on responses to five questions, including “I know what my teacher expects me to do,” and “I am interested in what my teacher says.”

Meanwhile, many 4th graders around the world (69 percent) had math teachers who reported making efforts to use instructional practices intended to interest students and reinforce learning, such as posing questions to elicit reasons and explanations, and bringing interesting items to class. At the 8th grade, however, only 39 percent of students internationally reported that their teachers frequently related lessons to their daily lives, and just 18 percent said they had teachers who routinely brought interesting materials to class.

This is a PERFECT example of Learning Barrier # One – Purpose & Value.

What’s the purpose for learning a particular subject?  Why learn geometry, history, grammar, chemistry or any subject?

Related to that, what is its value?  What is it good for?  How can I use it in my life?

When a child doesn’t know the purpose for the subject, and can’t see any use for it in their life, they’re not going to pay attention and will probably do poorly in the subject, as is cited in the study above.

The way to remedy this Learning Barrier is to make sure your child understands why they need to learn a particular subject, and more importantly, how is the knowledge relevant to them?  How can they use it in their life?

For a step-by-step remedy to this Learning Barrier go to .

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