Saturday, October 21, 2006

Why young children are not ready to be in control of their own learning

I know it's just a cartoon, but today's strip illustrates why I don't believe that young children are in a position to direct their own learning journey. There are things they need to learn that they simply are not in a position to know that that they need to know (sorry - clumsy sentence!). They simply do not have the perspective or experience to be able to identify vital knowledge. The adults charged with the care of a child must assume responsibility for making those choices until they are ready to do so themselves. Ideally on a gradually diminishing basis. Adults have passed on knowledge to the next generation for thousands of years. In some cultures even to this day, survival depends on attentive absorption of this learning.

Of course, we will make some misidentifications, of course we will adopt some dire methods. As a race, we seldom get things absolutely right. But I don't think these errors are enough reason for us to abdicate this responsibility - it's part of the nurturing process.

Or that's what I think, anyway.

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