Slow learners are often confused with students in need of special education or reluctant learners who are non-cooperative. A student who fails to excel in some classes or in some subjects does not imply that he or she is a slow learner. However, resorting to some of the teaching aids available to special education students may enhance interest of slow learners and help them get involved in the learning process. Actually slow learners are normal students who are simply not interested in studying under traditionally acceptable system of education. And several students in a class fall under this category, but most parents or guardians prefer to remain in denial mode.
Some traits of slow learners include:
- Emotional, sensitive and innocent
- Prefer simpler tasks and get stressed under complex circumstances
- They have a short attention span and lose concentration very quickly
- Prefer to work at their own pace and not under time constraints
- They are not interested in cramming skills which are purely academic in nature
Research has further emphasized that the hectic schedule of parents results in the following persistent oversights which have direct implications on the overall learning attitude of the child. These oversights include failure to discuss day to day events with their children, monitoring nutrition and food habits from breakfast to super, participation in extra-curricular activities, sleeping schedule, and their emotional transition with developmental changes in their hormonal metabolism and general health.
Slow-learners are not averse to learning, and have no limitations for learning, but in fact have their own psychology for learning. Hence the challenge for the parents or guardians or teachers is to understand the student’s areas of interests and develop a teaching plan to cover syllabus in a given time frame.
Research in this field has contributed to the development of several innovative strategies to deal with such slow learning students to learn and enhance memory like:
- Involve students with a practical model or case study of short time span and relaxed environment so that they can visualize or feel the situation
- Proceed in steps once the students are comfortable and involved in looking for solutions
- Involve them in activities discrete from routine home chorus like sports and excursions to motivate such students to learn without cramming monotonous textbooks
- Provide a variety of activities for learning such as painting a picture of a reading assignment
- Provide them ample opportunity for success
Fortunately nowadays resources are available in libraries as well as online to develop learning habits to create interest for slow learners.