It seems like such a simple word, but it can be one of the most important aspects of a child’s education. In so many schools, enrichment seems to be the tool of pushing forward learning for gifted and advanced students. Between programs, special classes, and extra time, these students reap great rewards with enrichment.
The reality is, though; they shouldn’t be the only ones. Enrichment should not be for just the advanced students. Enriched learning should occur for ALL students.
Enrichment helps students extend their learning beyond the basic mastery of skills. But, at the same time, that enrichment can also help struggling students continue to master those skills necessary for future learning. It deepens learning, enhances the imagination, drives investigation and encourages exploration and critical thinking. But should this enrichment not be limited to a select group of students? Each of these are skills needed by all students to be successful so it could stand to reason that all students would benefit.
One reason enrichment for all works is because learning is individualized. If enrichment is meant to extend a child’s learning, than it can occur for all. It requires the simple task of meeting the child where they are and helping them learn in such a way that their learning is deepened and stretched. But, this is not always an easy feat. Between minimum standards, state assessments and district expectations, it can be difficult for a teacher to individualize each child’s learning to include enrichment.
So, learning enrichment cannot only occur in the classroom; it should also occur beyond the basics of classroom curriculum. Students can explore topics they are interested in during electives, additional classes, and in before or after school activities. Clubs and organizations can also be a form of enrichment.
One of the biggest goals of enrichment should be to make a child excited about learning. When educators reach them on a level of passion instead of ‘have to’, students are more likely to strive for that deeper education.
How do you enrich a student’s learning?