Answers to Questions About Learning and School
Parents send their children to school and trust that the "magic" of learning happens. Parents often think they know about school because they went to school. People who have worked in school know it is quite different from what they remember from childhood.
When children have no problems in school, parents don't think to ask questions. When children have difficulties, parents often don't understand the situation and try to deal with the consequences of the problems. This page attempts to simply answer common questions that many parents have about school and how their children learn.
- Why don't my child's teachers teach what my child needs to know?
- Who decides what my child will learn?
- What is taught in each level of school?
- What does it mean that my child's school is in crisis?
- Is this a good system of grading schools?
- What are educators doing?
- What is the difference between remediation and intervention?
- School Safety
- Cognitive Development
- School Readiness
- What is reading?
- What is decoding?
Decoding is figuring out what the written word is. The skills are unique to each of the three primary instructional approaches: visual, auditory, experiential. The visual approach requires the child to memorize each word or word part (prefix, suffix, root word) separately as a unit. This is how children learn sight words or words that do not have regular spellings (for example, "sure" and "sugar" do not start with "sh"). The auditory approach uses phonics. The child sounds out each letter and blends those sounds into a unit called a word. The experiential approach uses words from the child's natural vocabulary to form written stories which he then reads.
- What is phonics?
- What is phonemic awareness?
- What are the steps in learning to read?
- What is reading comprehension?
Click here to listen to recordings of Dr. Jennifer Little discussing various topics relating to education.