A teacher directing a child in a traditional in-person classroom learning. Photo by Arthur Krijgsman from Pexels
7 reasons why traditional in-person home and school classroom learning is better for children than online distance education
So many schoolchildren and students benefit immensely from out-school online learning with some websites offering exciting home learning packs for all grades of school-age children in primary schools, secondary school students, and other categories of learners, sometimes via a virtual classroom on computer devices. Nonetheless, we shall in this article analyze 7 reasons why traditional in-person home and school classroom learning is a preferred learning choice for children to online distance learning.
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1. Online distance education is not suited for preschool and kindergarten children but traditional classroom learning is
Firstly, online distance education is not suitable for pre-pre school and kindergarten children who are still learning basic life skills and educational skills like talking, writing, and others. These categories of learners do not benefit in online learning in real-time apart from watching fun and attractive educational videos and playing with the devices in which they are displayed. So, preschool skills can only be taught to learn and cared for in traditional home or school classrooms like daycare or childcare centers.
There are certain preschool development skills as well as cognitive and life skills that nursery and primary school children need to increase their chances of getting future jobs. So how would they learn them when schools are closed and they cannot participate in online distance education?
2. Traditional classroom learning promotes interpersonal, social, and organizational skills development in collaborative learning towards career building
Businesses demanding more from higher education students often tell university faculties that they wish graduating students had more interpersonal skills.
One of the ways children develop physically, socially, emotionally, and mentally is through engagement and play. Regular attendance in classes helps them interact socially with other schoolchildren; become proactive; be better disciplined through proper guidance and close monitoring and follow a planned regular schedule.
Children’s social interaction with others in a home or school classroom is an inevitable life skill children should learn and helping students develop socially is a very essential aspect within the realm of their school education.
As school children and students learn social skills interacting with peers and establishing rapport with teachers in a traditional home classroom or school classroom, they engage in collaborative learning. Collaborative learning increases a student’s self-awareness and curiosity about how other students learn which enables them to learn more easily and effectively inside and beyond the classroom. The resultant positive effect is that the schoolchildren gain more confidence in their ability to conduct themselves in a professional manner in society.
Moreover, traditional classroom learning teaches school children and students how to develop organizational skills by holding them responsible for their attitudes and actions towards school activities like attending school timely, participating in extracurricular school activities, preparation for quizzes and in-class group discussions and presentations, turning in their completed assignments and homework duly, among others.
In an attempt to develop interpersonal, social, and organizational skills towards career-building in a traditional in-person classroom, school children and students consciously or unconsciously use their critical thinking skills and ability.
3. Traditional in-person classroom education enhances quick study, memorization, and retention of learning materials
Schoolchildren and students are quick in their ability to memorize and retain learning materials during a traditional in-person home and school classroom education better than the way online learning does. When a child studies and memorizes a learning material, like the spelling of words, for the purpose of retention, the knowledge embeds in his or her long term memory and helps develop his or her cognitive ability faster.
4. Traditional home and school classroom learning stimulates and motivates school children and students
Virtual classroom input and feedback in online distance education do not offer the requisite motivation for an exciting child learning which traditional classroom learning does. The physical presence of a teacher keeps children and students stimulated and motivated through the interactive and interesting home or school classroom activities. This enables them to have experiential learning and lesson knowledge retention.
5. The traditional in-person classroom is adaptable to different teaching methods and instructional styles and facilitates close monitoring and control of school children
A good teacher can adapt their teaching methods and instructional styles to the types of learners in his or her classroom and get better results whether in a traditional home or school classroom. He uses classroom activities to help visual learners and interactions that can help auditory learners understand lesson content as the case may be.
In my years of experience as a teacher and tutor, I have come to realize that school children and students need to be trained in a controlled learning environment as the teacher properly guides, supervises with close contact monitoring in addition to providing the right motivation to get them to perform optimally in any academic and social involvement. This traditional in-person classroom learning offers but seems impracticable with online distance education.
School children and students in online learning are expected to develop the skills of speed-learning. That is the ability to grasp things fast. Some schoolchildren have not developed such mental abilities. Would such a learning mode suit them? Would the learning objectives be fully realized if slow-learning schoolchildren are taught independently in a time-limited online learning session in a situation that requires that they understand and do lesson evaluation activities within the allotted time?
6. Traditional classroom learning is more result-oriented for schoolchildren than online distance education
Traditional in-person classroom education is more result-oriented. A good teacher understands when the school children and students are distracted, attentive, or following what is being taught; when to have reinforced or further explanation on a subject matter. At the same time, school children can get their doubts and queries clarified, directly share their views with the teacher and get their questions answered right away before the teacher introduces another sub-topic in a lesson.
Classroom learning helps schoolchildren and teachers to know each other in a better manner, allowing teachers to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses better, act as mentors, and guide students in their career possibilities and prospects. In traditional classroom education, performance evaluation, and assessment in classroom learning are quicker.
Most of the time books and classroom notes in hardcopy are very useful for studying, preparing, and passing exams. Understanding the Question and Answer pattern, and with suggestions provided by home and classroom teachers, students can find it more helpful to learn than when using generalized online notes and suggestions available on the internet.
It is easier and more convenient for schoolchildren and students to join in group discussions participate in classroom individual or group presentations or any other activities when acquiring traditional classroom education. It makes them more socially- and proactive.
7. Online distance education limits the natural learning characteristics of schoolchildren through user-friendly, more flexible and less time-consuming than traditional in-person classroom learning
Online distance education lacks grossly in consideration of the natural learning characteristics of schoolchildren. Children are inquisitive and curious in nature. They keep asking questions and interacting with the teacher continuously, often playfully, in a school classroom in order to learn satisfactorily. As part of the cognitive and social development process in child-training, schoolchildren need to express themselves, speak their minds openly, and then get feedback on the matter of discussion.
Online distance education struggles to offer unrestricted and interpersonal communication and interaction between the teacher and the school mates dousing the children’s natural drive for inquisitiveness and curiosity.
Online learning solution is user-friendly, more flexible, and less time-consuming than traditional in-person classroom learning, offers school children and students more flexibility in the choice time and place and pace of learning. But how effective will a learning outcome be if school children, who are to be guided and directed rightly, are allowed to make learning choices? Schoolchildren are bound to make wrong decisions about the circumstances surrounding their learning if left for them to do. They will obviously muddle the whole process and render the efforts unproductive.
According to Seth Hughes in his ‘Why traditional classroom learning is better than online learning’, ‘’it only seems fit that we should utilize online learning in our colleges and universities’’. Schoolchildren are not in colleges or universities.
Not having to attend the traditional in-person classroom learning sessions is for advanced minds who can manage their learning situation and achieve the necessary outcome but not for schoolchildren who need to be direct caregiving and close monitoring to get them to perform optimally.