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Home tutoring, dealing with one on one child can be hard process and a person can learn a lot about child's behavior and eventually predict a child's behavior. I made my field experience at Abrars home. I observed for ten hours, and during for my observation, I was able to relate theories and facts learned during this process. Recently Abrar lost his mother; I see a lot of anger issues Abrar has adopted. This experience was somehow more difficult but a lot of things were the same as I expected. One important thing I always believe and agree with is, that children learn at their own pace and have different levels of intelligence. Exam scores shouldn't be the sole factor of child's intelligence. Early age, a child is going through a lot of physical, environmental and psychological changes, and that should be considered by teachers and parents and who should help children.
Abrar is a very intelligent boy, is enrolled in magnet school. We discussed how intelligence and school achievement is correlated. I would say that Abrar as a very intelligent boy, not just based on his grades, but I have observed that he is able to logically think, has quick adaptation, and is very quick to retrieve prior knowledge and relate to use it appropriately in current situations. In case of Abrar I would say his intelligence is composed by nature and nurture. His parents are very intelligent, as his mother was a brilliant woman, she was lawyer, multi tasked, very good memory, and on the other hand his dad completed a Masters in Bangladesh, but has language barriers. He still is able to understand the curriculum of Abrar, and is a very good business man. A conversation with him, shows his knowledge and intelligence, thus I would say Abrar has intelligence transferred to him through genetics, through nature. Both parents worked hard, his home environment revolves a lot around school, education, a lot of emphasis is placed on education so I must say some of Abrar's intelligence is nurture as well. As I mentioned, he is 10 years old, and I could relate his age to one of Piaget's stages of cognitive development. I observe him and can tell he is going through Concrete operations stage, as Abrar is also starting to become more logical, still has difficulty taking perspective of others, but still is better is improving rapidly on that, and he is able to understand the rules of conversation. He would not interrupt while I am talking, and regardless how angry he gets, he never talks in higher volume with me.
I made my first observation on Monday, February 21st. I was at his place at 4pm. I usually start by looking through his agenda, so we can do homework first. He had math homework, and that's one of his favorite subjects. He had to do math fractions section. He has developed logical thinking. I have noticed that if he gets the logic to solve a problem, he develops more interest and solves it. I usually use social reinforcers, like I appreciate and appraise him, in front of his father and sister, and he feels proud, and is more willing to work hard on subject for I guess more social reward. After that we did language arts homework, comprehension reading, of course I just realized that reading long paragraphs made him lose interest which was similar what I do when I see long paragraphs. To get him interested back to subject, at times I have to spend some time, talking about irreverent stories to make him interested in the subject again. If Abrar doesn't like a subject, it takes longer to teach him, just to finish his comprehension assignment it took us almost 45 minutes. Usually if we don't have home work, I make him do readings whichever he did in school, and I try to explain him in different manners so remembers in longrun and I want him to adapt this repeat reading habit. Basically terminal behavior, as final behavior is shaped by training or learning process, so if I am not going to tutor Abrar in future, he would be trained or would learned to repeat the school readings. After science I did social studies reading, and by the end, when he knows when last 20mintues are left Abrar completely looses interest and wants me leave early, but as usual I leave after completing 2hours. If I leave early then he would expect the same every time. I left at 6 pm.
Second observation I made was on Tuesday, April 22nd at 4:14 till 6:15. I did my usual start by looking at the agenda. He was assigned a math project which was due on Thursday April 24th. It was a Pizza order project, where he had to make two pizzas on chart paper, draw topping proportions as fractions on the pizza proportionally. He was very excited about that. I see this process as encoding done by teachers; this is a way of putting information in different method so students remember logically, and projects involve a lot of creativity and colors so students are more willing to work hard. I never realized that was a method and I can relate, whenever studies are made interesting, the knowledge related to that subjects lasts longer. We had Science ED helper to complete. Abrar doesn't like Science, we were covering chapter on light. Definition in chapter of light such as transparent, translucent, opaque etc to enhance his understanding I demonstrated by showing him a glass as an example transparent, reflection example through mirror, etc. I have observed that children definitely learn through schemes, assimilation especially in cases of math problems, they are able to predict. Accommodation is modification of existing schemes, thus leading to the next level of learning; after Abrar was done with basic concept of fraction, the next learning was addition and subtraction of fractions that was easier to adopt. We did Social studies reading next, the chapter was on European Colonialism, and then we did work book of social studies. He was bored, as I was bored too. I at times give him homework related to his school also. I made Abrar a list to get the plain chart paper, colors for the project and that's most exciting part for him, where there is no reading and, he works more devotedly on projects that involve creativity.
