How Important is ‘Context’ in Terms of Learning?

On June 3, 2020,

In today’s time, there are still many institutes that follow the outdated methods of teaching young children in their classrooms. In these traditional settings, emphasis relies on memorising textbook content, also commonly referred to as rote learning. There is little application of knowledge by the children and teaching is through direct instructions and lecture methods with little or no attention to social and emotional development. As a result, most children do not find this learning process particularly exciting or engaging.

At Mount Litera School International, the focus is on “contextual teaching and learning” rather than the conventional method of learning explained above. Contextual learning is modelled around a constructivist theory of teaching and learning. In layman’s terms – learning effectively occurs when teachers are able to impart information in a way that students are able to derive meanings based on their own thinking, through experiences and interactions. A common example to depict contextual teaching and learning as an approach can be applied in learning language skills such as speaking and writing.

Formal teaching normally approaches learning in a way which is opposite to contextual learning – initially teaching a theory, which is then followed by applying the theory in textbook exercises, and the context is relegated to the last position and in most cases entirely neglected.

The biggest issue with this approach is that often the lessons taught have little relevance to the children’s day-to-day activities, resulting in detachment from the subject matter and ultimately a sense of boredom. However, when the learning process is reversed and the children get to pick up their own experiences and interactions as a context to what they have to learn, they are stimulated and excited to learn. With some sort of context firmly in place, it is more likely that integrated learning would be the end result.

This is precisely why we adopt these contemporary learning measures in order to keep our students’ interest levels high. We understand the shortcoming of simply rote learning bullet points for an examination, which is why we actively strive to keep learning as compelling and engrossing as possible.