Look, Listen and Learn
“We have been fascinated with understanding the nature of children’s brains and their remarkable ability to learn. Researcher Alison Gopnik, author of The Philosophical Baby, reports that children’s flexible brains allow them to hear more, see more, and experience more than adults. She has discovered that young children are better learners than adults—they work to learn about the world like the most advanced computers and expert scientists. To study this ourselves, we offered a group of 4- and 5-year-olds small, colorful ceramic tiles, containers, marbles, wooden frames and hoops, and a variety of glassware and small spoons.
Initially the children were unsure about what to do, asking us what we expected. When we suggested they let their brains lead the way, they dove right in. They began to experiment with the materials we provided. They were sorting, making patterns, balancing, rolling, shaking to make noise, cooking, hosting a tea party, and inventing games. New ideas spread like wildfire. When one child came up with an idea, other children were inspired to try it and often added something new.
We invite you to study these photos. Use the questions to deepen your thinking and appreciation of children’s remarkable learning abilities. You can work alone or with others who might offer different perspectives. We hope you will be motivated to closely observe the children you teach and enhance their innate brilliance.”