As a rule, LOA techniques can be implemented with any subject. People usually find it easier to use LOA while learning things that aren’t school-related. For example, if you wanted to teach someone a new dance step, you probably wouldn’t make them a worksheet with assignments to complete. Instead, you would demonstrate the dance step, and then do it together with the person you’re teaching until they can do it by themselves. With school-related subjects and language learning, we often default to completing assignments (students) or prompting others with assignments (teachers). That’s because we’ve all been taught in a learning tradition that has always done things this way. But with LOA, we can learn the subjects in school just like learning a new dance step.
On this website, we are preparing LOA-ideas for the following topics:
I German for Beginners (for those learning German as a second language)
II Math in Motion (for developing spatial learning and connecting mathematical logic with speech/language)
III Stuff to do! (activities for your free time, and how to connect them with speech/language)
IV German for Ascenders (all the grammar you learn in school and more, but without assignments)
V Glossary (informal explanations and information about the structures of language and learning)
You all are welcome to develop LOA ideas for other topics that you are interested in! Just leave us a comment with your ideas or wishes!
LOA is aimed at people aged 9 to 99.
Young children don’t need LOA because they already intuitively learn without assignments (as long as we adults don’t try and interfere). They observe their surroundings, try things out, develop ideas, and set their own goals and try to reach them.
When we start school, we tend to lose our unselfconsciousness while learning and focus on completing assignments and getting praise!
This is when LOA can help us preserve or rediscover our intuitive approach to learning.
In order to learn with the LOA method, we must be able to look within ourselves and reflect on our feelings and habits. This ability is developed by children around age nine, and grown-ups possess this faculty their entire lives.
We know that it doesn’t feel good to learn out of fear – of failure, or of being pushed to the margins by others.
Learning to be better than others and eventually get the best job? This mindset doesn’t make us happy, but only results in a few “winners” and many “losers.”
Learning out of joy and liveliness in a friendly and safe environment with other avid learners is what we strive for. That is what we wish for ourselves, and what we practice privately every day in our relationships with family and friends.
In the public sphere, competition and the maximization of profits control our lives. This hinders our ability to learn joyfully and freely, and creates divisions between people.
We want to free learning and education from the obsession with results, productivity, and commodification. And, we wish for a society in which everyone can contribute in their own way so that future generations have a friendly and healthy living/learning environment.
The biggest challenge for humanity lies in realizing that our current economic and business practices are causing death and destruction. Through the irresponsible and massive consumption of material goods, we are destroying the natural world, and consequently our own livelihoods.
We must learn to live happy lives with less material consumption. That becomes easier if we work together, act prudently, and learn how to collaborate with nature to preserve our livelihoods.
The name of the game here is not competition, but cooperation. We must share our knowledge with each other to figure out what helps us and harms us, and how we can be happier with less.
We, the custodians of this website, want to take the heartfelt, warm, and caring mindset we have toward our friends and family, and bring it into the public sphere. “We” are “We all,” and the “children of others” are also “our children.” We freely share our skills and knowledge with the conviction that empathy, cooperation, and caring will leave a positive mark on our interactions in the large public space.
German class: H. came to Germany two years ago and has enrolled in several language classes. She can solve the assignments and has passed multiple exams. Her problem: She has good listening comprehension skills, but she makes lots of mistakes while speaking and writing. In order to improve, she doesn’t need more assignments to complete, but rather someone who can show her how to consciously improve and train her affinity for language (speaking and writing ability). This person assists and accompanies her until she can independently write and speak like a whiz. Tips, ideas, and examples here: German for Beginners.
Math: F. thinks that she doesn’t have a talent for math. (“I always feel stupid in math class.”) She can solve simple math problems, but not word problems. As she gets older, she starts to have trouble with numerical math problems as well: for example, she can’t wrap her head around problems involving fractions and percentages. In her remedial math class, she keeps getting new (difficult and easy) assignments. However, no-one realizes her actual problem: F. never got a chance to develop the visual and imaginative thinking most of us unconsciously employ to solve math problems. She can’t concretely “visualize” the tangible things that are represented by numbers and calculations. Instead of getting a constant stream of math assignments to complete, F. needs somebody who will work with her to develop visualizations and “inner pictures” that will help her master mathematical and logical thinking. Tips, ideas, and examples here: Math in Motion.
German Class: The schoolteacher R notices that her students often make grammatical mistakes while writing and speaking. R. finds an assignment book designed to help children learn the 4 cases. She uses the assignments in the book to supplement her lesson plans with additional speaking and writing training. Unfortunately, R. doesn’t see the desired effects of the assignments: while the children complete the assignments correctly, they still make the old mistakes when they write or speak their own sentences. R. starts looking for other solutions and asks us how she can develop her ideas for the students’ speaking and writing training. Tips, ideas, and examples here: German for Ascenders.
The most important reasons are:
Children learn much more in their early years than they do later in life, and we (hopefully) don’t give very young children lots of assignments. Children learn best when they can pursue their own interests out of the joy of their hearts, and when their parents/guardians lovingly perceive and support their pursuits. We would like to create just such a supportive and loving learning environment for topics that we only learn later in life, such as grammar or mathematics. We want people to learn together, and we want them to have free and safe spaces to experiment, practice, and learn. And by “learning,” we mean learning out of enjoyment of the thing in itself, not because we “have to” complete prescribed assignments.