As a new mum I am blown away in the ways in which my 9 month old son gifts me with new perspectives every day. Watching him watch the world allows me to keenly observe the information he is taking in and consider the ways in which it is impacting his view of himself and the world. I am fascinated by the way in which he is instinctively challenging himself to explore things in a new way. When it comes to babies, we are fairly patient and mostly fair in our expectations of what they should be able to do and how they should progress. We don’t expect them to run before they can crawl!
It reminds me of the concept of the zone of proximal development put forward by Psychologist Lev Vygotsky. I studied this closely during my time at University and as a classroom teacher it had a strong influence on my developing pedagogy.
“in studying what the child is capable of doing independently, we study yesterday’s
development. Studying what the child is capable of doing cooperatively, we ascertain
tomorrow’s development. The area of immature, but maturing processes makes up the
child’s zone of proximal development” (Vygotsky, 1998:202), (Vygotsky, 2001:200).
At Sprout tutoring our methodology reflects this theory – because as classroom teachers, we experienced just how effective it can be when you focus on skills and knowledge that are attainable for the child and move at a pace that suits them- not the pace the curriculum demands!
We have no set programs at Sprout. Each individual student is treated as the special, unique learner that they are. We work to identify their prior knowledge and then design learning experiences and activities that will move them from what they already know – to new understanding. This is referred to as scaffolding. Appropriate scaffolding ensures students feel supported and experience success. They are at the centre of their own learning – and don’t feel overwhelmed.
When students can connect prior learning to new learning they begin to build deep understandings. Deep understandings lead to confidence. Confident students are generally happier and happy students that love learning is our ultimate goal!
When teaching your child something new – start with exploring what they already know that will help them build on that knowledge to bridge the gap to something new!
To have one of our qualified teachers best support your child with a custom designed tutoring program at Sprout Tutoring, contact our director today.