Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Play Hookey, Please




Psychologist and baby mind expert Alison Gopnik is an anthropologist, even though she might not know it.
Ok, so this is Margaret Mead not Alison Gopnik, but you get the point.
While reading Gopnik's recent article on how kids learn I found myself nodding my head over and over because she totally "gets" that kids don't learn like adults in Western culture think they learn, or think they should learn.

Image result for kid in preschool

Sure, we can make them go to school at three years of age, we can make them sit at desks and quietly listen, but really they would learn better, faster, and more intelligently if we simply left them alone.

Gopnik cites several studies of how even babies  have a sense of complex physics, and cause and effect. Their innate creativity and puzzle solving skills are simply deadened by all that school.

Babies and little kids are, in fact, always watching, listening, hearing and usually imitating, navigating what its means to be a little human on the way to being a big human.

And we in Western culture are so stuck on children growing up to be "successful" in our information age that we push them into a formal school settings that they really don't need.

How boring. How dull. And just the thing to turn off a young mind to really learning. Kids have to fight to learn in spite of the adults.

 I say give any kid a giant cardboard box and then leave the room and come back an hour or two later and see what happens. And that kid might just end up going to Columbia University, and changing the world.
Image result for kid in cardboard box