Learner Voice: The power of being childish

Adora Svitak argues for MORE childish thinking, opportunities to embrace exciting, bold ideas and, most of all, optimism. Isn’t that one of the things that we tend to lose as we grow up? We all know that creativity is all too often educated ‘out’ of us, agreed. Within the loss of creativity, perhaps what we really lose is that tiny little nugget, glinting like a precious stone, known to us all as ‘optimism’.

When we are being childish in our thinking, what changes from when we are thinking the mindset of our chronological and intellectual age?

What characterises childish thinking and how can we do more of it, for ourselves, as educators?

What would happen if we planned our curriculum applying childish thinking and looking for opportunities for play, experimentation and exploration in the learning opportunities that we design?

Perhaps Adora’s call for reciprocal teaching is what we really need to take on board. So what’s our start point? Well, we could just ask, sit back, shut up and listen. Oh, and then have the courage to take action, informed by what we have heard. I’ve taken a whole load of ideas and had my thinking reinforced by much of this talk, but most of all, if I am to take just one thing away from Adora’s words, talk, it’s when she says, “To show that you truly care, you listen.” 

I’d be interested in what you think about what Adora says here too. Please leave a comment.




2 thoughts on “Learner Voice: The power of being childish

  1. Hi Edna, I watched this TED video some time ago and loved it in an instant!I am an advocate of play, childlike approaches to learning – as you can see in my post here – you can add THIS video to your blog http://ateacherswonderings.posterous.com/let-the-students-play.I think that most of my teaching relies on this genuine in-built ability of kids to go beyond expectations, to imagine, to play with thought and simply LITERALLY play. My worry, though, is that my students experience a shock when they go to 5th grade (I teach the same class from 1st to 4th grade). They always message me (on Facebook, Y!Messenger or other channels) and complain about the new style of teaching they encounter then. All their creativity, sense of wonder and play are slowly diminished starting with middle school. Unless there is a collaborative approach to curriculum, pedagogy, strategies…everything is in vain.

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