Why Preconceived Ideas Impact Children’s Learning

Part of KneoWorld’s vision is to provide an educational platform that enables access for all. It is important that children do not fall through the cracks resulting in missed opportunities. They emphasize how equity in education is of paramount importance and that part of setting up for success is listening to the needs of both children and educators.

It is with this in mind that the specific lessons must be taught by teachers who are willing to break down barriers and appreciate that children must be understood in order to thrive.

Misconceptions or Preconceptions?

Should Educators, take on board each child’s individual background and thoughts about the educational process? Or should each student be considered a blank canvas, ready to receive the learning? Consider what equity and equality are in this situation; and with the knowledge of KneoWorld’s pedagogy, it is important to take into consideration their individual experiences, beliefs, and knowledge prior to class. Without this, how can Educators appropriately provide for their needs?
Children bring a wealth of experiences with them to the classroom.Educators must be prepared to support them through possible misconceptions. Educators must be prepared to identify these misconceptions and be ready with instructional strategies to meet their students where they are in their learning.

What are the potential causes of students’ misconceptions?

· Teachers may be unclear in their instruction or use vague language. This may lead to a complete or partial misunderstanding.
· Examples may not be given during the teaching of new concepts. Without a demonstration, it can be difficult for children to visualize and cement knowledge.
· Students may have been misinformed prior to the lesson, or only understood part of the concept. If this is the case, they may continue to make errors.

How can Educators identify student misconceptions prior to and during each lesson?

· Prior to the lesson, the teacher should discuss the concept or skill being introduced and clarify what children already know.
· Using KneoWorld’s pre and post-assessments with each unit of instruction gives Educators an idea of where they are at before the lesson and also measures the effectiveness of the lesson itself.
· Using quick formative assessment tools such as “thumbs up” or having a choice card on the table to turn over, helps the teacher view everyone’s understanding at the same point. They can then adapt and evolve their lesson to match.
· The student must be at the center of the instructional strategies, rather than the teacher. This means that all lessons and tasks should be oriented toward the child’s understanding, rather than what is easier for the teacher.
· Self-evaluation through discussion groups can help students apply their knowledge and understanding, particularly if they are asked to explain the concepts to someone else.

KneoWorld provides real-world examples within each unit. For example, in the story, Soha’s Book, the learning goal is to hold a book and read from left to right, a possible opportunity to explore might be:

“Explore and understand your students’ cultural background as it relates to language, print, and print awareness. For example, many languages write words and turn pages from right to left. Some students might come from oral language traditions that use stories and songs. Be aware of these types of possible experiences to prepare. You and your students will be practicing one way of reading where words are written, and pages are turned from left to right.”

These examples serve as a prompt for Educators to consider what they can do to support their students, giving them a clear starting point to help their students achieve concept mastery.