Learning can be defined as the process by which a person, child, individual or group of people can acquire understanding, knowledge, skills, values, behaviours, attitude and preferences that are new (Noel &Liub, 2017). This can be seen in living creatures including humans, animals and even to extent plants. There are various factors which determine the ability of an individual to learn and implement that learning into behaviour and skills (Abacioglu et al., 2019). In students, the factors that affect the learning are motivation, intellectual ability, attention span and prior knowledge (Liew& Tan, 2016). Other factors which are not directly related to the individual but that affect the learning ability of a person include an intellectual factor, learning factors, physical factors, mental factors, emotional and social factors (Liew& Tan, 2016). Other factors that affect the learning are the personality of the teacher and environmental factors (Nakamura et al., 2017). The aim of the present case study response is to analyze the case study that is given to identify the areas of development which are affecting the learning of the individual and explain the same in relation to present case itself. Also, the response will highlight the strategies that can be used to improve the ability to learn with a focus on NCCD adjustments.
The present case is of Blake who is nine years old and recently moved to a new school where the course work is such that it is rigorous and the way of learning is different from what he might be used to. His parents are teachers in the same school and he has a younger sister who also studies in the same school. It is observed by the teacher that he does not make any attempt to make new friends and either reads or plays on his laptop and takes his lunch alone near the staff room. He secludes himself and is not interactive in the classroom and answers only when spoken to. He has troubles with reading and writing, he is able to segregate objects physically but his ability for abstract reasoning is reduced. At home, it is seen that he is talkative when he wants to otherwise he is engaged in his laptop. He is good at extracurricular activities like running, chess and book club.
In the present case, it can be seen that the areas which can have an effect on the capacity to learn are cognitive, emotional, social, mental and psychological. Cognitive development in a child and the stage in which a child is present as opposed to the stage in which he is supposed to be can play an important role in the learning of the child (Light, 2017). According to the works of Jean Piaget, it is said that there are four stages to the cognitive development which are demarcated by the ages of the child and as per the age the defined milestone is to be achieved (Shute & Hogan, 2017). The stages are sensorimotor (0-2 years), preoperational stage (2-7 years), concrete operational stage (7-11 years) and formal operational stage (above the age of 12 years) (Shute & Hogan, 2017). Blake is supposed to be in the concrete operational stage. If there is any lag in the attaining the milestones of these stages, it can be seen that the child can have difficulty in learning and function as an individual and it might reflect in adulthood (Flensborg-Madsen & Mortensen, 2018).
In the case study, it is mentioned that the family has recently shifted and the children have been put into a different school. Children often have a different set of peers which is different from the family and it acts as one of the most important parts of existence (Seligman & Darling, 2017). This can have an effect on the social support which can have an impact on his learning ability. Absence of social support can have an emotional effect on Blake which due to which there can be the formation of the block to new things (McKimmie et al., 2020). It also affects the mental and psychological state of an individual child and it is seen in his behaviour that he takes his lunch closer to the staff room as his parents are teachers and might be there. Psychology of a child can be influenced by the development and it can be influenced by various factors and in the present case it is due to the environmental factor that is in the present case, it can be due to change of school (Caverzagie et al., 2019). It influences the learning processes and instructional process by which an individual and learn and form the thought process.
First is the stage of development in which the child is based on the theory of cognitive development as developed by Jean Piaget. According to the theory, it is expected that Blake is in the stage of concrete operational stage and it is due to his age. The main characteristic of the stage is that there is concrete logic and there is development about the specific things that they come across (Ghazi et al., 2016). The kids might struggle with abstract in the initial ages of the stage while towards the end of the stage; their abstract thinking increases and become stronger. Blake at his age should have formed the ability for abstract thinking which the teacher has reported that he lacks. Another main characteristic that can be seen in the present stage is that they can concentrate on multiple things together which is an important step in learning. This can be seen to be lacking in Blake as there is perceived difficulty in writing in him which kids should have mastered in this stage.
