CHAPTER 6

Principle 1: Relevance

One ought to demand nothing of children through obedience … they can learn nothing of which they do not feel the real and present advantage in either pleasure or utility … . Present interest, that is the great mover, the only one which leads surely and far.

—Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Definition

Learning is optimal when the focus of the learning is owned by, important, and timely for the individual.1

Julia: Why should a lesson be relevant?

Think of how you learned to talk. You were barely three years old, and you had learned a number of words that helped you to communicate and express your needs and wishes. How did you learn the syntax and complexity of your own language, without any structured lessons? You learned ...

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