Effective Reading Instruction Addresses Multiple Learning Systems
The premise of brain-based teaching is that the brain has “natural” learning systems: cognitive, physical, emotional, social, and reflective. Let’s see how Reading Horizons complies with each learning system.
Cognitive learning systems interpret, store, and retrieve information via patterns and pictures. They help establish integrated circuits of knowledge and skill.
- The multi-sensory marking system employed throughout the Reading Horizons system helps the brain establish dependable patterns. As Sally Shaywitz states in her book, Overcoming Dyslexia, “The brain’s reliance on patterns of connectivity may have particular relevance to the teaching of reading, since within these systems patterns of neural connections are continually reinforced and strengthened as a result of repeated practice and experiences.” ‘Proving’ words helps the student convert printed characters into the phonetic code. Translated into the phonetic code, words are then accepted by the neural circuitry already in place for processing spoken language. Decoded into phonemes, words are processed automatically by the language system, and the reading code is deciphered.
Physical learning systems gather information through all senses and distribute that information throughout the brain and the body.
- The multi-sensory methodology of the Reading Horizons system employs the visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic modalities. Learning comes best to students through the simultaneous use of many different senses. In addition, games, computer courseware, and other physical activities reinforce skills in a variety of ways.
Social learning systems govern interactions and communications with others.
- Reading Horizons employs peer learning at the chalkboard and promotes students working in pairs, small groups, and teams as they engage in games and activities outlined to reinforce phonics skills.
Emotional learning systems empower or depress all other learning systems.
- Parents and teachers of Reading Horizons comment frequently on children acquiring a whole new demeanor as they progress in their reading – particularly, those who have been struggling readers. Because students can easily see their own progress, they make great strides in self-confidence and self-esteem.
Reflective learning refers to the ability of students to weigh past, present, and future and, based on their experiences, make decisions.
- Students are very aware of their progress when they use Reading Horizons. They become self-assured and recognize that, since they have been able to accomplish the goal of learning to read and spell, they will be able to accomplish similar challenges in their education and life experiences.
Reading Horizons does qualify as a brain-based learning strategy.