Let Kids Know About Their Brains......

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 22, 2007 5:35 pm
PostPost subject: Let Kids Know About Their Brains......
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............and see what happens.

This NPR Morning Edition news segment spotlights research on what happens when kids have proprietary knowledge of that thing inside their heads.

Just being exposed to the simple idea that their brains can grow empowers kids perform with more intent and self-direction than those who don't know the 'brain secret'. Being in on the secret has a significant impact on kidsí self-concepts and motivation to learn.

Of course, in learning environments, the impact of play, when channeled into communication using puppet media, is demonstrably much greater than the impact of the 'brain secret' given children in the above mentioned research. This web site is brimming with anecdotal evidence to support that assertion.

However, the 'brain secret' research is important. It helps to make teachers and kids aware of how important this knowledge really is. Brain Science could actually be a thematic mainspring for going deeper into the world of learning. Knowledge of the brain, specifically how it evolved from the smallest one-celled creatures into the organ inside our heads, opens on the incredible unfolding saga that we are all part of---evolution on the planet earth. Yes, we study biology and neurology, but play is humanity's foundational learning and intelligence system--in the words of Paul D. MacLean, 'the nicest thing nature ever did for us." It's time, we began to apply this knowledge rather than deny it to the young.

Unfortunately, the feature shows how research impacts the world at breath-sucking trickle down speed--feed the kids this extraordinary secret about their brains, and just like their brains, they'll connect neurons and perform better. Hmm.

The elephant sitting in the classroom--along with the kids-- is Play. What if researchers leaked the secret that kids actually learn better when playing with information instead of having it taught to them--and that their learning culture actually bars them from play--in the name of education. What might that secret do to raise children's consciousness about school?
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