|Credit: SF Chronicle|
Okay, full disclosure, I do not have kids, but I do have six nieces and nephews and I have been a trustee of a school — have these researchers never been around kids before?! Anyone who has spent time around a two or three year old is very familiar with their incessant “why?” questions realizes that their sole goal is to understand the perspectives of others and the reality of what is happening around them.
This article then went on to state, sit down for this, that when kids were left to figure things out themselves, this is a real shocker, they actually did! This held true even if the item in question was a mechanical challenge. WOW! So glad we spent money on that study. They then went on to state that when the solution was shown to the kids, they just mimicked the solution versus getting creative — another mind blowing result… seriously?!
This, in a nutshell, is the problem with our K-12 education. Our educational system actually believes it is best to lead students versus creating an environment that allows children to actually learn. It is sad to me that this experiment was a surprise to researchers, discovering that children are “able to ponder their own actions, are also capable or weighing the action of others.”
Isn’t the whole scientific process based on the ability to ponder and hypothesize? That’s what kids do every day — they wonder and they rationalize possibilities. Why are we NOT nurturing this in our children? Why would we not think that the human mind has this capacity from the start?
The organization FIRST gets it. For the last four years I have participated as a sponsor of the FIRST robotics competitions as a supplier to the kit of parts as well as sponsoring local high school teams. The success of the FIRST model is so great and has so much impact they now provide competitions for children starting in Kindergarten with the Junior FIRST Lego league. Yep, the same kids these researchers felt could not understand logic or other’s perspectives.
The best part of the article for me is when they admit to how inexpensive it was to create this type of environment in the classroom… I really hope this research is a wake up call to our all our educators.