How long does it take for a five year old to learn how to ride a bike?
How long does it take for anyone to learn to play tennis?
Does any obstetrician know when your baby will be born?
No, no, and… uh, no.
Here’s the key: it’s different for everyone, isn’t it. You can’t answer the question “how long does it take to learn X?” because it all depends. So, why is it that traditional education ignores this fact of life, of learning? Traditional education thinks that it can predict how much a child of a given age will learn in a year and how long it will take to learn anything in particular. A curriculum is set, an amount of time is given for each lesson or concept, then we move on. As if.
Let’s work with what we know. There’s an idea! Let’s recognize that we can’t predict how long it takes any particular child to learn any particular thing. AND, let’s provide each child with the time that they need to learn what they need to learn. Moving on when they’re not ready makes no sense and making a child wait when they’re ready to move on makes no sense. Motivation is tied-in here. Interest in tied-in here. Learning is tied-in here.
It takes THIS particular child the time that it takes for them to learn to ride their bike. End of story. It’s not good or bad. It says nothing about their future. And it’s not in anyone’s control other than this child’s. Provide the opportunity and get out of the way. Synapses will fire, neural connections will be established – in their own time. Let’s understand that, let’s respect that. This is basic science. This is not a theory. Why is traditional education ignoring it?
Let’s get the word out. There’s a disconnect between what science knows and what traditional schools do.