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The Learning Environment

Why go to tuition in a learning centre (when I could get a home tutor)?


Taggart Tutors operate out of our Learning Centre located on the corner of Grange Rd and Days Rd; we love our little house of education! But many wonder why we prefer to work out of a learning centre instead of sending tutors to the familiar comfort of a student’s home.


It’s important to think about the environment in which we encounter schoolwork. Certain colours promote focus, some students study harder if music is playing (while others prefer complete silence) and some people can smash out an 800-word draft propped up in bed. Creating an effective study environment that is tailored to a student’s sensory preferences is vital.


What’s important to remember is that there is a big difference between a study environment and a learning environment. Tutors have to be prepared to delve, without much preparation, into any number of subject areas to teach concepts and practices that extend beyond mere revision. Filling gaps in a young person’s learning is never as simple as going over what was covered in school that week. A learning-on-location approach means that the learning process can be engaged readily. Here’s how:


RESOURCES

Our Learning Centre is equipped with more resources than meet the eye! From stationery to books of all kinds, counting blocks and educational games, these resources mean a child’s preferred learning style can be catered to always. If we’re learning to count, add or subtract, immediate access to coloured units means that tutors can adapt their teaching approach for a visual and kinaesthetic learner. Alternatively, if a tutor realises that a learner is grappling with words that have the ‘ou’ and ‘ow’ sound blends, we have a slew of picture books that deliberately include these types of words.


If nothing else, having immediate access to mountains of scrap paper, pens and pencils, white boards and the space to spread out and make a mess, means that learners’ needs can be responded to in the moment.


CONCURRENT PRACTICE

Concurrent practice is vital in learning (as well as in many other areas, such as completing tasks or playing). Concurrent Learning is the practice of learning alongside peers but not necessary with peers. In the same way that a child is more likely to pick up a toy or eat their vegetables if they see another child doing it, seeing other young people learn provides an encouraging and stable framework for an anxious student to move into.


It’s important not to interpret concurrent practice as simply saying, “See, that boy is doing his work, why can’t you?” If anything, it’s the opposite. Concurrent learning is not a bargaining tool, but is the effect of a positive learning environment. Seeing others encounter and engage with challenging learning tasks can show students they are not alone. It is an effect of the Learning Centre that boosts morale, promotes participation and models success.


INDIVIDUALISED LEARNING SUPPORT


Our learning centre strives to provide a positive emotional experience; one that is fun and engaging, perhaps for the very first time. Tailored, individualised learning support within the concurrent learning environment is not something that school can always provide.

A learning centre is a bridge between the institutionalisation of school and the informality of home. It has all the care and nurture of a home environment, but in a designated space exclusively for learning. If learning and education is synonymous with the school experience (which is not a positive experience for all learners), students run the risk of cementing a negative attitude of obligation toward learning. We want learners to experience, discover and feel that learning isn't in opposition to recreation, but can itself be an enjoyable process.




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