Is ‘Learn Through Play’ really a Myth? How about Left Brain and Right Brain development?

If there is any one indisputable fact about life, it is that students hate to go to school. This is especially true for Singaporean students. The average student spends about 30 hours a week at school. If we include co-curricular activities, this duration can easily reach a shocking 40 hours per week, almost as much time as a full-time worker spends at a job! The common complaint? “School is so tiring” or “School is so boring”. Yet, parents face the opposite problem when it comes to students spending time playing games! During the school holidays, the average student would not mind spend 40 hours or even more playing their favourite games on their mobile phones on computers. The real issue at hand is that there are some elements which games have that make them interesting and thrilling – and we could apply these elements to education.

Element 1: FUN
Games are fun! In an article published in Educational Leadership (https://www.psychologytoday.com/files/attachments/4141/the-neuroscience-joyful-education-judy-willis-md.pdf), research found that when the fun stops, learning often stops too. Making the lesson fun means that students anticipate and look forward to these lessons, and that enables the content of the lesson to stay constantly on their minds.

Element 2: INTERACTION
Games are Interactive and let players vocalize their thoughts. Contrast this to the average school lesson where students need to remain silent and listen for continuous stretches at a go. In fact, it is found that producing a word by speaking or mouthing makes it 10 to 20% more likely that the word will be remembered, even weeks later (http://eloquentwoman.blogspot.sg/2010/06/speaking-science-boost-your-memory-by.html) . If only students could talk about what they learn, just as much as they talk about their games.

Element 3: MENTAL STIMULATION
Games develop your brain! Are we talking about left-brain and right-brain development? No… but yes.

No: It was previously a popular belief that logical thinking and analytical skills belonged solely to the Left-brain, while creativity and art belonged to the Right-brain, but this has since been debunked. Instead, we use our entire brain pretty much equally, no matter what we think of.

Yes: What parents need to take away from this is that learning requires cognitive thinking, and not just your average ‘finding your way to the bus stop’ level of thinking, but truly high-order thinking. To be able to think, we need to activate our entire brain (Left AND Right), and to activate our brains, we need external stimulus. The unfortunate truth is that fast-paced results oriented teaching often lead to “spoon-feeding”, and do not trigger much thinking, leading to what we term meaningless learning. This is predominantly why students complain that they are tired or bored when it comes to school work!

What’s next?
Insight Campus, a tuition and enrichment centre, has developed a unique teaching method: The Insight Method™, which not only helps students cope with foundation learning difficulties but also inspires motivated learning by adapting the 3 elements from games.

Through our accumulated teaching experience and research, we have designed 4 components to achieve this motivated learning experience:
• Hands-on activities and games (FUN)
• An encouraging environment for students to speak up and think creatively (INTERACTION)
• Learning multipliers to make learning easier and more efficient (MENTAL STIMULATION)
• Applying what students learn to real world situations (MENTAL STIMULATION)

In our lessons, students have re-discovered their interest in learning, and no longer find it a “boring” or “tiring” process. We start from where the student is at, and challenge them to improve step by step. Eventually, these students achieved grades that they never thought they could ever get – from ‘F’ to ‘B’ or even ‘A’. Ultimately, when learning is made easy and meaningful, doing well becomes very natural.

From November to December 2016, we are having a promotion of up to 50% for our holiday workshops and head-start classes. If you want your child to be passionate about learning once again, or want to give your child that extra learning advantage, now is the time. Limited to 6 students per class, so sign up now!

 

This article was written by Mr. Andre Chan, Founder and Principal of Insight Campus.  Insight Campus is a preferred partner of Flying Cape.

 


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