What is SOLE, and how can it be used to innovate education. Taking the the lead from Sugata Mitra, e-learning consultant Jacqueline Emkes illustrates how she’s utilised this learning method to achieve inspiring results.
I am a roving e-Learning Consultant based at Biddenham International School and Sports College (BISSC) in Bedford. In 2012, I was asked to take a lead on 'SOLE' learning sessions with a group of home-educated children on the PLACE Scheme, a parent -led and community based support programme for home educating families. It is commissioned by Bedford Local Authority and administered through BISSC. To be eligible for the scheme children must be on the Elective Home Education Register of the local authority in which they live.
‘Reading pictures can be as easy or difficult as reading printed text.’ Gomez-Reino, 1996
My research into how to teach young children explicit inference skills began in 2001 when I observed that there was a discrepancy in my school between many of our fluent reader's ability to read and their overall comprehension.
Evidence worryingly showed that an emphasis placed on phonics was producing readers who could decode the words but often had no understanding of their meaning. This was later reflected in the Rose Review’s ‘Simple View of Reading’ (2006) and more recently substantiated by York University’s ESRC reading study (2008) that raised the concern that ‘pupils' ease at reading words out loud may mask those who have difficulties with comprehension’. The cause of the problem was highlighted further by Anne Kispal’s ‘Effective Teaching of Inference’ NFER report in 2008 which concluded that poor inferencing skills cause poor comprehension and not vice versa’.
We realised that there was clearly a need to teach our children how to consciously infer and apply comprehension strategies as early as possible, if we wanted them to read for meaning and enjoyment from the very beginning.