Sunday, July 3, 2011

Home Schooling - Concept Of Inferential Learning - Practice Through Field Trips



Song:  Poetry Of The Gods





Alex wanted to go the the Intel Tech Center but they were closed
for restoration.  We instead went to the Computer History Museum.

It is located in Silicon Valley.




Alex had fun learning of the early computer systems.





Yes..he had beaten me at Pong.


Yes...he had won at Rock-um Sock-um Robots too.

We shall be going to the Intel Tech Center soon...
Alex loves high tech developments.


We had spent but a few hours at the museum.
We then stopped by my old Elementary School in Santa Clara
 (the heart of Silicon Valley - before there was a Silicon Valley).

We had moved there from Japan in 1966.
I was 6 years old and I had started 2nd grade here at this school.

I wanted to show Alex my old neighborhood.


The same swing set was still there from some 45 years ago.


Afterwards, we had stopped by a very good Japanese Noodle shop.
Alex loves Japanese food. He had chosen the above dish.


The noodles tasted just like the noodles in Japan.

While this trip was last month some time...
we just came back from picking Blueberries today
(we had just missed the cherry season).


I made the big mistake of going too late in the afternoon.
It was hot.  We ended up staying about one half an hour.

Alex said he had enjoyed his first fruit picking excursion.

We have lived in our present house for 10 years.
This self pick fruit farm is only 5 minutes away...
I had never thought of picking our own fruit as a source of
learning and fun for Alex.




Alex said something very funny while we were picking.

My wife had asked if we had tried some of the blueberries...

Alex immediately said...
 "No, I believe in Deferred Gratification...
I don't want to eat any until they are all picked"
(I also added that we must pay for them first anyway).

It seems my son has been listening to me...
far more closely than I had realized.


Ahh...some of the Fruits of our Labor.

We shall be going back more often (and early in the morning)...
their prices are far less than at any store.

We are going to pick strawberries also, next time.

We had discussed about the hard work involved for those who 
pick fruit for a living.


Next time...
I will draw his attention to the spacing of the plants...
the structure of the furrows...
the watering methods...etc.

I will then ask him about what is to be inferred by that which he sees.

Of course, the objective is not just for the immediate 
knowledge to be gained...
I want him to look at everything around him with a critical eye.  

There is something to be learned by everything around us.

I want him to question why certain patterns exist...
how they came into being...
to what advantages...
what he would do differently.

Alex is very good at critical details...
I want him to be able to see the whole picture...
to discern patterns in people and objects...
to reason about their existence...
and to notice disruptions of those patterns
(the effort involved indicating a larger reason for the disruption).

Just by analyzing his experience...
he will be forced to pay more attention to his surroundings
in the first place...as he will realize that he will need this 
information to draw from when he dissects and rationalizes his experience
(Inferential Theory Of Learning).

I only threw out this theory so others may research
in detail, should they wish to.

The name is otherwise...unimportant.

It is enough to know that it is a way of 
applying critical reasoning to experience...
to learn, in depth, concepts and true reasons.

It is something that is usually done automatically...
intuitively...in those with some experience in life.

Many are forced into reflection...
only after a negative experience motivates
the person to ensure it never happens again.

It can also become habit before negative experiences happen
by having children recall experiences and critiquing them in their minds.

It will improve the myopia of normally practiced observation.
This will focus their mind's eye upon the general to specific...
they will be able to establish appropriate relationships
and the perspective necessary to see them.

It also ensures that mental tunnel vision is corrected
to wide area scan and focusing on details afterwards.

Just as a statement may be taken out of context if just
selected sentences are chosen...
so may experiences be taken out of context.

A mental movie that can, at anytime, be reviewed...
first by birds' eye view and rotated and then scanned
to finer detail is what critical review of experiences teaches.

After asking a child to recall and to critique...
he will learn to start paying attention to the whole experience...
and to recall accurately for later digestion.

He will also, from your questions as to...
 patterns (or disruptions of)...
inferences drawn from them...
the reasons...
the concepts applied...
learn to ask himself these questions
and to look critically at his surroundings.


The Concept Of Inferential Learning is simply...

paying attention to the whole and then to the details
(the accurate recording and playing back 
of the resulting movie of the mind)...

and asking the right questions to infer motives and concepts
(correct reasoning of the experience)...

It is simply a component of good ole country common sense.

An often used statement when someone has demonstrated
good Inferential Learning...
"Good eye".

This, of course, means that you have...
accurately detected...
accurately reasoned...
accurately acted upon the inference.

Field trips are perfect for this practice, as the surroundings
are usually unusual in some manner, and so, new to the child.

He will have to really pay attention to his environment.
The effect will be one of a greater understanding of his surroundings...
through the critical observation and reasoning of his mind's eye.



2 comments:

  1. I laughed I read that Alex had said that he believes in delayed gratification. What a mature attitude! He is learning well from you.

    I admire how you use every experience as an opportunity to teach Alex. The ability to make inferences will be really important to him. My son does not often respond to the things I tell him so I sometimes don't persist with the teachings. You've inspired me to keep at it, and hope that some of it is sinking in with him.

    Glad you survived the heat on your first pick-your-own experience!

    ReplyDelete
  2. We survived..but only barely. We are going at 8:00 AM next time.

    I am glad I had read your article on pick your own fruit...Alex and my wife really enjoy it. We are going again in a few days.

    My son is improving in the area of generalization with our practice. He is getting used to my asking him questions, so he is starting to prepare ahead of time by observing things in a wider and more critical manner.

    ReplyDelete

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