Monday, March 15, 2010

Educational Theory of the Week: Brain-Based Learning, Core Principle 11

The eleventh and second to last brain based learning principle is:

Learning is enhanced by challenge and inhibited by threat.

(Obviously). The patient teacher or friend who helped you figure out the tough math question, your fingers on the piano, or bike riding not only knew what to teach, but how to teach. This educational theory is easy to apply whiles teaching our kids, because we love them and are so darn cute. Does your patience diminish as they get older? I know my patience sometimes does, but I always try (and sure, I fail sometimes) to regain my patience.


The example that immediately
came to me was of course, potty-training because we just finished that. (It is over and Ty is trained, yay). It took a long time, lots of tears, and plenty of patience from the teacher. How? Why? Well, I hate messes. Especially messy messes. But potty-training isn't about me, it was about Ty. So even though the downstairs bathroom was sanitized more in six months than it had been in the previous 4 years we've lived here, being patient was best. Looking back, our worst days were the days when Ty probably felt threatened by my impatience or frustrations. Instead of thinking about what to do or how to solve his problems, he was worried about my reactions.

This is such a fine line, one I think about. How do we challenge our kids without threatening them, or pushing too much?