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Pen pal exchanges: Making learning more concrete by linking children to the world

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Abstract:

One of the key issues addressed by STS’ integrated intervention approach is the problem of “symbolic learning” – the fact that that much learning in developing countries remains at the symbolic level, with children transferring words written on a chalkboard to their copy books without any contact with the referent – either a real example or even a representation of it, such as a picture. Yet the best learning is concrete, experiential learning – the type that creates “experiential hooks” on which we hang additional concepts and ideas. STS is attempting to make learning more concrete for children by providing contact to the outside world. In time, this contact will consist of materials, equipment and personnel exchanges, but STS has begun the process of experiential learning with a pen pal program. Now in its eighth year, STS coordinates pen pal exchanges between 1,000 children from over 20 schools in Guinea with 1,000 children from 18 schools in the US, the UK, and Canada. This presentation will discuss progress made to date in enabling children in both Guinea and western countries attain a higher degree of contact with the outside world through the exchange of letters and, through these exchanges, pictures, life stories, friendship, an increased understanding of how the world works. Challenges will also be discussed, both administrative (e.g., cost, translation, demand issues) and pedagogical – i.e., to what extent are pen pal exchanges developing experiential hooks and, as a result, helping children learn better?
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493955_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Kpoghomou, Mamounan. "Pen pal exchanges: Making learning more concrete by linking children to the world" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493955_index.html>

APA Citation:

Kpoghomou, M. "Pen pal exchanges: Making learning more concrete by linking children to the world" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p493955_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: One of the key issues addressed by STS’ integrated intervention approach is the problem of “symbolic learning” – the fact that that much learning in developing countries remains at the symbolic level, with children transferring words written on a chalkboard to their copy books without any contact with the referent – either a real example or even a representation of it, such as a picture. Yet the best learning is concrete, experiential learning – the type that creates “experiential hooks” on which we hang additional concepts and ideas. STS is attempting to make learning more concrete for children by providing contact to the outside world. In time, this contact will consist of materials, equipment and personnel exchanges, but STS has begun the process of experiential learning with a pen pal program. Now in its eighth year, STS coordinates pen pal exchanges between 1,000 children from over 20 schools in Guinea with 1,000 children from 18 schools in the US, the UK, and Canada. This presentation will discuss progress made to date in enabling children in both Guinea and western countries attain a higher degree of contact with the outside world through the exchange of letters and, through these exchanges, pictures, life stories, friendship, an increased understanding of how the world works. Challenges will also be discussed, both administrative (e.g., cost, translation, demand issues) and pedagogical – i.e., to what extent are pen pal exchanges developing experiential hooks and, as a result, helping children learn better?


Similar Titles:
LEARNING COMMUNITIES DISCUSSION: RESOURCES USED BY CHILDREN IN ENVIRONMENTAL DECISION-MAKING

Service Learning: Making Connections Between Classroom Learning and Real World Problems to Create Lifelong Learning

Learning in a Globalizing World: Decision Rights, Reputational Concerns, and the Quality of Information Exchange


 
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