MANILA, Philippines - We have always believed that students do not fail because of the curriculum. Any subject can be taught as long as it relates to the learners' learning style preferences.
New knowledge is formed on the basis of what has already been understood and believed. It is rare, if not close to impossible, for a student to comprehend, remember or learn something totally unfamiliar. Some form of prior knowledge or a basic idea is necessary for a new lesson or task to be understood. Learners need to have their prior knowledge activated and should then use this for understanding and learning.
Research shows that learning is enhanced when teachers pay close attention to their students' prior knowledge and use this knowledge as the starting ground for a new lesson or activity.
In class, teachers can help students activate prior knowledge and use this for the task at hand in a number of ways:
* They can discuss the content of a lesson to ensure that the students have the necessary prior knowledge. Oftentimes, this prior knowledge is incomplete or may be characterized by false beliefs and misconceptions. Teachers must therefore take it upon themselves to break such myths and fallacies.* Teachers can ask questions to help students see the relationship between what they are reading and what they already know.* Effective teachers should be able to help students grasp relationships and establish connections by supporting their efforts to improve their performance.
People learn through effective and flexible strategies that help them understand, reason, memorize and solve problems.
* Strategies are important because they help students understand and solve problems in ways appropriate to the situation at hand.* They can also improve and hasten learning. The broader the range of strategies and approaches children can use appropriately, the more successful they can be in problem solving, reading text comprehension and memorizing.
In class, teachers must recognize the importance of students' knowing and using a variety of approaches to learning. They should give students a task and provide a model of the inquiry process by asking key questions. For example, teachers can show students how to outline the important points in a text and how to summarize them. …