Learning Theory & Teaching Methods
Happiness & Emotional Well-Being
A learning theory describes the assumptions we make about how children learn, and how we can best teach them.
At FORESIGHT LEARNING CENTER our learning theory integrates the strongest concepts from several schools of thought.
Key aspects of our theory include:
- The learning program must provide experiences that are action-oriented, concrete and relevant to children- where cognition, motivation and self-esteem are enhanced as the child develops competence in his areas of interest.
- Play is often the best vehicle through which children will develop an understanding of themselves, others and the world around them- by observing, interacting, and problem solving.
- From birth, the child has an active need to understand the world and is capable of self-motivated learning. Opportunities must be provided for children to explore their natural talents and interests on an independent basis as well as through structured experiences.
- As a child's skill and understanding grows, he needs opportunities to learn, practice, and build upon basic concepts and principles in the areas of physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.
- Learning is influenced by many factors: physical environment, social influences, maturity, motivation, individual learning style and personality. To be effective, teaching methods must recognize and respond to each of these factors.
- Happiness and emotional well-being are essential to a child's ability to learn. Programs must establish a safe and nurturing atmosphere.
Teaching methods and techniques are selected on a pragmatic basis. Guided by the philosophy and learning theory, qualified teachers determine the best approach for the individual student or group based on children's needs, the surrounding circumstances and material being taught. Teachers conduct one-to-one and small group lessons for individualized learning and present larger group lessons for experiences shared by the whole class. "Discovery/Inquiry" and "direct information" teaching techniques form the framework for experiences in these different settings, exposing the child to different teaching/learning styles. In this way, teachers discover how to best teach each child.
All lessons, regardless of how they are presented, are designed to help the child "construct" his understanding of the world. They progress from concrete to abstract (hands-on to the symbolic), and engage children in active learning. Teachers carefully and systematically help children to observe, describe, predict, manipulate, explain, hypothesize, and find alternatives. All of these processes are integrated into the learning activities
Free play is recognized as an integral part of the program and ample time is allotted each day for unstructured play.