Next is the social factor and its impact on learning which can be seen as the school has changed and also because of this he might miss his friends and peer which form is the peer group. Absence of peer group which can cause a deficiency in the social support which can affect the learning in a child as it affects other factors like emotional, mental and psychology of the child (McKimmie et al., 2020). Mental health is important for the smooth functioning of a human and in the child not having optimum mental health can affect psychological development. Psychological development plays an important role in intellectual development and it can have a positive or negative impact on the learning process (Caverzagie et al., 2019). Learning and psychological development in children is not a sudden process and it is a gradual process. In the present case that is given it is not mentioned how much time has elapsed since the family is moved to the new school. A child should be given adequate time to get accustomed and should be given support.
Another factor that needs to be considered in the learning process is the environmental factor that is the environment of the child is currently in a change and any change in environment can have an adverse effect on the cognitive development and psychology and in turn influence the learning (Caverzagie et al., 2019). Earlier Blake was in a comfortable and familiar surrounding which has changed as his school has changed. Being in an unfamiliar surrounding can impact the child such that he can become reserved and shy. Lastly, the intellectual ability of the child is to be considered while learning is assessed. It is a well-known fact that not everyone has the same intellectual ability and depending on the intellectual capacity the child might have difficulty in learning (Vygotsky, 2017). It needs to be considered in the present case as it is mentioned as now the child is in an educational environment which can be considered as overachieving. It is possible that due to unfamiliarity in the educational and learning techniques Blake is not able to manage and it is one of the profound factors in the hindrance to learning. If the intellectual ability of the child is less than what is required for the learning it is obvious there will be difficulty in learning and it can be seen various conditions where children have a developmental defect (Wong et al., 2017). The development defect can affect the intellect and eventually the learning capacity.
It can be seen that Blake has a learning disability is required to be assessed and if required depending on the level of the disability. Under the national disability discrimination act and the standards for education, it required that the students are assessed and required adjustments are provided so that they can take part in the activities that are mainstream. There is the provision of NationallyConsistent Collection of Data (NCCD) according to which the schools are to provide data of students who require adjustments (Gallagher &Spina, 2019). Adjustments can be defined as the actions that are taken by the teachers and the administration of the school such that the student with a learning disability can get access and are able to participate in the same education as other students (Le et al., 2018). Depending on the chart provided by Nationally Consistent Collection of Data it is seen that Blake can be classified as the one who needs support provided within quality differentiated teaching practise (Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with a disability, 2019). The teaching strategies that should be provided for Blake should be in accordance with the adjustments descriptions provided.
At present, it is seen that he has difficulty in writing on his own. This can be targeted by minor adjustments like differentiated teaching or particular activities. The teaching strategies that can be used are acknowledgement followed by encouragement (Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with a disability, 2019). This help the child to know that he is not struggling and what he is doing is correct. The adjustments to the teaching should be specific. If Blake is not able to write properly, the teacher should be able to provide specific feedback like if a particular letter is not proper and help him correct that. To improve the writing demonstration is an important part where the child is shown how particular letter is written then aided to get the formation followed lastly by writing independently (Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability, 2019). Another requirement of the adjustments is that it should be relevant and the mentioned strategy is specific and relevant to the needs of the child. In a classroom setting, it is not difficult that a single student is given a little bit more attention than others as it is required which can help the student in better learning. This is also in accordance with the NCCD strategies which are related to active monitoring and supervision. He has an interest in an extracurricular activity which can be used for the improvement in the learning. Lastly, practice makes perfect and going by that concept Blake should be given specific homework which can help him in improving his writing skill. The strategies that are used by the teachers in schools like encouragement, assistance and monitoring should be asked to be taken by the parents at home (Nationally consistent collection of data on school students with disability, 2019).
Learning is a process which is ongoing and by the means of which the behaviour is altered and the knowledge and skills are enhanced. The given case study is of Blake who has changed schools and to a more challenging one which has caused him to lag a little in learning and he is also more secluded as he does not attempt to make new friends or is more interactive. The development areas which are identified from the case are cognitive development, emotional, social, psychological and environmental. Jean Piaget’s theory of cognitive development has four stages and Blake chronologically is in concrete operational but can be seen to be lagging. Change of environment can have an effect on the emotional and psychology of the child which can be seen in the present case as well. Nationally Consistent Collection of Data has given guidelines for learning adjustments as per their categorization. According to this, Blake requires support provided within quality differentiated teaching practise and teaching strategies include acknowledgement, encouragement, assistance, and specific monitoring.
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