Will He Be Helped?
So many times I am asked if our ‘program’ is right for a particular child. This assumes, of course, that we fit the child to ‘our program’. My answer is always the same: “We are not about a program!” What I am implying, of course, is that each child is an individual, that there are many good programs, that you need to fit the program to the child at any given time of the child’s development, and that not ever good program is good for every child. We are about ‘Mediated Learning Experience’ (M.L.E.). It is not a program but a way of delivering the program, any program! It is a basic attitude and philosophy about how children learn which entails a certain way in which you interact with the child in any situation, including in a teaching/learning situation. The goals of M.L.E. are to develop independent learners and to produce changes in the very ability of the child to learn and to function socially.
It is not easy to understand M.L.E., let alone to practice it. Each one of us gets better at it over time. Being all about M.L.E. does not, however, mean that we are not using programs. In our school you will find teachers making use of Open Court, Reading Milestones, LIPS, Math Quest 200, Touch Math, (V/V), On Cloud Nine, as well as the M.L.E. programs: Instrumental Enrichment (from Basic to Level III), and Bright Start. For instance, LIPS stands for Linamood Phoneme Sequencing and it works on Reading, Spelling, and Speech, V/V stands for Visualizing/Verbalizing, and it works on Cognitive Development, Comprehension and Thinking. These programs have been available for many years in English speaking countries, are well researched, and can be found in major publication, such as ‘Neurology’ and ‘Journal of Developmental and Learning Disorders’. These programs do not promise an overnight cure. Change comes about through appropriate intensive intervention over time. Through LIPS students become aware of the mouth actions which produce speech sounds. This awareness becomes the means of varying sounds within words. It helps students match a letter and a sound to a speech gesture.
Through V/V students learn to image concepts as a whole, rather than being focused on a part. It increases comprehension, attention, and memory.
We know about the structure of the brain. We can identify parts, even pathways. How do parts influence each other? How are pathways modified? We know in fact relatively little about the incredible complexities of the interacting brain systems.
We base our teaching, our goals, and the choice of programs on what we do know, constantly evaluating, always open to new learning, and to what Piaget referred to as ‘accommodation’, that is we enlarge and rearrange our understandings with new knowledge. Keeping our brains active also benefits our kids.
– Ingrid Jeffrey, Charity Director