Observing Students to Teach More Effectively

News Release

Saturday July 28 at 5 pm, educators, parents, and students gathered at PJ Chapel and received instruction to help them become better teachers. Dr. Barbara Hong, renowned educator and lecturer from BYU-Hawaii “debunked myths” that have constrained teachers and students for years. Dr. Hong’s expertise is with children at levels kindergarten through twelfth grades who suffer with mild to moderate learning disabilities.  

 

“I have been using old ideas of how students learn,” one teacher, Luisa, admitted. “Over time, I have recognized the error of those notions and I have made adjustments. As a result of this presentation, I am going to further refine my methods around the needs of the students.”

Through a series of captivating exercises and stories, Dr. Hong exposed some learning myths, which included:

  • The brain is not always used for thinking. Frequently it uses shortcuts that reduce the effort of thinking to help make decisions. That can reduce the accuracy of thinking.
  • Each person does not have a particular learning style. Rather, the particular learning task frequently dictates the learning method that is necessary.
  • Repetitious exposure to a subject does not facilitate learning. Repetitious thinking about a subject is more effective for learning.
  • Learning lists is not best accomplished by repetitive effort. Frequently, an understanding of why items are placed in a particular order helps speed their placement in a framework and quickly makes the idea permanent.

Some of the individuals attending the lecture teach children who suffer with mild to moderate learning disabilities. Dr. Hong helped participants understand that an understanding of the child’s specific learning difficulty would enable a different strategy which could help the child grasp the idea.

Dr. Hong is an advocate for empowering children and their parents to learn through self-directed solutions for the moment-to-moment problems they face. 

“I want to attend future presentations like this,” another participant, Nancy, shared. “Children with special needs require teachers to have an understanding of the child's challenges to help them learn effectively. Understanding the children helps the teacher know how to communicate and manage the classroom.”

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