One of the biggest questions in terms of childhood education is when do we even begin to learn? Clearly, if we want to understand early childhood education, few questions are as crucial as this one. The majority of psychologists state that the age range from 0-3 are the most crucial, developmentally. Science writer Annie Murphey Paul presents evidence of even earlier development. Using numerous studies from across the globe dealing with food and even cultural preference, she shows that a large sum of the learning we do may, in fact, be done while we’re still in the womb.
The need for teachers doesn’t merely exist in the western world. Indeed, the places where teachers are needed the most, they’re often not present. It’s hard to convince the world’s best teachers to disseminate their knowledge in the world’s poorest places. Sugata Mitra, however, discovered something incredible in his research on education. If he put a computer in a remote village (in places where they have never been seen before), within hours students will have mastered it. Within days, they will be learning and teaching their interests and become masterful in that subject matter, regardless of a teacher.
If you asked the average adult “what do infants and babies think?” they would probably respond with a resounding “nothing.” After all, it’s our job to teach the babies and infants how to think. Most people view their brains as neurological play-dough that can be molded instead of as complex, functioning structures. Gopnik provides research to illustrate that, shockingly ,there’s a lot more going on in the mind of that infant than we’d originally think. In fact, according to her, it’s almost “genius.”
In an intimate and personal rendition of his life, Krosocxka discusses the importance of learning and loving art is to the developing mind of children. He uses his life to discuss how he came to find value in a liberal arts education and how he was predisposed from it. Although it doesn’t promise to give sheer statistical data, it does give a nice looking glass into how a successful artist grew out of a boy with an interest in drawing.
Although slated to (predictably) discus foreign policy, former Secretary of State Colin Powell discusses the importance of structure in a child’s development. He argues that structure is essentially the glue that holds all of the lessons we take in on a daily basis. We essentially need to, according to Powell, ask our family members to help create an environment of disciplined thought and structure for the children before they even reach primary school. This discipline will be the greatest tool in the child’s arsenal of success.
Surprisingly, despite his provocative title, Tulley is adamant about safety. Except his belief on safety isn’t that the world needs to be shrink wrapped and dulled for the world to be safe for children. He argues that we even think that “golf balls are too sharp for children.” He instead believes that a true appreciation for safety comes from trying new things. He gives a list of five things that you should let your child do. They may seem a bit counter intuitive, but with the right supervision it’ll only help expand their horizons.
At this school in Tokyo, five-year-olds cause traffic jams and windows are for Santa to climb into. Meet: the world’s cutest kindergarten, designed by architect Takaharu Tezuka. In this charming talk, he walks us through a design process that really lets kids be kids.
8. Play is more than just fun by Dr Stuart Brown
A pioneer in research on play, Dr. Stuart Brown says humor, games, roughhousing, flirtation and fantasy are more than just fun. Plenty of play in childhood makes for happy, smart adults — and keeping it up can make us smarter at any age.