My third day of observation was which was Wednesday 23rd at 4pm at Abrar home. Again I did my usual started by checking agenda, there was a spelling bee for tomorrow, and Abrar was ready with supplies I told him to bring. He was also assigned Science test for Monday 28th. He works on project whole heartedly; I can relate intrinsic reinforcement. He had social studies worksheet due also. All Abrar was excited about coloring he would be able to and not at all happy about social studies homework. We started by drawing pizzas and he actively participated and, we colored, he gave suggestions, and for an hour he was active in studies. We had a lot to do so Abrar sister helped us, she was exactly behaving I expect Abrar to behave. I realized that I give certain instructions to Abrar and Syreeta (Abrar's sister) was following the same, so vicarious reinforcement worked on Syreeta, and at times I use to punish Abrar for misbehaving etc, I guess Syreeta observed that as well, so she adopted vicarious punishment. We completed a project in an hour. Both Abrar and Syreeta have a lot of arguments. I had to make them work quickly through positive reinforcement, I had chocolates with me, I told them that if they complete project in an hour, they would get chocolates, and it always work on them, it reduced their negative behavior and increase their productivity of work. After that my hard time started, I took Abrar's spell bee test. He was already not in the mood, so to make him interested; I made him type words on computer, which worked for a while. Then eventually, it took another hour or so. Abrar was already bored, and cranky and I guess wanted me to leave, but of course he had social studies homework, long readings, and retrieving information was required. I could tell Abrar was mumbling to, I listened, he was having a self talk, Vygotsky's cognitive tool of self talk, I guess he was using, often he reads things a bit loud and while solving the problem he mumbles the solutions, I guess he is trying to retrieve the information. Abrar gets very fed up by the end, anything that is prolonged it makes a child lose interest. It became extrinsic motivation by the end, for me even. I finally left at 7:10 pm, frustrated myself also.
I made fourth observation on Saturday February 26th. I went to his place at 3pm. I checked his agenda, he had Science project on food pyramid. I first made him revise science test review, and math work he covered during week. I started work on pyramid, Abrar was excited about collecting pictures we printed, and then we used real cereal, rice, wheat on the pyramid project. It took us almost one and half hour, since we had to make two different versions of pyramid. Again I would say teacher gives assignments to enhance Zone of proximal development, as the projects require assistance by one or more knowledgeable individual, and that individual has to be scaffolding. I apply scaffolding by, at the beginning give him hints how to start and gradually ask him to further give me ideas related to project or other home work. I have also noticed that whenever Abrar gets stuck on a problem, he becomes more curious and actively looks for solution. I also agree with believe that when a student involves in play, or learning through play engages more child's attention, and that learning would last longer, and child would logically get the meaning. After the project we prepared for the science test and math revision, as mostly on Sundays I take his test on most of the subjects especially nearest upcoming. I have to use concrete, social, and extrinsic reinforcers to motivate him to study for the test. I usually made him practice CRCT exam preparation online as well. It was long day, I left at 6pm.
My fifth day was on Sunday 27th February. I already made his test at my home, for math and science. I made test that each consisted of 30 minutes. Abrar always finishes on time, and then it takes me around 15minutes to grade his tests, then for getting a grade it gets concrete reinforce and bit social reinforcer as well. To get all three reinforcers Abrar really works hard, and for time being I think that's helps to make him study, it is a shaping, and he would eventually work for grades independently and adopt learning procedures. His mother was there to motivate him, since his mother passed, I have to make him study well through reinforcers.
This field trip was a learning process for me. There were theories and facts I was able to relate. I have observed that child's development and intelligence is guided by heredity and environment. Piaget's stages of cognitive development, I can relate to Abrar's case. He exhibits most of the characteristics mention under concrete operational stage. Knowledge is definitely constructed (power point) by individual through stages. Children assimilate or accommodate information to come with new information. If education is passed through pretended play, definitely a students learn more, and puts more effort without stress. I would definitely adopt pretended play. I would encourage parents and adopt myself the scaffolding procedure, helping them at the beginning and leaving them, to the point to be self sufficient; as zone of proximal development theory of Vygotsky's shows some evidence and I agree with that. If education, in my case tutoring hours per day, lasts longer than the expected time, child would develop extrinsic motivation, basically just want to finish quickly, and easy shortcuts. In grade 4th, parents usually force children to study well, repeatedly and structured routine, and over activities leads to decline in intrinsic motivation. To make studies interesting I would use encoding, I would use different methods, like diagrams, colors, different figures, relating and resembling objects so students learn with interest and that knowledge would last longer. Child should get social reinforcers, it's a good encouragement. I would use that a lot and at times if a teacher or parents have to use other reinforces such as extrinsic and concrete reinforce its fine because I see this a process of shaping, self efficiency and self regulatory process, which is not only important for school success, but is important for life's success. I will also adopt vicarious reinforcement and vicarious punishment that is less energy wasted on teacher's behalf to individually work on every child. Over the entire field experience was interesting and most of the experiences were expected. I have learned that as an educator a child's individual intelligence and learning pace should be considered. Test and exam should not be considered judgmental instrument of child intelligence. Teacher should realize child's needs, and work with collaboration with teacher to make student successful.