Friday, May 05, 2006

The real basics of learning!

  Posted by Picasa Just a chance seasonal photo in our local paper but a real learning experience for the young boy.

Learning through experience is the basis of all learning but all too quickly it is replaced by second hand learning through books and teacher led discussion about teacher topics at school.

Not that such an experience by itself is enough. Rachel Carson wrote many years ago, in her book ‘A sense Of Wonder’, that every child needs at least one adult to share experiences with young learners to keep the sense of wonder alive. And the ultimate scientist Einstein also wrote that, ‘Joy in looking and comprehending is nature’s most beautiful gift’. Understanding, comprehending and expressing ideas are important to make learning stick!

From such simple experiences arise questions that, with sensitive teachers, can lead to investigations, the development of poetic language, and inspiration to express ideas through art, music and dance.

Too many young children enter our schools with their sensory awareness deadened and, if this situation is not remedied, their innate sense of curiosity is dulled and their oral language limited. And worse still students learn not to appreciate that learning through the senses is their most basic way of learning and one that they will be using throughout their lives. And school life starts the strange journey of fragmenting what ought to be an integrated experience.

It would be great to see more sensory experiences featured in our schools to ensure children are not only made more aware of the fascinating often overlooked details of their environment. With sensitive teaching these experiences could form the inspiration for much of the class investigations. And the thoughts, arising from such experiences (scribed out by adults), ought to become the beginning of the early reading programme.

Sometimes we to quickly rush into books and in the process bi pass the very experiences young children need; ‘before the book the experience’ ought to be kept in mind!

The young boy pictured is on full learning alert. Kicking the leaves, hearing the sounds, wondering where they all come from and why they are all different colours. This is the beginning of science, art and an understanding of seasonal change and life and death.

The senses need to be recognised and sharpened by sensitive teachers - and when imagination is added learning will result.

Simple stuff.

Basic!

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the simplest experiences offer the greatest potential for learning.

Anonymous said...

Trial Blog

Amber-Lee said...

This must be a digitally enhanced photo. Where is the cottonwool to protect this poor lad from the strains and rigours of such an activity. But then I thought if the camerashot came back a bit we would be able to see Mum trying to dissuade the lad from partaking in such messy and germ-ridden behaviour. And then if the camera pulled further back....no further back......no further back...yep thats right saddly still no dad in the photo.
There are so many lads in our schools who are having their 'senses deadened' because they are bringing so much baggage to our Primary schools. Problems that so often stem from
Mums who are overprotective, fight every trifling battle for their boy and who haven't yet cut the apron strings and ...
Dads who aren't playing an active role in their child's life because of work, apathy, whatever.
I know this Blog was about sharing the awe factor with children but there is too much baggage being loaded onto ones too young.
Bruce, Blog Request: what do we do about parent education / expectations???
Children need parents who are coaches and cheerleaders...for life.

Bruce said...

Thanks Amber Lee

Today I heard a presenter say teachers and parents need to be 'dream weavers' not 'dream killers'. You can't have dreams if wrapped in cotton wool as you say!

As for educating parents I don't know the answer - give them a free copy of 'A Sense of Wonder' by Rachel Carson. She wrote mnay years ago that she had a wish that every young child had at least one adult to help them value their curiosity and enjoy the wonders of nature.