ONE of the ways to learn is through self-discovery. Discovery learning is in fact a form of enquiry-based learning whereby students are posed with questions, problems or scenarios rather than just an instructor presenting facts.
In a way, the students will have to find things out for themselves by looking into problems, and asking questions.
This form of learning is usually coupled with the presence of a facilitator who guides the student in identifying the problems and poses questions to direct the student to develop knowledge or discover solutions.
This form of learning is usually used in small projects and investigations, as well as in research.
The method is a good way for research students in universities to conduct their experiments and learning, but when the method is also introduced to preschoolers, the impact can be exceptional.
From humble beginnings
The Kumon programme uses a discovery learning method to help children develop critical-thinking skills while progressing independently through a carefully crafted curriculum.
The programme was the brainchild of Japanese high-school educator Toru Kumon, who in 1954, developed Mathematics worksheets on loose papers for his son Takeshi as a way for him to learn.
Toru wished for Takeshi to become fully prepared for the rigorous high school and college entrance exams in his future. With the success of the method Toru was encouraged to develop the Kumon Method and by the following year, a math centre using Kumon worksheets opened in Moriguchi city in Osaka.
By 1974, Kumon expanded overseas, establishing a New York centre, followed with centres in Taiwan in 1975, Brazil in 1977 and Germany in 1979. As enrolments outside Japan increased to 10,000, more centres were established — Hong Kong and Canada in 1980 and Australia in 1984.
Today the Kumon Method has helped students to study independently in a world that has increasingly become more diversified.
It is an ongoing process, with as the method is refined by closely observing students and learning from them.
Learning through one’s own successes
The method essentially helps students to learn independently using worksheets, with guidance from Kumon instructors. When a child enrols with Kumon, the instructor will set a written assessment to gauge where the child’s ability stands.
Kumon instructors then create an individualised study plan that helps to build better study habits, concentration and understanding of fundamental topics.
As students progress, Kumon instructors will incrementally raise the difficulty level enough to keep them challenged and motivated. The instructor will update this plan regularly to match the ability of
This allows Kumon students to start studying at a point where they can solve problems easily without using age or school grade level as factors. Doing so allows students to experience the joy in learning.
When students find that they can they can solve problems themselves and receive a 100% score, that boosts their confidence and increases their anticipation to learn more, allowing them to advance to subsequent worksheets without difficulty.
But in order to inculcate that joy, it is essential to start off the student at a point that they feel is comfortable for their abilities.
This builds a solid foundation for study, to which students can independently develop their academic ability.
Join the world's leading children enrichment centre for free* today! Choose either the Mathematics or English programme and register with Kumon before Aug 16 to get up to two weeks of free* trial classes. Visit www.kumonmalaysia.com or official Facebook page for details.
*Terms and conditions apply.