How Do You Know Your Child Is Learning?
What does learning look like? How can you tell your child is succeeding in school? Do report card grades indicate learning or following directions and adult pleasing behavior? Do good test grades mean your child has learned?
When I was in school, learning was considered memorizing facts and “spitting back” the information. Retelling and regurgitating information successfully meant you completed your assignment and learned. That isn't the case in today's education. While memorization does have its place, for example learning the multiplication facts, it is not the best measurement of learning.
The experts in education explain that learning is an active process that grows new brain cells and rewires the brain (Jensen, 1998). Drs. Sally and Bennett Shaywitz have studied the role of the brain in the learning process, especially connected to Dyslexia, and have help advanced the understanding of both how learning takes place and what it looks like.
Learning involves different functions; understanding language, using language, paying attention, remembering, problem solving, creating, organizing, planning, just to name a few (Levine, 1997). If someone has trouble with a certain function that means there is a dysfunction. A dysfunction doesn't mean something is wrong or needs to be “fixed”, it means the individual needs to become aware of their learning needs and develop strategies to access the functions.
Jensen, E. (1998). Teaching with the brain in mind. Alexandria, VA.: ASCD Levine, M. (1997). The mind that’s mine. Chapel Hill, NC: All Kinds of Minds