Approach and Theory
“Learning is experience. Everything else is just information.”
Learning is creative
Tuition should open new doors whilst being fun and interactive. It should spark curiosity but also be tailored to the individual student’s abilities and needs. Just dealing with homework is not enough!
By employing different methods such as dancing, singing, theatre and games, we help students to get the most out of their learning. Our diverse approach to education keeps students engaged and entertained – even with some of the drier school content.
Be it maths, English, German, dance or science we will find a way to engage the young mind.
Linking to the Berlin curriculum
Open Doors Tuition aims to help students develop the skills to meet educational and societal requirements as well as giving room for children to explore and develop their own interests and abilities.
Our lesson plans are based on the Berlin 2017/2018 school curriculum for specific subjects along with interdisciplinary competencies and topics. Of particular importance is the focus on language and media education and how this concerns future participation in society and one’s individual identity development. Furthermore, multilingualism and media literacy are important foundations for an academic and professional future.
We strengthen competencies and skills by teaching individual topics with the creative, fun and exploratory 5-E Approach.
Learning language with us
Breaking down language barriers creates many different opportunities in today’s globalised society. No matter your age or background, learning a new language provides links to new professional and social worlds. Learning a new language is often reduced to vocabulary repetitions, text book learning, grammar exercises and stressful testing. We believe, as with all learning, that this process needs a more interactive and creative approach.
We start by exposing the students to the language and then create opportunities for them to use it as a real tool for communication. Depending on the age group we teach through a variety of games, gestures, role play, fun conversational topics and songs. Furthermore, we build our topics through personal interests of the group, setting up real chances for people to begin practicing their newly acquired skills outside of the classroom.
We do not subscribe to the “native speakers only” approach because the capability to speak a language does not necessarily correlate with the ability to teach it. Instead we make sure our teachers have pedagogical classroom experience as well as being experts in the subjects they are teaching.
Every student is different and learns in different ways. School can only go so far in tailoring individual learning paths for each student. That’s where we come in: We assess the student’s abilities in the first few lessons, then tailor a plan that suits the student’s strengths and weaknesses, whilst acknowledging the academic requirements of the school. This includes working with students to find their personal interests and favourite topics, and incorporating them into the lesson plan. This approach teaches responsibility by allowing students to have an impact on their lessons and learning pursuits.
We believe that achievement is about so much more than winning the race or getting good grades. It is about a feeling of confidence within oneself and a trust in one’s abilities to succeed in their endeavours.
A large proportion of students suffer a lack of motivation and under achievement in school due to high pressure testing, a lack of interest in school programs and (due to large class sizes) a lack of individual attention. Children with learning difficulties can be especially susceptible, which can lead quickly to low self-esteem and low academic achievements. To break this trend the student needs to be able to trust their teacher to take them serious as a person and as a learner.
Our approach is simple, we start with building trust and identifying interests and strengths and from there we build our lessons plans to suit. We do not subscribe to a one size fits all approach. We take into consideration the learning type and through continuous collaboration with the student and parents we approach learning with interesting and interactive methods, with the intention to support students to find and pursue their own aims.
The weekly research group also plays a decisive role here. Through peer-to-peer learning, students take responsibility for themselves and others. In this joint action, not only can friendships be made, but also self-efficacy can be experienced and learning can be enjoyed.
Open for everyone
Open Doors Tuition aims to be a new educational path for everyone, whether you are a new Berliner or a long-term resident. That’s why we position ourselves against all forms of discrimination.
Accepting and supporting different personalities and backgrounds as well as connecting common interests (within group classes) is our core pedagogical goal.
All our lessons are centred around inclusive educational approaches enabling children, teenagers and adults alike, to take part knowing they are in a safe learning environment. We believe that everyone can bring something new and positive to the mutual learning experience. Differences and similarities can be explored, celebrated or be left entirely aside as is seen fit by the student. Our job is to help each individual student reach their own potential, rather than forcing them into a certain mould.
Tuition and School
Although tuition must help students progress through school, basing it only on homework can have undesirable consequences. A lot of students who require extra help look at their schoolwork negatively and do not engage. By engaging our students in some more informal learning practices we can take the school out of learning.
Our philosophy is that all kids want to learn, we just need to find out what!
(Open Colleges Australia)
Learning language makes us smarter!
The renowned linguist Noam Chomsky established that children learn language best below the age of 11. This is because a young brain is better suited to distinguish between the different sounds, syntaxes and grammar forms of languages. Furthermore, other studies have shown that learning a second language as a child can vastly improve flexibility in the brain and critical thinking.
Lets get critical!
Possibly the most important skill to learn in the post-industrial age is critical thinking. That does not mean criticizing last night’s dinner. Rather it is the ability to analyse a situation from different viewpoints and processing the information in a creative fashion. Critical thinking is an essential skill for problem solving, assignment writing and building educated opinions. It is also crucial for university and professional life.
Get with the crowd: Learning is Cool
1 in 4 children in Germany will choose to join a tuition service at one point in their school lives. This is because many people have recognised that private tuition vastly improves a child’s educational opportunities.
(Technical University, Dresden)
Peer to Peer
Peer to Peer learning, AKA cooperative learning is recognised as an engaging way for students to learn, build relationships and develop self confidence. Group learning sessions allow children to take responsibility and reinforce their own learning by helping others.
(Open Colleges Australia)