Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Children Learn Like Scientists

In yet another fine study from the Department of Duh, researchers found that when left to their own devices, children learn like scientists!

I hate to sound so cynical about educational research, but this seems so very obvious to me. If you spend ten minutes with even a very yong child, you can watch them make sense of their world by interacting with it, testing its capabilities, combining the old with the new, failing, trying again.

You don't see very young children voluntarily submitting themselves to the kind of punishment that is sitting at a desk in a structured way; most often, young children rebel and have very short attention spans when asked to complete adult-designed tasks. The study above confirms this and says that,

"...ensuring each child has a nurturing environment to explore early on may be as or more important to getting them ready for school than ensuring they meet pre-literacy benchmarks."

This is not a radical notion to me. We should allow freedom of movement and play, ask questions and follow the lead of young kids. How better to give them a sense of their own brain power? How better to keep them thinking, active and involved? How better to give them a feeling of personal responsibility for themselves, their education and their world?

Not a big leap here. Let kids be kids and lead the way. Just like mini-scientists.

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