Why Is Classroom Learning Better Than Online

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Why Is Classroom Learning Better Than Online

By Nancy Brown, LCSW

If teachers are to help students grow, they need a way to get their valuable input to keep the learning going without the distractions of everyday work. This is where cognitive science comes in—learning about how to use information to benefit each individual learner.

According to Brain Research through Educational Outcomes, or BREE, and the resulting skills of SENSE and SPEED, teachers need to tap into the pleasure of learning through the stimulation of the senses of sight, sound, touch, and taste. This sounds simplistic, but we are constantly bombarded with information, frequently at a very high level. The audio, video, and print stimuli taken in isolation can tire our nerves. Much of the time, we get a well-intentioned lecture from a teacher or an expert in a field you don’t understand, and you tune out. This will happen when you put aside other studies or take notes in shorthand, or when you aren’t there to engage the conversation. BREE points out that learning requires active learners who focus on the benefits of the educational experience.

Through the use of games that are neither mindless nor difficult, or with the use of memory-rich visual aids such as architecture, computer graphics, scientific illustrations, music, art, and agriculture, the field can be as useful as any other educational method. BREE also encourages parents to invest time in activities that teach time-management skills as part of any enriched learning effort.

In one of my pioneering studies at the University of Texas at Arlington, I found that babies who participated in sight gating games showed a higher ability to remember symbols and to read their parent’s faces than babies who did not engage in this educational experience. In a non-differentiated infant intensive study, infants ages four to 24 months received one of two types of learning: exposure to a word while moving through colorful-detailed images; or exposure to a word while traveling a tight path through a stationary image. The latter was equally important to assessing development. Results showed that both, but particularly the former engaged infants in learning.

Even babies as young as one month of age who had no prior knowledge could respond to the words, and the infants who were exposed to the images of words and the pictures did a better job learning than infants who had some knowledge of the word. BREE states that at age one, children can master up to 20 words by age three, and in a very small number of weeks could say more than 10 words per sentence. At age 12, most children can say 30 or more words per sentence, or better than any of their friends. At least 16 hours of learning opportunities at this age may not be possible with today’s learning styles, but, according to Richard Riehl, M.D., in learning systems theory, “that’s more time than 90% of students spend in school.”

From the standpoint of parents who have to work hard to get their children to engage in the educational experience, the benefits of these learning experiences may be much more important than we may realize. If a child is having difficulties academically, learning is the first thing to change, and when children are more alert and tuned in, they can solve problems much faster. This is what many of us can expect of our children by age three. Mornings, afternoons, and evenings at home with enrichment programs can foster a love of learning that can extend well beyond the grade-school years.

Nancy Brown specializes in parenting and educational issues. Nancy has written several parenting books including Brainlessness for a Smart Child: How Smart Parents Can Help Their Children Become Smart. She works with families and individuals who want to live productively and add value to their lives by enhancing education. For more information, please visit Nancy’s blog. You can find more information and sign up for Nancy’s newsletter by logging on to NancyBrown.com.

Nancy A. Brown, LCSW can be reached at Nancy@nancybrownfamily.com

For more info, please visit Nancy’s blog. You can find more information and sign up for Nancy’s newsletter by logging on to NancyBrown.com.

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