18 March 2011

on stimulating creativity and curiosity

I think this Slate article provides support for Montessori-style education (at least for preschoolers): Why Preschool Shouldn't Be Like School. The article summarizes two studies which will soon be published in the journal, Cognition. They show that when a teacher tells a child how something works, the child assumes that the teacher has told them everything they need to know about it. 

Direct instruction really can limit young children's learning. 

But if a teacher models exploration and wondering, then the child is more likely to explore on their own and even "to draw unexpected conclusions".  

It's more important than ever to give children's remarkable, spontaneous learning abilities free rein. That means a rich, stable, and safe world, with affectionate and supportive grown-ups, and lots of opportunities for exploration and play

[hat-tip to K, who put a link to this article on her Facebook page]

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