A case study

Duan is eight years old. He had become more reluctant to go to school and behaviour problems were becoming apparent.

At a recent parent meeting, the teacher expressed particular concern about mathematics progress and that Duan was avoiding work.

To give Duan a boost the parents decided they would sign up to Learning About learning to see if that would help his progress.

Signing up

Duan was signed up to do the mathematics course which included the “Learning about learning”  course and access to a free parent course.

The parents received an initial email from Learning about learning with a user name and password and an additional password for entering initial information about Duan.

Once the information was entered, the diagnostics became available.

Diagnostics

The mathematics course started with instructions for the initial diagnostics. There were 2 options for doing this. The first was to have it remotely supervised by a mentor and the other was to have the parents supervise. The parents elected to supervise the diagnostic themselves both because it was recommended and it was a lot cheaper.

The diagnostics began with a explanatory lessons for the parents and Duan completed the diagnostics in about 45 minutes.

The results

Following the diagnostic test, an email arrived for the parents from the mentor assigned to Duan. The mentor was requesting an initial discussion with the parents. This was set up through the Learning center so that the parents simply had to log in and go to “Mentor meeting” link and everything just worked from there.  The mentor discussed the following with the parents:

  • The results of the diagnostic testing and where the weaknesses for Duan lay.
  • The lesson structure for the upcoming mathematics lessons for Duan.
  • The additional information supplied about Duan was discussed.
  • The learning about learning course and why it is so important for Duan to work on this.
  • The free parent course included in the academy.

Learning about learning

In the following weeks, Duan worked his way through the mandatory “Learning about learning” units. These units helped Duan develop a belief that he could learn mathematics.

They also gave him new ways of thinking about learning and problem solving that enabled him to better engage with learning at school.

The lessons

Duan was able to get stuck into the mathematics. She worked through the lessons , completing 2 – 3 each week. The lessons were all based on mastery of concepts and not on doing repeated drilling exercises. The lessons were selected from the needs shown in the diagnostics so Duan was able to go back and catch up with things that he had not understood at school.

Mentoring

There were different options available for working with a mentor. Duan’s parents had selected the recommended one, which was to have the mentor provide remote monitoring and communication by messaging through the academy.

Again this was the recommended place to start and the cheapest option. If more direct tutoring was needed, they had the option of purchasing additional blocks of time.

Parent Course

While Duan was going through the courses, the parents went through the free parent course. This significantly changed their ideas about learning and how it happens.

Doing the course led to the parents changing the way they discussed school and learning with Duan and this in turn helped Duan believe that he could become a better learner.

 

Remote tutoring

At one point Duan was finding particular problems working with fractions. The parents elected to pay for an additional tutoring session with their mentor. 

The mentoring session was started through the learning academy. Once the session started, Duan was able to see and talk to his mentor. They also shared a screen that they were both able to write on.

The mentor used this screen and the session to provide additional examples and explanations to help Duan through his particular difficulty with fractions.

 

Ending the program

After two terms, Duan’s attitude to his learning had changed significantly. He was more proactive in the classroom and was enjoying school a lot more.

He had also made significant strides in filling in the gaps in his learning. His parents chose at this stage to cease using Learning about Learning as Duan did not seem to need it anymore.

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