With this last year, navigating distance learning, hybrid learning, and in-person learning with socially distanced guidelines have been challenging for both teachers and students alike. But even before pandemic circumstances halted what was once considered “normal life,” the most difficult challenge in learning was and continues to be keeping children engaged in a lesson.
Children sitting in front of a computer all day burn out quickly and will look for anything and everything to distract them away from the lesson. Finding comfort in the things within their own environment, kids will find things to fidget with or take their attention to something in the moment that they would rather connect with. Grabbing their attention virtually seems all but impossible. Is there a way to bring them back once they’ve checked out mentally from a lesson? Once we notice children beginning to slip, it is essential to understand the exact causes of their lack of motivation to learn. It is always wise to approach these issues with sensitivity due to the factors that may be causing the lack of engagement. Listen to what they have to say and problem-solve together. Some children may need more help than others. An opportunity to open up that conversation is with the COSEC assessment.
The COSEC (Cognitive Orientation & Social-Emotional Competency) for kids is a unique personal aptitude tool developed specifically for kids under 13 years of age that follows the PCB (Perception Conception Behavior) model. The PCB model uses the individual’s view of the world (perception), how they process that information (conception), and how the relationship between the two influences an individual’s characteristics, traits, and preferences (behavior). This tool is formulated to give an in-depth understanding of how children behave and why by taking a closer look at how they process information and form preferences and behaviors in response.
The most unique part of this assessment is its ability to identify causes of stress. In extraordinary situations like the one we face now, it is important to recognize stress in children. This can help us better prepare tools and methods or create environments that will help them cope with the challenges that may cause their attention to drift from their education.
Ah, yes, hybrid learning. The half-on-half-off approach. Not only do students have to show up to in-person education, but they are expected to then go home and finish the lesson remotely. There are some benefits to a hybrid model, such as smaller class sizes and personalized in-person learning, but it isn’t without its own challenges. Educators must be able to come up with lesson plans that satisfy both in-person and online learning and keep it engaging and educational at the same time.
In hybrid learning, students get a feel for multiple environments, which tests their ability to be flexible in various situations. But it also allows them the unique ability to set their own schedule and learning environment at home. Even though there is some freedom in this model, it does require a bit of self-discipline to make it successful. To ensure students stay engaged, have check-ins and open up the conversation about their feelings on both learning styles. Keeping the conversation open is more important now than ever.
The COSEC can help pinpoint which environments are preferable for a student to learn in. Whether it be a more independent style or more group-based, this assessment can provide a guide to help a student who may be falling behind or help other students reach their full potential. It also can identify environments or habits that may be detrimental to their learning. This unique assessment creates individualized reports as remarkable as the students themselves.
While we hope to one day have all schools open again to in-person learning, there have always been difficulties keeping everyone engaged and motivated to learn. Creating an individualized lesson for every student may not be practical. However, knowing how a student processes information and their unique preferences can give insight into which methods a student best absorbs information and what they need to succeed in less than preferable environments.
The COSEC not only identifies challenges; it also showcases students’ strengths. Knowing these strengths could help find ways to better help students engage by tapping into what they are good at and even creating challenges to test those strengths. Creating meaningful lessons for the students helps them stay engaged and motivated to learn. It also helps them boost their confidence in themselves, and there is nothing more satisfying than hearing a student proudly say, “ I did it!”