I am all for learning. I absolutely adore discovering at least one new fact every day that I am on this planet. Some people are just like that. They thrive on information, they store it up and hope that their newly learned topic will come up in random conversation so that they may enlighten their friends and family.
Do you know who else is like that? Kids.
Every single one of them (for the most part). Except they generally do not sit on the sidelines and wait for their new found subject of interest to come waltzing into play naturally. No, they spring it on you as soon as they see you. You suddenly find yourself a newly crowned expert on anything from natural geography to recent past events from the little person in your life.
While it’s great to glean random information from a variety of sources, those attempting to acquire understanding on certain field of interest need structure to their daily lesson plan. You simply can’t expect someone to become well versed on subject matter from google and ebooks. These tools are great, but they’re great for checking the facts. Not for a curriculum.
The little noggins of today’s youth are still forming important bits, and they need consistency in order to maintain their ability to properly house the information that is being fed to them. Sometimes (most times) they will need to hear and see it more than once. This is not because they’re not paying attention; it’s because many interesting topics are being thrown at them throughout the course of a day and it can get a bit overwhelming.
Remember school? (You may still be in school; perhaps that is why you are reading this. If so, good for you!) At some point during the day you just simply tune out for minutes at a time. Teachers need to take length of attention span into consideration when plugging away at molding minds.
Structure helps to provide the framework on which to build the lesson plan. If students know what is expected of them then they can focus more on what they are learning as opposed to what they will need to do in order to succeed.
The sad fact is that many people out there have a severe depletion of structure in their lives, and children unknowingly seek it out when it comes to learning. So too do adults when embarking on the quest for knowledge. Truly structure is something that we all crave, particularly when we are quenching our thirst for knowledge. Facts make more sense when they follow a linear pattern.
Lesson structure and pacing together are vital to the learning process
Pacing is important because no one can learn everything at once, regardless of your age. We need to accumulate facts in intervals and go away with them for a bit in order to make them stick. Children, teens and adults alike require time to absorb and assimilate new information into their daily diet. When the scholar in charge pays attention to the learning styles and capabilities of their student(s) and acts accordingly, then that’s another worry that has been taken off the table.
The disciple no longer feels the need to fret over whether or not they will be able to keep up with the rest of the pack if everyone is on the same page.
Today’s stream of consciousness is fast-moving, a quickly paced animal, and do-it-yourself books and tutorials do not always get the job done. It is a tremendous asset when someone who knows what they are talking about is handing you information about your subject matter and assisting the student in putting everything into context.
We need an expert to help connect what we are learning with our every day lives. Those that teach are like weavers, drafting what we are discovering into what we already know and making sure that it can all fit snugly together.
The arousal of curiosity and interest is key when new material comes into play. If the student does not care about the matter at hand, then no amount of coaxing will make the information stick.
Professors have the power and often possess superior capability in this department. I can read for days on a book and try to learn, but if it’s not making sense then I am reaping absolutely no benefit here. Sometimes you need help and guidance.
This is where the importance of a well-researched, well-planned and smoothly structured lesson comes into play.