When we hear the word “education,” the idea of desks in classrooms immediately comes to mind. It doesn’t matter which school we’re talking about. The point is that it’s almost intrinsic for us to automatically think of universities, teachers, and students.
But how come?
The basis of how we go about commercial academic learning today traces to Europe back during the 18th-century. At that time, there was a striking likening to kids being empty vessels that needed substantial pouring of necessary knowledge. As with today’s context, people-based societal progress on how efficient certain practices were. And true enough, public education innovator Joseph Lancaster echoed how conventional scholasticism working was a clear sign of efficiency.
As a result, innovators arrived at the conclusion that the best way to deliver studied information to children was to have them sit at desks, in silence, and in rows, facing the teacher. And as you can already tell, we’ve stuck to the process for the last two millenniums. Granted that we’ve switched up a few practices here and there, conventional learning environments are almost always the same. A lecturer stands in front and groups of people listen in arranged columns.
Still, it’s best to acknowledge how much farther we’ve come in terms of understanding, even more, how learning happens. So much so, that a growing number of academic organizations and agencies are starting to reimagine how else education can be offered. By extending more out-of-classroom experiences, leaders and educators alike are starting to create other avenues where children, teens, and adults can further expand the way they take in training, schooling, and mentorship. For instance, there are now more startups and companies banking on how valuable the introduction to personalized learning is. Because we’re all designed to better react to certain mediums of education differently, it’s only right for us to keep opening more learning set-ups to make education easier for more people.
How the brain is designed to take in information
We start learning the moment we take our first breath on the planet. That’s how we’re wired. We’re designed to discover new matter as we coast along life. Mankind is composed of social creatures. For this reason, some of the inmost, most principal and long-lasting learning happens when we learn in ways the bridge us to other people. This is something that psychologists who study “play” have found out.
Play is perhaps the most basic pattern of learning, and it’s normal for us humans to engage in any purposeful physical and mental activity either with others or by ourselves. Interestingly, it isn’t so much about what playing is that gets to us—it’s how the brain behaves when we’re stimulated.
The different learning styles
Understanding how different learning types affect each person differently is critical in approaching how we disseminate information. Learning preferences and styles take many forms and not everyone will subscribe to each category as accordingly. That being the case, there are four conventional learning styles.
As the name implies, these types of learners grasp information best when presented with images or visible instructions and directions. Referred to, also, as spatial learning, these are ones who value taking notes. For teachers, writing down important keywords on the board is essential in communicating with these people.
These learners, on the other hand, understand best when what’s being taught to them is being accompanied by sound. These students would much rather hear every single word uttered than prioritize note-taking. These are also the kind of people who memorize much easier when they say things out loud.
The best way to ensure auditory learners understand precisely what you need them to, let them summarise key ideas and concepts using their own words. This mostly gets the job done.
Writing and reading learners
Although there’s some form of an overlap with visual learners, writing reading learners, specifically, gravitate towards writing down their thoughts and consuming ideas and constructs through literature.
Also known to be tactile learners, these learners understand the most when they experience what’s being taught. Whether by getting to the thick of things or acting out certain events with hand motions and bodily gestures, these people value movement and experience.
The validity of a classroom
As we continue to soldier on with new technology and more studies surface about how the human brain works and what environments harness fostered learning, the classroom is no longer the only place where formal education is executed. Homeschooling and even online classes remain steady alternatives for people who prefer to pursue their journeys in the academe elsewhere.
Still, the classroom environment helps nurture and build character in ways different learning environments are unable to do. For one, classrooms encourage students to behave. While many psychologists and experts can argue that the lessons essential to living an informed life can be obtained elsewhere, the capacity to conform and respond to others in a controlled setting such as a classroom develops patience, empathy, and a desire to connect and be accepted.
Because classroom arrangements are designed to accommodate only a few speakers at a time, learners are indirectly encouraged to devote their attention and respect to whoever is speaking; be it the teacher or a few classmates completing a report. Classroom settings also compel learners to connect with people they won’t normally select to be around. Although many set-ups have similar scenarios—such as workplaces, informal gatherings, and the like—classrooms bring people together with the primary goal of learning. Meaning, the general notion of entering a classroom is consequently an admittance to being open to learning more, again, either from a teacher or from one’s classmates.
At the end of the day, different things work for different types of people, but a slice of every possible learning environment benefits everyone to a certain extent, as this helps provide a holistic understanding of how society works. Granted how there are so many avenues for learning today, the only challenge now is to determine which one best suits our learning preferences.