How do we Learn? In the shoes of a child – Part 2
Please read the Previous Blog to have a clear understanding of what is to follow.
Science says that the biological machine that is the human body and mind hasn’t changed for at least 50 thousands years – yet, when a new baby is born, he/she does not start to learn everything ‘from scratch’ as if he/she has just evolved from the ‘caveman’. The child is ‘taught’ and will become the ‘product’ of the current society and the knowledge accumulated over thousands of years that has been passed on through the symbols/sounds we call ‘Words’.
Now the baby is learning through this process of integrating ‘words’ that contain meaning/value. Everyday, as the baby hears ‘words’ being spoken within a specific context, he/she starts to associate the sound of the ‘word’ with a ‘meaning’. Repetition (constant input) is key to consolidate the integration of the word.
This process of ‘word integration’ is interdependent – that means, to learn new ‘words’ and their ‘meaning’ it is necessary to have an already established foundation of ‘words’ that will allow an understanding of the new ‘word’ to be formed.
If you ask me for a definition of a ‘word’ and I define it with words that you do not know, then you will not understand it in the end. This seems obvious, yet, as I look at the current education system, this point is completely overlooked because we keep teaching children and expecting them to learn concepts/ideas/subject matters (words) which they are not prepared to learn because a trustworthy foundation of vocabulary has not been established beforehand.
Read the following sentence to understand how most children in the education system feel :
Stately, and ironically, the sycophant, as the heterodox and iconoclast he had portrait himself to be, disparaged his daughter’s abstruse legerdemain as he recalled the ecclesiastical’ nefarious and circuitous sermon.
Can you picture the situation described? Probably not. Why? Not because you are ‘stupid‘ or ‘don’t get it‘, but simply because you don’t know some of the words.
Why would anyone struggle to understand something? Because there isn’t a clear understanding of the meaning/value of words that constitute the statement.
- What is Learning? What is Earning?
Learning (and Earning) is the effective acquisition of the value (meaning) of symbols (words) within the context of the world/environment.
Within this realisation, it is obvious that Education ought to be the process of effectively integrating Vocabulary (words) and their Correct and Unbiased Meaning/Value.
Can a Doctor be a ‘Doctor’ without the vocabulary (words), the word meaning, and Matrix of Relationships that form and define ‘Medicine’? No.
If you have the capacity to learn a ‘word’ and its meaning, then it implies you have the capacity to become a ‘Doctor’.
Any child that is taught effectively is able to deal with the world with great ease and is able to decide for himself/herself who he/she will become. Having an expansive and effective vocabulary is key to ensure Freedom of Choice – for how can you chose if you lack understanding and clarity?
It is impossible to improve the education system and the education we, as parents and teachers, provide our children if we do not understand How We Learn and the primary role Vocabulary plays.