Childhood formula is by far the most intimate and priced possession of a person. It does not matter who you are, where you live, or what background you come from; every person has a childhood history. The growing up formula which we carry into adulthood, are the necessary ingredients which fashion our behaviour towards our social community. Sometimes, we wish we could turn back the clock to our childhood days whence we were excited to learn and try almost everything at least once. We sought experience and adventure to help us construct knowledge about our environment.
How do children construct knowledge or how do we as kids learn to become smart, independent and free? Here are 5 pointers. Although these approaches are related to children, it does not mean they do not apply to us as adults. These are the real approaches which the child in us has taken to become the man that we are now. So why abandon and forget about it? We are what we are individual champions, free and independent because of the knowledge we have constructed as a child.
What are these 5 approaches?
Children scribble on pages to display evidence of their construction of writing. They make a mess but to them the clutter is the only way they can see the world around them and make sense of the relationship between things, and things with people. When a room is messy, there is work to be done and the learning process takes place.
They repeat their experiences, constructing dynamic interactions between individuals, the physical and social environment. When they repeat a task like bouncing a ball, they create a relationship between materials and their motor functions. They sing a favourite tune repetitiously (so do we).
Social and Experiment
They try to make sense of relationships, experiences, ideas and objects by socializing and experimenting on these idea and objects. So do we? We make connections, create our own community and seek experience on our social environment to drive our ideas through.
Children learn to ‘adjust’ the model they have constructed by comparing with their findings, asking questions and discovering answers, using new information they have collected from experimentation and socialization.
Repeat and Solve
Children are great problem solvers. They are willing to repeat the experiences and solve real problems to educate their thinking and reality of the world.
The most important for kids is that as they construct knowledge, they enjoy and can focus on the process, the means of which are merely materials and experiences from the environment. Even if they have adults to care for them, the fact remains, they grow up on their own, the environment is only an aid to their development. The environment cannot create or modify a child’s potential; the effort has to come from within.
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Children easily get bored and their attention spans are very short. So isnt it hard to get them to repeat something many times? I see that some teachers are very good at getting children to do repetitive things, which most parents are not. What do you think is the quality that makes this possible for some teachers?
Patience with following the child. Pretending that they (the teachers) have no idea what to do for the day. Children love surprises and that means magical experiences. They will naturally talk and not pay attention. There is no need to teach children to repeat a task. They do it to grow and learn. It comes naturally to them.
If we approach a child with preparedness of what we want to say, they are not very responsive. It is like meeting people for the first time and you say hello, how are you? But if you are surprised to meet your friend in a a mall or get a surprise phone call, you will start a conversation going. Children like the latter approach no matter how familiar the task is. Oh look! It Disney Channel! Even if you have said it thousand of times that week, it is still new to them.