Part 1: An overview of the 5 major categories of learning abilities a child needs
Part 2: An analyse of the learning process based on example questions
In this final part, we will provide parents with some behavioural indicators that they can use to carry out a ‘DIY’ assessment of their child’s level of learning abilities.
(Do NOTE, however, that these indicators are not meant for any diagnosis purposes, but rather to provide parents with a better understanding of the area(s) of learning their child may be having difficulty with)
In Part 1, we mentioned that for a child to display academic performance, they need to be equipped with 5 major categories of underlying abilities for learning.
Using the 2 example questions below, we are going to analyse the learning processes that each child goes through in order to get to the correct answer:
This set of flash cards featured the five oceanic divisions for the world's oceanic waters: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern.
While we generally describe the ocean as separate, these waters actually consist of one global, interconnected body of salt water. This body of water is also sometimes referred to as the World Ocean or global ocean.
Thanks reiner for suggesting the topic.
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In a school learning environment, students are given many different types of academic tasks to assess their level of content knowledge and understanding; and the quality of their answers and work will determine their academic performance.
When we see a child’s performance in tasks such as spelling, mental sums, reading comprehension, problem sums, composition writing, oral conversation, reading, grammer, etc, we are actually seeing a display of his/her ability to learn.
Entering Primary 1 is a very exciting time for a child and the parents but it is also a time of great adjustment and transition. Being well prepared and ready for school would make a great start to the exciting learning journey ahead.
How then can parents make sure their child is well-prepared and ready for learning at the next level?
Personally, having seen 3 cohorts (that makes about 600 + of them) of children transitioning from Kindergarten to Primary and having the privilege to assess each of them on their readiness for school has given us one very important insight – school readiness is more than and beyond just the academics.
Some questions to get us thinking about what our children are learning and more importantly, HOW are they learning.
Question 1: Does your child learn English, Maths, Science and Mother Tongue in school?
Question 2: Is your child given tasks/homework such as spelling, mental sums, comprehension, composition, problem sums, reading?
Summing up the above two questions:
All children learn the same subjects in school and are given academic tasks to perform so that we can evaluate their achievement levels, as compared to the rest of their peers.
Sometimes, we may confuse a child’s level of school maturity with his/her readiness for school learning. No doubt these two concepts are related; but they are actually referring to quite different aspects of a child’s development.
School maturity usually refers to the biological growing process in a child’s development, in other words, has the child reached the age for certain levels of education. For example, when a child is 5 years old, they are usually ready for Kindergarten 1 and when they reach 7 years old, its time for them to enter Primary 1.
However, a child’s biological maturity does not guarantee that he/she will automatically be ready for learning at the ‘expected’ level.
In a boxing match, there are lightweight and heavyweight categories. Likewise, in the English exam paper, the section called ‘Reading Comprehension’ would be a heavyweight category where many children face difficulties with understanding and scoring with the questions.
So, what does it take for a child to be a heavyweight champion in this section of the paper?
Let’s take a look at the many underlying skills necessary to accomplish this task.
(And, NO. It does not mean just reading more carefully or reading a few more times at a slower pace)
Again, I feel the need to stress that we are not discussing about the subject, English. We are exploring the underlying sets of abilities that a child needs to have in order to perform this particular learning task – Reading Comprehension.
Using the following passage as an example: