So this week’s #gtchat had to do with distance learning. As always, it was a fabulous conversation – fast-paced and smart! One theme I heard repeated was that online/distance learning enabled kids to bypass what they had already learned and enable them to learn more things. Very cool.
That is, unless we are going for breadth of knowledge OVER depth of knowledge.
A lot of times, GT kids and parents express frustration over traditional learning, stating that children are being asked to relearn stuff they “already know”. While I agree that this does happen – too much, in fact – I do think we tend to look towards the acquisition of “new material” as the only answer. That is, we equate learning something new as having more value than being exposed to something we’ve already learned.
As do most of our GT kids.
We have forgotten that learning something once – reading a great book, for example – does not mean you KNOW the book. Yet, I have child after child tell me how frustrated they get when they are asked to read the same material more than once. They have negated the possibility that they can learn something more in-depth through repeated exposure.
Obviously, it is frustrating when a GT child that has mastered rote information is asked to repeatedly learn the SAME rote material as opposed to being exposed to the deeper side of things. But in our effort to ensure differentiation with our GT kids, I think there is a danger in going too far – in allowing our children to equate the only true learning as being learning something “new”.
Instead, I would love to see children being taught to look for the depth in previously learned material – to consistently ask themselves to go deeper, ask the harder questions, seek the “new” within the known. This is what true learning is all about –
This is what we need to work with our GT kids on.
Yes, distance learning affords us opportunities to go deeper in ways we have not had before. But only if we teach our children that learning doesn’t only equate to breadth….
But also to depth.
What are your thoughts??