Letter from Head of School
- The student has not reached the level of development needed to be able to learn the content or skill being taught. Neuro-systems take time to develop and strengthen and each child’s developmental track is uniquely different. So although there are norms for typical development, within those norms there are variances between each child as it relates to their development. An example of this is learning to write. There are differing variances between young children as it relates to their fine motor ability. This is because fine motor abilities are developmental. The systems have to develop and strengthen before the child can master the ability to write. Learning to write one’s name requires not only the fine motor ability but also the cognitive ability as the child must be able to identify and recreate theletters in their name. When a child does not have the developmental ability to learn the content or acquire the skill, a gap may be created. In the case of pencil grasp, if the child doesn’t have the development and writing is pushed upon them, they’re likely to develop a pencil grip that is not thetypical “adult like grasp”, which makes writing more laborious.
- Switching schools or teachers may cause gaps in development, as each school (even within the same district) and teacher operates uniquely different. What’s taught and how it’s taught in one school or by one teacher may differ from another school or teacher. If the child misses the concept or skill that was taught by one school or teacher at one time and by the other school or teacher at another time, then a gap in learning is created as thechild missed the material.
- Gaps in learning may be created when teachers do not teach in a variety of ways. We all learn differently. Some of us are more tactile, some more visual and some more auditory. Concepts and content need to be presented in a variety of ways so that children can engage with and learn thenecessary knowledge. If the approach to learning is not varied, theconcepts and/or content may not be learned by the child and thus a gap created.
- Gaps in learning may occur when there is what we call in our profession, interference. This refers to there being something that interfered with thechild’s ability to learn. This can be a tragic event like a death or an illness or it can be that there is an underlying learning difference that is interfering with the child’s ability to master particular skills or content.