Crafting the Ability of the Child for School.
Here we discuss how strategies of understanding and so of intelligence develop through the ways language is shared. Understanding this will help us to realize better how the intelligence of the child is influenced and steered through the compassion and imagination they receive, and so how it falls in their absence especially when the child’s learning mind is distracted or injured by poor personality development and behavioral experiences.
This effect of behavioral experiences on a child’s ability to learn is little understood in education, because as a processing system it takes what the child presents as what they are, in essence, said to be genetically capable of presenting. The truth of the matter is that it is the overall behavioral atmosphere of their learning development that directly determines how the individual is able to interrogate, process, and present the information they will be evaluated on.
Central to their ability to do this is the guidance they receive. While guidance is well known, ‘Mediation’ takes the meaning down to the genetic inheritance of a schema referred to as imprinting. This inherited feature gives the newborn the natural ability to learn how to bond themselves to their caregiver, and so to the later teacher in education, providing it is fed with love. When it is not, this schema can cause the child and their developing mind to close down.
The book contains a whole chapter dedicated to Professor Reuven Feuerstein and the principle of his ‘magical’ course that really does dramatically improve the intelligence of any human being.
What the experts say:
“We may have significant policies in education, but if we do not understand how the mind of the learner works our education will forever give us the wrong output. Roy Andersen has dealt with the issues of the learner and the learning process in great detail, and his books should inspire every stakeholder in education.”
Olive Wambui. Senior Assistant Director. Institute of Curriculum Development. Kenya
“Roy Andersen’s deep understanding of children’s behavior gives a new perspective to parents and educators in directing and re-directing student potentials — where their unique individualities can be given proper attention to shape their creative ideas into reality. Andersen’s books are really a heart touching narration of his experiences in dealing with children who need empathy and understanding. Educators and parents alike may use these books as the basis for learning — to create a genuine culture of assisting children in the optimum development of their full potential.”
Prof. Marinel Dayawon Ph.D. Assoc.Dean of Education. Isabela State Univ. Philippines.
“These are wonderful books in which teachers are invited to develop motivation in their pupils through a new and creative way to teach. I like how they explain how parents have a pivotal role inside the school system and in the family to develop intelligence in their children. Roy Andersen suggests very interesting ideas to reach the heart of children in their path to learn. This work is a real masterpiece of modern education.”
Nicoletta Lastella, Feuerstein trainer, Sviluppo Cognitive. Italy.
“Every year, millions of dollars are spent around the world in trying to find out what is wrong with “the school,” and why children and older students have such difficulty to learn and progress well with their studies.
This effort produces many research papers identifying with such reasons as poor nutrition, domestic troubles, low socio-economic backgrounds and, of course, genetic diversity.
My wife and I have combined experiences in teaching that span half a century. In this time, we have taught students of all ages, from kindergarten right through to university. In this time, we have taught many who were lost and confused in their learning, and normally the ones who would fail their education. It has been our complete experience that the only reason why a normally born child does not do well in their schooling is:
- a) because they did not keep up with the progression of rules by which information is to be known and understood, and
- b) failed to keep an active interest in their lessons to develop good memory strategies, which would have enabled them to better connect what they are learning to what they learned in the past.
There was no other reason!
Imagine if you will the progression of two students through their lessons. On the following page, you will see a drawing representing the learning structure of two students. The drawing on the left, shows a good clear structure, while that on the right shows a broken and irregular structure.
Let us understand that the student on the left understood and practiced the knowledge they were given to a good standard. When they were unsure, they questioned the teacher, received a clear explanation and were confident to handle each learning task they were given. They were also active by asking questions in the lessons to extend their thoughts. Not only did they do the homework they were assigned, but they went beyond and created their own learning on the subject. As one lesson went to the next, so their stepped development was built on solid ground, which they kept going over to keep the past relevant and alive in their mind. The information in the current lesson makes sense because they are able to easily relate this to factors understood before. By this proficiency, they have a confidence to explore, engage and challenge information. They learn well.
Much of this is because their parents give them a secure feeling at home. They probably raised them on storytelling and taught them to read, write and do simple algebra before they started school. With calmness, reassurance and love they taught them to understand that when a task needs to be done, it should be done the best it can be, otherwise it will have to be done again. The parents were careful to balance tasks they gave to their child by allowing them to explore their own interests in their own time. They also kept a measured control with their child over how many hours they may play computer games a day, explaining the importance of being aware of addiction.
The other student, we can see, does not have such a sound structure. Factors distracted them in their lessons and for whatever reason they did not have the opportunity to correct what they did not understand.
Outside the classroom, they did not question better from others and at home did not put the effort in themselves to understand the points of the day’s lessons. They also would not have thought to keep past lessons alive and relevant in their mind. As one lesson followed another, they were confused in parts. The illustration tries to show how the steps of their learning developed with parts irregular and incomplete. They would lack the confidence to openly question and move through their lessons not because they wanted to, but because they were told to do so. They were lacking that inner spirit to want to know more of the subject, because they did not have their own purpose for it.
We may think they receive love from their parents, but not very much time with them. Either because the parents are too busy to give their child the time they need or because they little interact mentally with them. Evenings are controlled by the television, where the family is simply entertained. There is very little positive and happy dialogue in the family and we can suggest no regulation with their child’s game playing. In consequence to all this, this student drifts through their lessons as the very most will do, ever hoping they will do better but never understanding why they do not.
Let’s try to understand here a little of how school works to begin to bring some understanding to how students learn within it…….’
“… We may reflect back here to the children raised in orphanages in Romania under Ceausescu, who also could not learn because their ability for emotion had not been developed. The children who emerged from the NAZI concentration camps lived in an emotional void.
As Reuven struggled to teach these children, he realized that they did not see the world of information as he did, and that he had to find a way to enable them to do this. In short, he realized he had to find a way to teach these children how to think, because it was only by teaching them how to think that they could learn.
In “Intelligence” and “Brain Plasticity,” we tried to explain that a human being does not learn from a genetic code they inherited, as we tend to believe and so seek to explain intelligence as having an inherited quality. This code for learning the child inherits, only enables them to learn how to learn. The same is so for the codes they inherit for language. These codes enable them to develop their skill in communication totally through their experiences. We discussed this in very great detail, because this understanding was essential to understand what human modifiability means.
As Reuven began to work with these children, he realized that the more love he gave them, the more they responded with their emotions. Once they began to develop their ability to express their feelings, so they began, however slowly, to see the world of information as Reuven did, and so as we all do.
However, just as we saw that people who have been blind for many years and then gained their ability for sight later in their life did not suddenly see, because their brain had to develop processing systems that enabled them to learn how to do this, so it was with these children. Just because they were beginning to emotionally relate to the world about them and could notice information, it did not mean that they knew how to relate to this information. Reuven realized that they had to learn how to do this. It was through the very deeply and moving experiences that he had with these children that he devised a system that would teach intelligence.
Our chapter on Feinstein explains what this system is and how it can be used to improve the intelligence of ANY human being.
Roy was the first author to introduce the magical work of Reuven Feuerstein into Denmark.
Available in Paperback and Hardback