Support learning

Learning is the core of what education is all about. Learning is an activity of the students. School learning is a process in which students actively perform cognitive processing activities and in which they build on what they already know. In addition to cognitive processing activities, students also use metacognitive activities such as concentrating on an assignment, monitoring progress, evaluating and adjusting.

Learning environment

The teacher creates the learning environment in which adolescents can learn as optimally as possible. The learning environment should be based on the developmental stage in which adolescents are. In such a learning environment, a good balance is possible between students' independent learning and guidance by the teacher. A rich context is necessary for a good learning environment. The richest element in an educational context is the teacher, the expert in the field and the expert in both didactic and pedagogical fields. This expert chooses resources and learning materials based on his expertise. The teacher structures the learning material in such a way that it goes from simple to increasingly complex. More complex activities always involve the previous simple parts. This means that a cyclical curriculum is created in which depth is more important than breadth. The learning activities can be diverse provided the teacher explicitly indicates the connection between the activities and presentations. The teacher firstly lays the foundation on which the students can build their knowledge. Secondly, the teacher structures the knowledge in such a way that students are able to delve deeper into the material. He ensures that students can use the information in increasingly complex assignments or situations. He provides students with the most effective cognitive strategies and guides them in using metacognitive activities. This means that a teacher not only creates the learning environment, but that he also directs and directs the learning process in it.

This does not alter the fact that the student must carry out the learning himself. Students in secondary education generally have a good idea of ​​the purpose for which they are learning. If it is a short-term goal, such as getting a grade, many of them are also able to be disciplined enough to achieve that goal. Especially because the reward can also be expected in the short term. For long-term goals, they need much more support and guidance from teachers and their parents. Learning always happens in interaction with others. Adolescents are very much focused on each other. They learn a lot from each other, but they do not learn any academic knowledge from each other. School learning is primarily about interaction with the teacher and only then with fellow students. The parents also play an important role in this phase.

A teacher is an expert in a particular field and is therefore able to oversee what the student's zone of proximal development should be.

A student does not have an overview of a field and is therefore unable to choose a zone of proximal development. Furthermore, adolescents tend to overestimate themselves, causing them to choose 'zones' that they are not yet ready for. Instead of efficient learning, a game of trial and error arises, which leads to great frustration, disappointment and therefore loss of motivation in adolescents. Instead of a positive reward, they are constantly confronted with things they cannot do.

Prior knowledge

The prior knowledge on which a student builds can be correct, but can also be based on misconceptions or inaccuracies. It is not easy for adolescents to get rid of these misconceptions that they have ultimately constructed in their brains. 

The value of knowledge can only be negotiated if the participants in the negotiation know enough about the subject to question a meaning. Students must first acquire knowledge before they can appreciate it. Only then does it make sense to test the usefulness of the interpretation of a teacher or other authoritative person. However, that is not the attitude with which adolescents approach life today. Adolescents are articulate and assertive. If teachers and/or parents are unable to guide this assertiveness, misconceptions or incorrect prior knowledge will persist. The most assertive and dominant adolescents then predominate, which not only affects safety in a group, but also the quality of learning.