As your child begins to actively learn information and assign meaning to it, she can develop her own knowledge by building new ideas and concepts that are based on her current knowledge and past experiences. She can learn more profoundly from her own experience, rather than from listening to a teacher.
Your child’s brain gathers information through her senses and then compares it to information that already exists in her brain. She studies similarities and differences to recognize patterns, and then she applies sense and meaning to them. When she transfers factual information to usable knowledge, she can learn with a greater understanding. Then she builds new knowledge based on meaningful patterns, as well as information that she already knows and believes to be true.
Your child develops concepts by organizing information into categories that change chaos to order in her mind. To do this, she needs to learn how to master something in depth. Only then can she understand how a process develops. When she understands information in multiple areas, then she can develop context. From there, she can transfer and organize information from one area to another. Finally, she can use the information to understand logical reasoning, to take action to solve problems, to create something, or to question and improve a situation or behavior. Her brain talks to her brain.
To organize information in a conceptual framework, it helps for your child to “chunk” information into familiar patterns or to use tools to help her remember by creating meaning. She actively looks for patterns in her environment, tests hypotheses, and seeks explanations.
When your child develops a knowledge base and learns to categorize information, she creates clusters, applies significance to those clusters, and links them to prior knowledge so that she can remember and use them in building and developing concepts. As she begins to recognize categories and structures, she can put them together to intentionally create strategies for her own learning. She learns what it means to learn and to organize her learning by planning, observing successes and failures, and correcting mistakes.
With a broad range of strategies, she has more flexibility to solve problems in different circumstances. Even though her experiences are limited and her foundation of knowledge may be incomplete, your child has the ability to reason and to solve problems.
This kind of learning involves independently finding and using information rather than memorizing it. Through concept development, your child discovers principles for herself and constructs knowledge by solving realistic problems. Concept development requires more time than memorizing does because it requires more processing, reprocessing, and rethinking. Concept development builds on the other methods of learning and uses higher mental functions, such as being deliberate, solving problems, and thinking strategically.