Many parents have a good sense of telling when their child is struggling in school; however, pinpointing the exact area is easier said than done. Identifying students’ learning gaps can feel overwhelming, but there are strategic ways you can do this. In this guide, we’ll explain the different kinds of learning gaps so that you can help your child achieve their education goals.
Different Types of Learning Gaps
Typical learning gaps can be split into several categories—five to be exact. Below, we’ve listed the core types of learning gaps that stand between a student and their success.
- Knowledge Gaps: Students lack the proper information needed to learn.
- Skills Gaps: Students lack the practice necessary to develop their skills.
- Communication Gaps: Students lack clear and effective communication.
- Environmental Gaps: Students lack a supportive learning environment.
- Motivation Gaps: Students lack motivation or incentive to advance to learn.
Understanding Different Learning Gaps
Is one of your New Year’s resolutions is to help your child achieve their learning goals? Here’s everything you need to know about eliminating learning gaps.
1. Knowledge Gaps
Gaps in knowledge are a barrier to student success. Essentially, a knowledge gap is a lack of information.
Identifying Knowledge Gaps
Do you suspect your child has a knowledge gap? If so, ask the question:
“Is it reasonable to think that my child could be proficient in this area without practice?”
If the answer is NO, look into different learning gaps because this one is likely not knowledge-related.
But if the answer is YES, you have a knowledge gap on your hands. An easy way to eliminate knowledge gaps is to ensure your child is provided with the correct material they need to learn. Students cannot master a concept if they do not have the proper information.
2. Skill Gaps
Skill gaps can also stand in the way of students achieving their learning goals. A skill gap is a lack of practice.
Identifying Skills Gaps
Let’s return to the last question— “is it reasonable to think that my child could be proficient without practice?” If you answered NO, then a skills gap is likely the culprit.
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3. Communication Gaps
A communication gap is a deficit in effective communication. Proper learning cannot occur if there is poor communication between two parties. Some examples might include:
- The instructions are incorrect.
- The instructions were poorly articulated or vague.
- The student misinterpreted the instructions.
- The instructions are not possible.
Identifying Communication Gaps
Address this kind of learning gap by asking your child if they clearly understand the teacher’s directions. Do they know what they need to be doing in class? Is there room for misinterpretation? Talk with your child to determine if this is the case.
4. Environment Gaps
Sometimes, a student’s surroundings can become a barrier to effective learning. Some examples include:
- Unexpected learning roadblocks
- Missing materials, resources, or technology
- No direction
- Unexpected costs
Identifying Environment Gaps
If you suspect your child has an environment gap that’s affecting their learning, reevaluate their surroundings. Are there any specific situational aspects that could be impacting their learning experience?
5. Motivation Gaps
Sometimes a student knows what they need to do and how to do it, yet they still don’t do it. This is called a motivation gap. Many children struggle with motivating themselves to complete a task or pay attention in school. In short, motivation gaps often prevent students from meeting their learning goals.
Identifying Motivation Gaps
Simply put, you cannot create a strategy to help your child overcome their learning gap until you know the root cause of their problem. Here are some common reasons why children develop motivation gaps in school.
- They are distracted or unfocused.
- They can’t see the bigger picture, or it doesn’t make sense to them.
- They’re not interested in making an effort.
- They may be anxious or concerned about change.
- They’re used to doing things differently and don’t see the point in unlearning old ways.
Once you know how exactly your child is struggling, you can then develop a strategy to approach it. Here are some ideas:
- Make it fun.
- Use rewards to motivate.
- Teach time management skills.
- Adjust the curriculum.
- Eliminate possible distractions.
- Rethink the teaching method.
- Be consistent.
Bridging Learning Gaps with UpReach Learning
When students are given the tools they need to bridge their learning gaps, they’ll have a much better chance at succeeding in school and achieving their education goals.
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