Inquiry-Based, Student-Centered Classrooms Meet the Needs of Most Low-Achieving and Learning-Disabled Students

Have researchers found the key to help low-achieving Children Outside (‘LA’) and learning disabled (‘LD’) children learn? The key, or answer, is what most educators have known for decades, that inquiry-based and student-centered classrooms address the needs of most students. Inquiry-based learning environments require that the facilitator pose questions or scenarios, and then allow children to explore solutions, instead of just carrying out the traditional lecture-style of teaching, wherein teachers state facts and give the solutions of how to solve the problem. Recent research shows that when teachers pose questions, discuss and explain concepts, then allow children to explore how to solve situations, that the needs of most LA and LD children are met. This inquiry-based, student-centered learning environment allows most children to successfully learn. Since The Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (‘IDEA’) was passed in 2004, criteria was established by which an individual was deemed learning disabled. This act was later changed to the Disabilities Education Improvement Act (‘IDEIA’). Since this time, the number of LD students have decreased. This is due, in part, to the new guidelines, the addition of charter schools, new technologies, and additional early childhood programs that support children. As a result, the number of LA students have increased. Students deemed to be LA do not show any cognitive deficits that would prevent them from learning or understand concepts. Students diagnosed with as LD have a specific cognitive deficit that makes it difficult for them to learn concepts. Educators put additional resources in place to support children with LD. If classrooms are designed to be student-centered, inquiry-based, and developmentally appropriate, then all children, are more likely, to successfully learn. And, at the end of the day, children are more likely to have enjoy learning.

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Amber and Erin, two sisters on a mission to spread fun and engaging literacy experiences to children across the globe.