We all want our children and students to do well in school. But there is a big difference between memorizing facts and true learning. Unfortunately, because of the proliferation of standardized tests, many students are merely memorizing facts for a short period rather than engaging in real lifelong learning.
The good news is that you can help students make meaningful connections between what they study in school and what happens in real life. A good start is to have young people learn the Levels of Development.
Here are 5 tips parents and teachers can use to promote learning in today’s youth.
1. Self-testing and asking “Why” questions are excellent ways to improve learning. To see if a student truly understands something, ask “why.” “Why did that happen?” “Why are those two facts related?” “Why do you believe that is the correct answer?” Let the student think about the topic on their own so they can process the “why” of the material.
2. Underlining and re-reading can be ineffective and time-consuming. It may be that underlining draws attention to individual items rather than to connections between items. Highlighting or underlining can be useful if the marked information is then turned into flash cards or self-tests.
3. Practice testing works even when its format is different from that of the real test, given that repetition is so important to learning.
4. To remember something, short frequent learning episodes are more effective than fewer long ones.
5. When preparing for a test, plan enough ahead of time to review at least three (3) times. Review; then repeat the process two more times. You will grasp the material much better the second and third times. Repetition does more than help remember; it helps in making connections and understanding. In addition, preparing in this way leads to confidence and a positive mindset when taking the test.
Tip: The more you help your children and students engage in real lifelong learning, the more successful they’ll be.
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