Published in Pacelli Perspective

February 01, 2022

What Does Good Learning Look Like?

In today’s world it is clear that education must focus on thinking, rather than providing answers to isolated questions.  Good schools like Oak Hill Academy, a private school in Lincroft New Jersey, know that they must create conditions that inspire learners to wonder and figure out how to learn and solve problems and seek more questions.  Today’s technology and expert teaching provide access to our world’s wonders and challenges.  So, what does today’s exciting classroom offer our children who are ready to find, invent, and refine new ideas?

NJ Private School 3 "R"'s

            The following is a brief summary of some of the attributes that contribute to good and long-lasting learning.

  1. Children are exposed to situations that require deep understanding of ideas.  They are using their talents to examine topics well beneath the surface.
  2. This exploration must connect prior knowledge to present connections of new information.
  3. Classrooms must be relevant and engaging.  Real world topics are of high interest to our children of today.  They have an innate desire to know.
  4. Students should be trying to figure out things and trying to discover the “why?”
  5. Schools must be ready to receive and channel student’s questions allowing the learner to begin the process of discovery.  Teachers act as facilitators assisting students to become independent seekers who answer their own questions.
  6. Good learning environments have classes organized around problems, project questions, and discovery.
  7. Social reasoning helps learners to answer questions such as, “Why do people do what they do? What is their purpose and goal?  Was the action productive, sincere, and beneficial, or only self-serving?  Were the goals helpful to others and society in general?”
  8. Allowing students to use empirical reasoning to research helps them to have a better understanding of issues.  Learners experiment, observe, look for evidence, and verify.  Self-corrective reasoning permits solidifying of results using trial and error.
  9. There is a focus in mathematics on real-world problems such as quantitative reasoning in science, examination of financial institutions, determining probability, making useful measurements, and studying data. 
  10. Students must hone their communication skills, improving expression and comprehension.  Good writing opens the door for useful exchange of ideas. Close reading opens the door to deep knowledge, and listening permits the reception of other people’s ideas.  Good debate allows for sharing and the drawing of conclusions.
  11. Good learning environments help develop excellent personal qualities like responsibility, leadership, and self-awareness.  This works best when students become active participants in their daily lives – making their own good decisions for themselves and their school.  Assisting the larger community to grow is both rewarding and beneficial to those in need.
  12. Schools must be open to allowing their students to explore, do, see, and reflect. Their world is an open book, and curiosity will lead to both personal and societal discovery.  The days of rote learning must give way to true understanding.
  13.  Finally, good learning in schools must revolve around abstracting, applying, convincing, classifying, inferring, organizing, representing, inventing, generalizing, specializing, comparing, explaining, patterning, validating, proving, conjecturing, analyzing, synthesizing, and ordering.

In conclusion, good schools must be student-centered productive places where the learner is the worker and where perceived competence comes from successful experiences.  Without this success, the student will avoid challenging tasks, lose interest, and give way to boredom.  Interest will only pique when the learner can pursue useful, meaningful goals, and solve problems that are rewarding and character building.  Learning will know no limits!

Oak Hill Academy is a NJ private school that is co-educational, independent, nonsectarian, and nonprofit for grades pre-kindergarten through eight. Oak Hill Academy is dedicated to a traditional, challenging, and caring learning environment that encourages comprehensive thought processes and deep understandings; thus promoting the wholesome intellectual, emotional, moral, and physical lifetime growth of our students. If you want to learn more about what makes Oak Hill Academy one of the best private school in NJ, visit us online at www.oakhillacademy.com , or subscribe to our mailing list to be notified when we post more topics.

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Article By Peter Bruckmann

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