Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Support Learning

What is Support Learning?


Definition


Support learning

Support learning can be defined as facility outside of school that assists children in developing their knowledge. Support learning is designed to tap into each child's learning types and help address concepts that the child has difficulty with or misunderstands at school. Support learning is not just for children who have learning challenges; it is for every child. Support learning helps a child understand their own abilities and develop their skills to function at their learning capacity in a classroom environment. Support learning is usually instructed in small groups or individually.

The importance of Support Learning

Support learning has become invaluable due to the increase of classroom sizes and the changing school outlines, which impact on each child differently.


Why is it more than just teaching?

Support learning is more than just teaching, as it looks at individual learning styles. It does not focus on  teaching, it assists in understanding and application concepts. It is an enrichment process, it helps the child understand who they are, it builds self-confidence and it helps children learn in a safe environment. Support learning also helps to identify more specific and personalised difficulties that may present in a child . Those parents looking for specifically teaching or assistance with homework should view options, such as tutoring.


Does Support Learning replace other forms of Professional help?


Professionals: Education Psychologists, Clinical Psychologists, Speech and Language Therapist, Physiotherapist and Occupational Therapists (are a few highly valued Professionals in a child's development)

There are many arguments about this topic. I believe that it has the capacity to assist children prior to professional intervention and after professional intervention, sometimes the two work together to assist a child. Professional assistance focuses on specific developmental areas, whilst support learning is broad based and looks holistically at the child. However, this does not imply that Professional assistance does not, it means that whilst professional investigate the holistic child they tend to focus on specific difficulties and challenges. Professional assistance is diagnostic and may use interventions to assist a child. Support learning uses interventions and may identify challenges and suggest further professional diagnostic testing and interventions.

I will discuss the different types of Professionals in another blog... so please keep following.

The importance and role of teachers

It is difficult for teachers to be able to identify every child's specific challenges in large classes. Support learning helps teachers understand their learners individually in a group environment. Teachers are vital in support learning as they have views of the child in a different environment. A child's performance varies in different environments; it is essential to recognise that your child's personality, actions and behaviours are influenced by the various environments.

As a support learning facility I commend the work teachers do and in today's situation the challenges they face are huge - parents and other professionals - can not ignore our role. Child development involves teamwork and is not solely the responsibility of the teacher.

Lets support South African teachers by being their team, giving them the chance to fulfil their potential and function. Remember - Would you be able to teach a class of 30 - 40 learners with no assistance? I doubt I would. Its all about teamwork. Support learning adds to the team and gives each child a stronger support system.

The role of the parent

Understandably, in today's world with both parents working and single parents time is of the essence. However, it is essential that you spend time with your child everyday: revise school work and discuss their day, play sports with your child and cultural activities. Children learn from their parents, you are their guide in society. Please do not underestimate your role.

Should I look at support learning for my child?

  • Difficulties in grasping concepts at school
  • Social and emotional development - through self development and enrichment
  • Performance at personalised functional level
  • Finds learning in group environments challenging
  • Children presenting with learning challenges or highly gifted
  • Children who are highly creative

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