Posted in: By Katy Parkinson
What a weekend; Eliud Kipchoge had ran his marathon under 2 hours; what an achievement! Paula Radcliff’s world record, which she has held since 2003, was smashed by Brigid Kosgei.
Immediately after completing his marathon Eliud said, “The human being has no limits. He wants to improve self-belief and motivation in others.
Bridget, after running her marathon said, “I am focused on reducing my time again.”
That takes hard work and dedication
I also watched Strictly Come Dancing this weekend when I heard Bruno Tonioli tell us that Mike Bushell’s amazing improvement was due to ‘repetition, repetition, repetition.’
Indeed, what about David Beckham and Jonny Wilkinson? How many hours of dedication and practice did they need before they achieved their goal kicking successes?
What does this tell us?
It is telling us that we can always improve but…
we need to believe we can, and we need to acknowledge the importance of hard work, dedication to the task and repeating the activity again and again in-order to develop the skill.
This all surely can be said about education too.
I attended the first annual High Performance Learning Conference recently. Professor Deborah Eyre, the founder director, told us that high performance is an attainable target for everyone and everyone has potential. She also told us about the importance of practice and hard work.
This all has led me to reflect on Lexonik’s methodology; what is it that makes Lexonik so powerful? What is it that makes our learners, on average, make 27 months gain in reading in just six weeks?
It’s quite simple.
We set high expectations for everyone, for the teachers we train and the students they teach.
We expect and believe everyone can and will achieve; no one is ever written off or abandoned.
We use teaching methods that incorporate pace, to develop fluency.
We incorporate deliberate practice which involves attention, rehearsal and repetition leading to new knowledge and skills that can later be developed into more complex knowledge and skills
Daniel Willingham in his book ‘Why Don’t’ Students Like School? states that ‘memory is the residue of thought’ We need to think about things in order to store new information. So, if we think about developing our students’ vocabulary knowledge spoon feeding them by providing definitions will not be particularly useful. Providing definitions encourages passive rather than active learning. Learners need to think about words to be able to remember them.
We try wherever possible not to provide answers to learners’ questions. Instead we respond to their questions by asking other questions, training the learner to work out the meaning of words for themselves thus ensuring they are thinking about words and becoming word conscious.
I asked a year 8 pupils in Dubai recently how her mainstream classroom taught new vocabulary. She told me that they are given words with definitions to learn for homework.
This on the surface looks great; the teachers believe they are teaching vocabulary but are the students learning?
Where is the motivation, the active learning, the repetition and practice to allow the development of this skill?
This student, after having only one session of Lexonik went on to say, you don’t ask us WHAT the word means you ask us WHY does that word mean what is means! I can use this knowledge to build other words for myself.
This independent learning is down to fast paced, highly focussed, modern fun version of Latin where learners simply practice, practice, practice until they become skilled.
The human being has no limits.