Math Tailor-Made for Your Child: Adaptive Learning

by EducationInfo4U

Have you hear of the term "adaptive learning"? Read on to find out how this learning environment helps each child/student grasp a concept at their own pace and speed.

What is Adaptive Learning?

Adaptive learning is basically a customized learning environment specifically designed for the level and ability of the learner. Given that math can be extremely challenging for some, slightly difficult for others and a whole host of issues somewhere in between, it is very helpful to take a different approach with each student during the learning process.

In a customized learning environment, students are allowed the freedom and flexibility to take in information in a way that makes sense to them at a pace that feels comfortable. They are, in essence, self-directing their learning path.

Will This Type of Learning Environment Cause My Child’s Math Skills to Develop at a Slower Pace Than Other Kids?

When children learn at their own pace, it’s actually more beneficial than when they are rigorously pushed to keep up with certain standards or with the progress of other students. Kids don’t like to be compared to other children unless it’s in a favorable light, and when they feel they are lagging behind their peers, their sense of self-esteem and willingness to try can plummet.

Alternatively, when kids are praised for the achievements they make at the various benchmarks that have been set specifically for their level of development, they take pride in what they are doing and feel accomplished. With this kind of positive reinforcement, the focus becomes less on what other kids are doing, and more on what successes they are having themselves.

It is true that self-paced learning may cause your child to spend more time learning certain math concepts than other kids. In the end, however, that extra time spent is well worth the sense of achievement your child will feel when they’ve finally mastered the most challenging aspects of one their most difficult subjects.

Is Self-Directed Learning Engaging Enough for Kids?

Small children are quick to say that they have learned and mastered something new, even when they have only been exposed to it for a short time. As with most core math concepts, repetition is important in the beginning to ensure that there is a firm grasp on how to recognize, understand and solve problems. Core math concepts may not be that engaging, but they are necessary building blocks to math mastery and using adaptive learning techniques can help to make it more fun.

When teaching is geared directly towards your child’s age level and specific ability, it is much more likely that they will feel they can engage interactively with the learning process. When they feel confident in what they are doing instead of fearful that they’ll give a wrong answer, kids pay attention more and become much more invested in their own progress.

Elementary Math Education

Achieving Benchmarks: The Key to Math Success

In a customized learning environment, children are assessed based on a series of standard tests that they take to determine their mastery level of various math concepts. Once a learning level is established, a goal is set based on the child’s ability.

A great benefit of adapting a child’s learning process to fit their ability level is that kids can quickly reach the goals that have been set for them because they are working within their scope of knowledge. Once a child reaches the specified goal, they are much more incentivized to move even further into the process. It is this upwardly progressive movement that allows a child to become much more involved with and interested in math than they might normally have been. Giving them tools to succeed on their own helps them to feel powerful and paves the way for them to develop good study habits and embrace methods for staying focused on exactly where their challenges lie and what they need to work on.

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Updated: 11/21/2011, EducationInfo4U
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