As varied are the students who make up classrooms across the country, so too are the ways they learn as well. Good teachers try to integrate many techniques into the way they teach curriculum. However, many subjects can pose challenges, and if the teacher is either inexperienced, or “set in his/her ways” the difficulty is exacerbated.
Studies in neuroscience have found that using a multisensory approach in teaching aids in “building a better brain.” The Montessori Schools approach, founded by Maria Montessori, opened the way to teaching in a way that recognizes that there are multisensory ways of learning. John Dewey, an educational reformist wrote in Democracy and Education (1916):
Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn, and the doing is of such a nature to demand thinking; learning naturally results.
Students’ brains become receptive to learning at different rates and students learn from various input modes as well. Therefore, providing students with the opportunity to learn through the mode or modes, which suits each individual, is ideal.
At QWERTY we utilize multisensory approaches when we work with students. As a matter of course, we implement methods designed to meet the individual student’s learning strengths. For example, if a student struggles with understanding angles in math/geometry, we might use the physical environment to increase understanding of the concept. Where the wall and ceiling meet is a 90 degree angle. We can take a protractor and measure the angle of the open door at differing positions. Allowing the student to feel, measure, and experience angles can facilitate understanding.
By doing so, we provide an enriching environment. Enriched environments have been shown to increase memory, build larger neurons (brain cells), a thicker cortex, and more dendritic branches.
Who doesn’t want a bigger brain?