There is an opinion that comfort and learning oppose each other. After all, if a person is in a comfort zone, he does not make efforts, which means that he does not grow. This thesis is easily refuted if one proceeds from the contrary.
Put a person in an uncomfortable position, seat him at an uncomfortable table, create an inappropriate schedule for him, offer intricate tasks – will you get a breakthrough in mastering the complex? Hardly. In fact, we see a variety of examples. You can perform feats in spite of everything, or you can work to the limit of your strength in a comfortable chair with clear rules and clear criteria for success.
Speaking of comfortable learning, we mean one that plays into the hands of the child, that is, it helps him develop, achieve his goals faster and feel more confident. In general, learning is not contrary.
Educators around the world rely on a comfortable educational environment. The more we demand from children, the more opportunities for coping with stress should be around. Classes appear in schools without desks, with hammocks and fitballs, tutor services help children realize their strengths and set achievable goals, draw maps and skill trees. Teachers design their courses to take into account the individual characteristics of students, include game elements and wow effects.
In general, the educational world is moving towards comfortable, and therefore effective learning. We have collected the main aspects of a truly literate educational environment.
Student understands what exactly he is studying, what is his goal and area of responsibility and how to track progress.
In business, the word “transparency” means openness: all interested parties can at any time receive the information that will help them make a decision.
At school, a child is usually deprived of such an understanding: you come every day, do some exercises, but why these particular exercises and where I end up moving is not clear.
And let teachers today form a subjective approach to education: the leading role belongs not to the one who teaches, but to the one who studies – without an open map of the ocean in which you are swimming, it is not easy to navigate. By the way, the role of the student is sometimes incomprehensible to him: “Why do I need this? What do I get from a particular task? What exactly do I need to do to acquire the skill?”
To make learning more transparent, agreements with the child should work. That is, the student is not at gunpoint, but of his own free will decides that now he is studying this, spending such and such an amount of time, learning will have such and such a result.
And most importantly, information about the course should be in a clear and visual form, like in a computer game, where you can see what percentage of the sea chart you have already opened, where reefs can wait for you and how many attempts you have to get through the storm.
Possibility of choice
Student can influence what and how he learns
A school in which a person dutifully follows someone else’s instructions and at the same time does not make any choice, does not make any decisions – cannot swear on the Bible that it uses a subjective approach. If a person consciously learns, then he can choose. Especially since modern psychology — for example, the theory of self-determination by Ryan and Desi — puts autonomy, that is, the ability to independently influence one’s activities, at the forefront when it comes to human well-being.
So, what exactly can a person choose if he plunged into a certain discipline? For example, study materials. So, the skill of working with text can be developed in a textbook on geography, or you can use an entertaining encyclopedia.
Or you can choose the pace of mastering the material and its rhythm: this week I immerse myself in English with my head and study for five hours, and then I take a break. Or delivery methods: the student understands that lectures make him sleepy, so he focuses on practical exercises: I see a problem, dig into the material, look for and find a solution.
Student receives feedback on his actions that helps him move forward
Feedback is the reaction of the world to human actions. The student did some action, received feedback and saw exactly where he is in relation to his goal: close or far, how successful the previous step was. So feedback motivates us to keep going.
Traditional education offers assessments as feedback, but they just violate the main principles of feedback:
Valuelessness. Your decision is neither good nor bad, you have worked out the topic of division and solved 6 out of 10 examples.
Timeliness. You get a response immediately after your action, and not a month later.
Concreteness. Feedback is given not in general and not on human behavior, but on a specific action: this is an assessment not of knowledge of geography in general, but of work with this particular contour map.
Relevance. It is important for the student to get an answer in order to move in the direction he needs. Did he have a request for this feedback?
Self-expression and reflection
A person understands how he feels in the process of learning
Learning is connected to our emotional sphere, and this is not surprising. Curiosity, personal inclinations, peculiarities of thinking and perception make us fall in love with one science and neglect another, appreciate some activities and yearn for others. It is absolutely impossible to learn mechanically: I received information – I remembered it – I gave it out.
Education is on the path of humanization. It is important for the student to realize himself in the process: what am I, what is my strength, what are my inclinations, what inspires me, and where do I need to make additional efforts. And this does not mean that a label should be attached to a child: “You are a mathematician, therefore poetry is not given to you!”
Rather, on the contrary: offering a person different activities in training, it makes sense to reflect: what was difficult, where you stepped over yourself, what helped you, what surprised you, what seemed unusual. And of course, it is best to conduct such reflection after creative work – the one in which the child is easiest to show his uniqueness.
The right to make a mistake and the support of loved ones
Mistakes do not become a tragedy, and there are those who share the difficulties with you
We exist in a culture where results matter: we take pride in medals, victories and completed projects. It is difficult for us to understand the process itself and accept the inevitability of mistakes.
Imagine yourself as a child standing in the middle of a class. Would you be willing to make mistakes while solving a problem in front of everyone? How would you rate yourself on this? Yes, often we perceive such cases as a painful experience.
It’s no surprise that there’s so much research that students’ favorite school strategy is to avoid making mistakes at all costs. But this path turns out to be a losing one, because it does not contribute to either academic achievement or the desire to practice.
You can help a child here only by teaching him how to respond to failure correctly: a mistake is not something that makes you worse, but on the contrary, it can help you grow. But in one day, of course, such things as self-esteem and perseverance are not formed. This will require a lot of attention and support from loved ones. For starters, you can focus on caring for a person’s emotions, on living through mistakes.
Contact with the teacher
The child turns to the teacher without fear and understands that they work as a team
The contact between the teacher and the student is often underestimated, but it is one of the most important factors influencing learning. The teacher can create a sense of trust and security while teaching. He can motivate to learn, act as a role model, infect with enthusiasm.
However, this is not required. American scientists have been able to prove that if a teacher invests in establishing good relationships with students, they immediately begin to learn better.