Friday, 24 September 2010

A Child's Play is a Child's Work

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There is a view that, because children are drawn to screens and screen activity, we can increase their engagement by making the content of the screen world function as a learning tool.

Is this engagement? Are children active in that process?

We know that activity, self generated, is the key to learning, the key to developing the intricate and healthy network of connections that forms the basis of our knowledge.

The key outcome from the all-party parliamentary group on scientific research in learning and education, ‘Brain-science in the Classroom’ was that knowledge is created though experience. There are no brain modules for the executive functioning which creates higher levels of understanding. They develop as a result of the network itself.

Experience builds connections.

Without the appropriate experience a child builds a virtual knowledge - a skyscraper of facts and images taken from the screen; far less from books anymore - but when from books, often very little more than a scanning of the pictures and the odd caption. We lead children to believe they know so much more than they do.
Through experience children engage and when they engage they build rich, sensory networks. In this way, over time a child develops more and more complex understandings - all based on initial sensory engagement with the world.

The more natural the play - the greater the engagement.

Discover a lot more at You can also get a free CD, "Engagement Learning - A Child's Work" if you are UK based. It spells out what engagement learning is and what you can do to help your child really engage in everything they do.

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