Education as a Journey: The Process of Learning

Learning is sometimes viewed as a linear process, wherein the student goes from a state of ignorance on a particular subject to one of mastery. In this view, learning results primarily from the accumulation of facts and skills. It is easy to understand that children are learning when we see them able to perform new tasks: for example, correctly spelling new words or reciting major events in Canadian history. Equally important, however, is the process of integrating their new knowledge into how they make sense of the world around them.

Depending on the subject, children may need time to:

  • Try out new concepts in real life situations
  • Consider how facts and abstract ideas relate to one another
  • Think critically about how (and if) new material fits into their existing understanding of the world
  • Absorb and process the emotional and social implications of what they’ve learned

With bright children who grasp new material quickly, it can be tempting to think that what is needed to satisfy their intellectual curiosity is more information delivered at a faster pace. We expect their giftedness to always be on display through their demonstration of new abilities. It can be confusing when bright children appear to hit a ‘plateau’ and display decreased interest in new information. The apparent pause in progress, however, can mean a child is taking time to process what they have learned at a deeper level.

At Madrona, we recognize that true learning takes place when we strike a balance between introducing new ideas and encouraging children to think reflectively about them.

We work with each child individually to understand where they are in the learning process and move with them to the next step. We make time for one-on-one discussion, and ensure children have opportunities for rest, play, and reflective thought.

Madrona values not only cognitive but emotional and social understanding of material.

Our goal is to facilitate our students in becoming well-rounded critical thinkers, who understand what they learn in a fundamental way that allows them the flexibility to apply their knowledge to a variety of situations and circumstances.