Child development is a process of learning. The mind and body develop as a product of learning and by stimulating the sensory systems and
through integration of sensory information it is possible to increase learning ability. I propose that the basis to education is first, the stimulation of the ability of a child to learn and second, to increase children’s learning capacities and intelligence.
While most children do well in mainstream schooling, there are many children who are hindered in their development by learning difficulties. Such children do not achieve as well as they might without coaching to increase their learning capacities. Indeed, all children will advance in their learning capacities and academics when they have a learning development programme that underpins their schooling.
The essential element to education is to focus on how children learn and to promote learning development through stimulation neuro-physiological capacities. In 2002 I established a learning development programme by bringing together two paradigms to form a new education paradigm centred on learning. The medical paradigm of addressing learning difficulties through improving neuro-physiological capacity was coupled with a modified education programme to produce a learning centred school programme to stimulate learning development.
This approach is unique and based on a philosophy which proposes that the ability to learn is adevelopmental process and that learning capacities and performance can improve where neuro-processing is stimulated to be more efficient. The philosophy is founded on four principles: First, that children are in a constant state of learning and their cognitive abilities develop as they learn. Second, that children’s capacity to learn is increasing and can be accelerated by stimulating neuro-physiological development. Third, that it is possible to train neuro-processing procedures of the brain and influence a child’s thinking processes. And fourth, that learning is interactive and children require a just-right interaction and creative challenge in order to learn.
In an effort to test and prove that the brain can improve in efficiency, I completed a two year study of the effectiveness of sensory integration to increase neuro-efficiency, and intelligence. With the study of 62 children over some 8 assessments and two years of therapy/coaching, the results show an increase of 4 grade levels of learning capacity on average for these children, while 1 ½ grade levels in ability was to be expected. The results showed an average 16% increase in neurological capability as gauged by the Visual Motor Integration (VMI) assessment, where zero change in capacity year on year is expected.
Whether a child is labelled as a ‘gifted learner’ or a ‘slow learner’, it is possible to develop the learning process to make connections faster, work well with abstractions, and generally develop intellectual ability.