Learning in Three Dimensions or More 1

Robert’s failure to learn math during five years  (between five  and ten) could be attributed to the discrete trials methodology as it was delivered to Robert .  I mean by that the teaching of separate facts/skills in vacuum without connecting them to other facts/skills.  I remember telling one of Robert’s clinical supervisor that teaching separate skills is like building higher and higher  towers from blocks.  The structures are tall but unstable and inaccessible.  Connecting those towers to each other would stabilize them both.  I remember another mother stating, during the short address to parents and teachers,  that it would be beneficial to know what the next step in learning/teaching should be. Not knowing what is the next step is not a problem confined to ABA methodology.  Moreover, with a good programing ABA is well equipped to address that problem well.  On the other hand in so many schools the classrooms for children with special needs are operating on randomly chosen and printed worksheets from internet.  The rationale is that those pages address the needs of diverse group of children with more flexibility than any curriculum.  This is a lie.  Those pages are “teaching” what a child already knows.  They are emblems of stagnation. Teaching should be a dynamic process with upward direction

Textbooks , workbooks, and teacher’s materials of well designed curriculum show the whole path.  They expose connection between NOW and FUTURE, present lesson and next lessons.

Saxon Math was not the first curriculum that was utilizing child’s prior knowledge to install understanding of novel concepts.  Yet Saxon Math was the first curriculum which did that with Robert.   By showing Robert that he can solve 8+9 by increasing by one the result of 8+8 Saxon Math taught Robert that he too, can apply what he knows to learn what he doesn’t know yet.

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