Sunday, March 6, 2011

Kids really do live in their own world...

 flickr photo via Chris Campbell

I just knew it...
According to this research from the Georgetown University Medical Center, mental introspection increases as brain areas begin to act in sync. Young kids really do think differently than we do!

I was talking to some colleagues recently and we were reflecting on how we (adults) lose our ability to see the world through a child's perspective. We all had one as a child, but sadly most of us have lost it. When it comes to teaching and learning, this is bad.

I've written about how we lose our dreams; that's a bad thing too, and very closely related to losing our inner child. Those of us privileged to teach kids and learn with them should try as hard as we can to remember what it was like to be experiencing things in the beginning... new frontiers of knowledge, skill, attitude, perspective, relationship... it's all new to the children we teach, and it appears they can't understand why we see things differently than they do. The egocentric world of the young child is a fascinating place where all is good as they see it.

We often make a terrible error is assuming that just because kids are a certain age, or in a certain grade, that they should be able to just get what we're talking about- often they don't, but they're trying like crazy to figure it out, and we have to understand this and honor their efforts instead of expecting too much from them.

When kids tell me they "don't know," I believe what they're really saying in their wonderfully egocentric way is, "I thought I knew, but you're really confusing me."

Let's remember to be sensitive to this perspective.
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