A developmental approach to teaching and learning is simply put catering to the needs of the individual learner through an individualised program that works with their development long a range of measures:
Cognitive – their brain readiness for mastery of existing concepts and introduction to new Australian Curriculum challenges
Physical – the physical gross and fine motor skills needed for a range of learning and social skills
Moral Development – developing empathy and compassion
Ego Development – understanding of the self in the world (e.g. time, space, self reflection)
Faith Development – belief in how their world is controlled (Ghosts and monsters or logical reasoning)
Emotional and Social Development – self awareness and self management of emotions and working with others
Self Direction – understanding of learning needs and ways of working (learning styles and organisational skills)
Development can not be forced or ignored. If we try and work more than one level of development beyond where the child is at it will just sound like nonsense and they won’t understand. If we try to push them to the next level they will keep returning to the previous one whenever they are stressed.
You can not skip a level, you need to be in it and explore it and find out that there are better ways to think and do that you can see other’s do. When your level stops working you move to the next one. Experiential learning is key to the process. So we look at the individual child’s readiness to identify where they need to be within the BIS cultural expectations for moral development and community participation and where they need to be to fit societal expectations of the Australia Curriculum.
This means in practice:
*We don’t race children through when they are not ready – we wait and support them but always show them the next level for them to aspire
*We work with them to develop the areas they need to and harness those that they excel within, giving them time to master skills
*We learn to understand them as they will have the same teacher for much of their schooling who gets to understand their idiosyncrasies and learns how to motivate and extend them
*We find out about your learning preferences and use them actively in your learning program
*We put in limits when they need it and take them away when they need to stretch their wings and fly
*We listen to their body patterns and physical needs, allowing them to eat when hungry and go to the toilet whenever they need
*We have four basic school rules to follow and know that depending on your age, developmental level and understanding those rules will need different explanations and consequences
We get to know you, respect you and believe that you are capable of anything with time, skilled teaching and learning and love.
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