Children learn better at their own pace

 
By HSC Staff Writer • Published: November 7th, 2006
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Just because children are computer whizzes and carry on adult-like conversations doesn’t mean they’re fast learners.

In fact, a new study says children require MORE time to learn some skills than their parents and teachers think. And the fast learning pace that adults expect of children may be more than children can handle perceptually.

Researchers say today’s children often are expected to recall information and detail at an adult learning level instead of a child’s learning level. And too often it’s easy for parents and teachers to forget just how much time it takes for a brain to learn how to learn.

The study is the first to take a look at change blindness… the ability to recall what we see or experience in certain situations… in children.

For many aspects of paying attention, an eight-year-old’s skill is very much like an adult’s. But when it comes to recognizing a change or remembering a detail, the researchers were surprised to find that even ten-year-olds could not provide the same details as adults. In fact, kids do not appear adult-like in recall until their early teens.

The reason? Children, researchers say, have undeveloped and imprecise attention. Their problems in recall may not be memory mistakes. They may be the challenge of perceiving important aspects of information in the first place.

So how do children remember what they’ve learned? Through repetition at a pace suitable to the child instead of the adult or the curriculum. Children learn best when they… rather than adults… control their own pace.