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Dealing with Common Learning Barriers in 4 Easy Ways

Dealing with Common Learning Barriers: Identification and Solutions.

Learning barriers can feel like swallowing an elephant since there is so much information to process that it can be difficult to know where to begin. Other times, they are as boring as watching paint dry, making you want to fall asleep. They might also feel like visiting the dentist, which is unpleasant but has long-term benefits.

Every student learns differently. Given that we are now educating Gen Z students, the most diverse K–12 cohort on record, it should come as no surprise. Similar to how no two students experience difficulty in the same manner or even in the same areas.

Students frequently encounter many learning obstacles concurrently, greatly complicating matters and producing a potpourri of difficulties. These difficulties can evolve and shift as students advance in their educational careers.

The good news is that we can avoid obstacles altogether by comprehending and recognizing the most typical ones.

dealing with common learning barriers

Identifying Learning Barriers

Anything that hinders or stops learning is considered a learning barrier. It prevents pupils from actively participating in their education, encoding knowledge, storing it, and retrieving it during practice.

Since they occur in a wide variety of forms and are frequently unique to each student, identifying these barriers to learning can be challenging. They could be as straightforward as a student losing focus in class by checking social media, or as complex as socioeconomic difficulties that prohibit a student from arriving to class well-fed and rested.

Student outcomes are eventually harmed by learning barriers. One student who declares, “I’m bored,” isn’t paying attention in class or learning the information. Another student might hesitate to try something new if they declare, “I can’t do this” (and succeeding at it). Another student will have difficulty with the upcoming lesson if they state, “I don’t understand.” It’s possible that a student who claims, “I forget,” is processing too much data to be able to learn anything new.

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dealing with common learning barriers

6 Common Learning Barriers and How to Manage Them

In order to maintain high levels of engagement, satisfy standards, and improve student outcomes, it is essential to address learning barriers and deploy learning enablers in our classrooms.

So let’s begin with the most prevalent categories of impediments.

Classroom Barriers:

These obstacles to learning are entirely related to the design of your classroom and the way you oversee instruction there. They consist of the following:

  • Disruptions or diversions that keep students from concentrating
  • Too strict or lax classroom procedures for students
  • Expectations that are either too difficult for children to meet or too easy for them to achieve
  • Pacing that is either too fast for kids to process information or too sluggish for them to stay interested
  • Arrangements that don’t give children the ideal environment for learning

Experiential Barriers:

Every student in your class has a history, for better or worse. And even if it interferes with studying in their current classroom, you won’t necessarily be aware of what that past is:

  • Classroom drama, chaotic courses, uninteresting instruction, and ineffective teachers
  • knowledge that is missing or wrong, especially if it is a requirement for your class
  • A history of having trouble comprehending and applying a certain notion

Emotional Barriers:

The level of passion kids bring to the classroom, the amount of information they retain, and the amount of effort they put into their work can all be influenced by emotion. While some emotions can hinder learning, others can be constructive.

  • Anxiety, trepidation, or a hesitation to learn new things might result from a fear of failing.
  • Low self-esteem might make pupils doubt their abilities to learn or accomplish goals even before they try.
  • Students who are afraid of change may be unwilling to try new strategies, ideas, or viewpoints.

Motivational Barriers:

Learning isn’t something you do passively. Students must put in their own effort; if they lack the motivation to do so, your courses will fail to make an impact. Students may experience lack of motivation when:

  • The lesson doesn’t pertain to their interests or daily life in any way.
  • They don’t perceive a purpose, objective, or benefit in learning what you are imparting.
  • They have little control over how their educational process develops.

Preference-based Barriers:

Regardless of your position on the Bloom’s Taxonomy of learning styles or if you’re firmly on the “debunked” side of the argument, kids at least have strengths and limitations in their capacities for information retention and self-expression. Obstacles appear here if:

  • The media or format used to deliver teaching to students does not make sense to them.
  • Only one or two formats of assessments are acceptable, and only during certain times of the year.
  • The solution to learning barriers is known as learning enablers.

For every class, no instruction can be completely barrier-free. Additionally, you cannot foresee every obstacle that will confront your students. However, it doesn’t follow that you can’t take proactive measures to address learning obstacles in your school.

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Dealing with Common Learning Barriers: Areas of Concentration

This is where enablers—strategies for dealing with common learning barriers or preventing them from hindering student development—enter the picture:

1. When mapping your Curriculum

You make sure your curriculum is designed in a logical, scaffolded, well-paced, and aligned fashion to minimize obstacles from the start by working with other teachers, administrators, and support personnel. You can keep updating your curriculum map as a living, breathing document to remove obstacles for both present and future students. It is advised to use a the Bloom’s Taxonomy while mapping your curriculum.

2. As you prepare your lessons

beginning with specific learning goals for each lesson. In your education, classroom activities, and evaluations, consider how you might play to a range of student strengths. Opportunities for student check-ins and feedback might be included to help identify obstacles and direct future education.

3. In your Reflection 

When you check in with students, pay attention to what they say. When people inquire, “Do I really have to …?,” they are essentially discovering limitations within themselves. Keep track of the times you have to repeat instructions or provide further detail. In order to compare course expectations with actual progress, Chalk offers tools that assist in tracking student progress.

4. In your Role

Teachers are role models who can convince children that it is OK to overcome obstacles. They serve as mentors who can assist students in identifying and overcoming learning obstacles. What do you think?, “Where do you want to go from here?,” and “What knowledge and skills can you draw on?” are some examples of questions that might encourage your students to take charge of their own journeys.

dealing with common learning barriers

Frequently Asked Questions about Learning Barriers

How are students with learning challenges taught?

Employ illustrations, drawings, and photos to support what they say verbally; offer plenty of independent, well planned practice; and serve as an example of the instructional techniques they want students to imitate; give examples of tactics to employ as prompts.

Why is it crucial to overcome learning barriers?

This is essential to uphold in the classroom in order to foster respect and trust. Furthermore, since some children with Special Education Needs or Disabilities (SEND) may not respond well to change, it is especially important to explain any changes to timetables or discipline policies to these kids.

How can you assist students who are facing learning obstacles?

Participate in the learning process. promote peer education. Break up tasks into manageable chunks that will gradually add up to the task aim. Be clear about the purpose of the activity and how it relates to the learner's skill requirements. Use the learners' own words, language, materials, and personal context.

Do you have a learning disability from birth?

Sometimes the cause of a learning problem is unknown. Sometimes it happens because a person's brain development is compromised, either before birth, during labor, or in the early years of life. Things like the mother getting sick while pregnant could be the cause of this.


Your aim as a teacher is to raise student outcomes, regardless of the subject you teach or the grade level. That entails being aware of their strengths and weaknesses. Before we can address learning hurdles in our classrooms, we must first understand them, just as we must learn to walk before we can run. But once we do, we improve learning opportunities for everyone who enters our classroom, not just for certain children.


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