If intelligence was simply defined as the ability to learn, children between the ages of 2 and 7 might be considered the most intelligent humans on the planet.
Studies show that children between the ages of 2 and 7 are best suited to learn the patterns of language development, enabling them to master a second language at the same level as a native language.
Once children reach age 8, their language learning proficiency decreases, and second languages are not spoken as well as native ones. The same age effect is found when learning musical abilities such as perfect pitch.
Einstein’s parents did not enroll him in physics lessons—the field that would lead him to a Nobel Prize. Instead, Einstein’s father included him in his work as an engineer, and his mother signed him up for violin lessons because she wanted him to love and appreciate music. Both activities worked to develop his young mind holistically. Formative years are the ones that matter most. Today’s education model can result in solid learning, if it’s implemented correctly.
THE PROBLEM IS A GAP IN THE LESSON PLAN
Let’s consider the classic lesson plan format:
- Anticipatory set: This is where teachers get students interested in the lesson and set objectives for the day.
- Direct instruction: Facts, concepts, and skills are delivered via lecture, video, reading—some way of getting the information into students’ heads.
- Guided practice and application: With the support of the teacher, students apply what they have just been taught.
- Independent practice and application: Students apply the learning on their own.
- Assessment: The teacher measures how well students have met the objectives.
Take for example what students should be doing when they learn and content-heavy classes:
- Use historical evidence for determining cause and effect.
- Analyze, recognize, and evaluate patterns of continuity and change over time and contextualization of historical events.
- Connect past events, people, and ideas to the present, use different perspectives to draw conclusions, and suggest current implications.
- Evaluate a variety of primary and secondary sources to interpret the historical context, intended audience, purpose, and/or author’s point of view.
Learning the how and why of it all needs to be emphasized.
“Professor Scry has published four books, blogs about the importance of literature and the impacts reading makes on a child.”