At Futures Academy, we are constantly researching and sharing relevant topics that affect our students and families. We also have guest bloggers sharing their research and best practices. Read our blogs to learn more!
Most parents have watched as their child struggles with a school assignment. It doesn't have to be that way. With targeted learning, students have a clear understanding of the required skills and information. They know what is needed to master the subject before they start coursework. Targeted learning focuses on educational outcomes from the students' perspective. The learning target is shared with students, so they understand precisely what is needed and will know when they have mastered the material.
Public schools continue to focus on teacher-to-student ratios, trying to reduce the number of students per teacher. Why? The more individualized attention a student receives, the more his/her learning improves along with higher chances of academic success. With individualized instruction, the teacher serves as a guide, letting students move forward at their own pace. Teachers encourage students by providing feedback at the right moments in the learning process. This teacher-student interaction establishes a positive relationship. Targeted learning adds value to one-to-one instruction.
Self-paced learning expands student-centered education. It allows students to design their own learning experience, according to their interests and learning preferences. Once again, the teacher provides guidance and feedback as the child needs it. One-to-one instruction and self-paced learning allow the teacher to adjust the learning environment based on a student's needs.
When we hear self-paced, we often think of students who are struggling with a subject and need extra time to master the desired skills. But self-paced also benefits those students who readily master the material. It lets them move forward at a faster rate, minimizing the chances that the child will become bored and check out.
Some of the benefits of self-paced learning include:
While students are mastering a subject, they are acquiring these positive attributes to ensure success far beyond the classroom.
Content mastery is a learning method that divides instruction into small units that must be mastered before moving to the next assignment. Completing the smaller units ultimately leads to mastery of a subject as a whole. The teacher's function in this method is to provide feedback and to create opportunities for meaningful practice.
Sequential learning is essential to mastering a subject. Bloom who was the pioneer in content mastery, recognized that understanding complex behavior rests upon learning a sequence of less complex behaviors that make up the primary behavior. For example, learning the alphabet is a step in learning to read and write. Combining self-paced, targeted learning with content mastery, each child moves forward as he/she masters the learning targets at each point in the learning sequence.
Are you a morning person or a night owl? We all have times of the day where we work better than others. These intervals are often tied to our biorhythms, or periods during the day when our energy levels peak. These peak periods are the best learning times. Multiple studies have shown that we perform best when our schedules are attuned to our biorhythmic cycles.
Designing a learning method that takes advantage of these peak periods means a student is better able to learn and retain information. The low energy times or troughs can be used to perform less mentally demanding tasks.
At Futures, we combine targeted learning with one-to-one instruction for student-centric learning. Our teachers adapt to each student's needs, letting them set the pace for mastering content sequentially. We believe that target learning isn't just for struggling students; it is a learning method that benefits students at all levels of mastery. It allows students to achieve their full potential. Why not contact us to learn more about our innovative approach to individualized instruction?