What is it?
Through Mediated Learning, WISDOM offers parents an effective method of interaction, intended to benefit all learners, regardless of learning or behaviour difficulties, levels of giftedness, age, or background.
The parent is the best person to help a child make learning progress. Using a specific method and set of strategies, the parent can help their child think effectively and work to a place of success when faced with problem solving. WISDOM teaches a system that concentrates on three things: process, meaning, and change. WISDOM's parent training program focusses on how to learn more than what to learn. Parents learn how to stimulate brain change in the learner, overcome weak areas, and use a child’s strengths. In a series of effective learning events offered in various Alberta locations, parents are presented tools and strategies to strengthen any learner’s ability to think.
The mediational method develops optimism in the child, opens up a greater desire to learn, and stimulates enthusiasm to work to a place of success. Improved parenting and teaching skills use a gentle approach by asking questions that exercise reflective thinking in the child. The more the brain is intentionally exercised (especially where there is a weakness), the greater the resulting brain change. No child is stuck in their behaviour, emotion, or learning challenges.
Mediated Learning usually involves:
- Asking questions rather than providing answers to a learner. The mediator encourages "thinking".
- Encouraging children to think about the meaning of a lesson or activity. “Why? and How?”
- Taking advantage of teachable moments, when a child’s questions or body language show they are curious.
- Asking children to explain something in their own words; offering or asking for an analogy.
- Posing process questions that guide children to think logically.
- Helping children form and use strategies to work past barriers.
- Helping children to organize, make deductions, and think through their decisions.
- Helping children who are distracted, having difficulty remembering, are oppositional, or have lost the love of learning.
- Helping children who are gifted in one or more areas of endeavour, but also struggle in other areas of learning or behaviour.
- Helping children in specific weak capacities such as in reading, mathematics, writing, understanding and processing verbal communication, expressing themselves.
- Helping children who have challenges with planning, goal setting, and staying to task.
- Helping those that experience anxiety, depression, or anger.
- Helping with attachment issues, or difficulty with relationships.
This program can help any individual. Nobody is trapped by challenges. Parents are the key to making meaningful and positive changes in their children. Mediated Learning is a means of positive, permanent change.
Q: What is Mediated Learning?
A: The human brain is constantly changing. It is supple and receptive. Mediated Learning is a proven system that takes advantage of this plasticity by exercising brain activity through the asking of good questions. The parent facilitates the child's ability to problem solve by placing herself/himself between the learner and the challenge at hand. By not just giving the child answers, but interacting with the child as mediator, the parent helps the child to think effectively.
Mediated Learning is much more about process than outcome. Focussing on the “how” and “why” of thinking, Mediated Learning transforms passive learners into active learners. No one needs to stay stuck in their struggles with behaviour, academics, or life skills. All learners develop new pathways in the brain to overcome barriers to learning. Enhanced learning is for every member of the family.
Q: Isn’t this precisely the role of a home schooling parent?
A: Yes; parents make the best mediators, as they are most consistently present to the child. They act as guide or intercessor, helping the child to gain confidence by always thinking with a plan in mind. The learner responds by developing new thinking skills, gaining better planning skills, developing self-control, and experiencing success. Mediation is the key. By learning the tools of effective mediation, parents overcome many struggles in their home.
WISDOM’s parent training events in Mediated Learning equip parents to better observe their children in order to see how they think and to determine which areas need mediation. The goal is to bring all children to a place of success. The home setting is ideal for on-going observation and consistent mediating of change.
Q: Is Mediated Learning specifically for children with learning problems?
A: ML is for everyone, because we can all grow in our thinking abilities. ML is a workout for all thinkers.
Those who struggle as learners or are challenged with behaviour issues have a wonderful track-record of great improvement. Solutions are offered for those who face difficulties in reading, numeracy, writing, focus, memory, organization, self-regulation, and a host of other learning weaknesses.
Q: Do you offer assessment services?
A: WISDOM offers assessment to children 8 years and older, using the Mediated Learning method. Dynamic Assessment is a service that helps parents zero-in on their child's weak cognitive areas. Parents are encouraged to be present at assessments, and they will see learning changes occur right within the assessment process itself.