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OT TUESDAY: VOL. 5 - LEARNING AND SKILL ACQUISITION

“Each child has unique learning needs that fluctuate as skill acquisition proceeds. A child’s need therefore cannot always be predicted” - Greber & Ziviani, 2020


Teaching and scaffolding is a clear focus when working with children to enhance their competencies to lead the child to perform autonomously. In order for a child to achieve this, they should be provided with the opportunity to acquire the necessary skills required to learn and grow.


Within the field of Occupational Therapy, therapists utilise a model called ‘The Four Quadrant Model of Facilitated Learning’ (4QM) to facilitate the acquisition of skills. The 4QM is a teaching-learning strategy where the child is guided by the therapist or teacher to move through each quadrant to eventually master a skill and generalise this to be able to transfer the skill into their naturalistic environment, hence perform it autonomously. It requires the ability to not only master the skill, but adapt and shape the skills to the unique environmental demands.


The 4QM has a strong focus on the learner, or child, to engage in decision-making processes to modify performance in response to errors, recall successful elements of the skill, and monitor performance through reflective practices. Until this becomes automatic the child needs strategies from each quadrant that develop competence.


At Tightrope Learning, we have adopted this model when working with our kiddies to learn and improve school readiness skills. We recognise that a child learns best when they are given the opportunity to engage in decision-making and problem solving themselves, before being provided guidance or the ‘answer’ straight away. We like each child to have a go, allow them to make mistakes and errors so that they can learn and adapt to increase their skills to achieve the desired outcome.


Our team at Tightrope Learning understand that each child has their own learning abilities. As a supportive figure during their development years, we adopt a range of these strategies from the 4QM model. We aim to best facilitate the children’s acquisition across school-readiness skills as they trial and make errors. The children can then transfer these skills to their home environment and eventually into big school.


About OT Tuesday and the author, Elly Rooney.


Our very own Elly Rooney is currently studying Occupational Therapy at The Australian Catholic University.


Elly has been a part of our team now for 4 years and has built such beautiful relationships with the children and their families. Her passion for what she does, coupled with her genuine love of children, has directed her focus towards Paediatric OT.


Tightrope team member Elly Rooney
OT Tuesdays Author: Elly Rooney

Elly is an absolute gift to Tightrope Learning. She brings along a wealth of fresh knowledge and resources and works closely with all the children in her care.


Elly has now decided to write a blog for us each week, to be known as “OT Tuesday”. Be sure to read this each week to learn more about how to help your own special little one.


The content of this post is for general purposes only. Always seek individual guidance from your healthcare professional regarding any medical condition you may have.

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