Education Expert Shares Unique Way of Teaching
By Louise Carter
RENOWNED educational consultant Renee Lighton shared some of her creative, playful and innovative teaching techniques using simple and everyday recyclable household materials and a sequence of play activities, at a workshop for teachers and parents at the PAHS clubhouse last week.
Lighton is the author of several books, a speaker, qualified life coach, and trained Demartini.
LIFELONG TEACHING: Educational
method facilitator who has a BA and diplomas in specialised education; foundation phase and Montessori pre-primary education.
Her special approach to education considers learning in a variety of ways, as she does not believe one method works for every pupil.
Lighton also believes in using resources and materials that are accessible to everyone, inexpensive and recyclable. There is even a lesson in her choice of teaching materials.
“When we choose to use waste we invite children to think of what we have already, and invite them to think differently,” she said.
Lighton has vast experience in her discipline. She has used and shared her unique teaching techniques all over South Africa, Namibia, Swaziland, Cambodia, Thailand and India, and believes parents and teachers need to cultivate successful habits in young children for positive results.
“Children need to be taught to make a contribution. Everyone can in their own unique way,” Lighton said.
She believes in learning through play, and suggests that even children who are “difficult” or uninterested can be taught – the teacher or parent simply needs to identify the child’s interest and use it as a vocabulary for learning.
“Every child will learn in terms of what they value. There is no child that you can’t teach,” Lighton said.
Her advice to teachers is to think outside the box, to use positive reinforcements, set examples, communicate what they would like to see in the classroom, involve parents and encourage self-esteem by instilling an “I can” ethos.
Throughout her talk, Lighton involved all the teachers and parents through interactive activities in pairs, and through the use of simple materials such as bottle caps, egg boxes, toilet rolls and pieces of paper.
She had an endless store of ideas that would be interesting to children and optimise learning.
“In Cambodia we didn’t even have any paper, only plastic waste. “We have more than enough - it’s how we use it,” Lighton said.
“A child’s EQ is far more important than the IQ. We don’t teach this at school, and we don’t learn this at college. “We want to bring up children who can think for themselves and not just simply vomit up a curriculum,” she said.
Published: Times Media, Talk of the Town, October 30, 2014