Learning through play
The learning and thinking of very young children is strikingly similar to much learning and thinking in science. They test hypotheses against data and make causal inferences; they learn from statistics and informal experimentation, and from watching and listening to others. They do this best through play, which is the jungle-gym of learning.
If play is the jungle-gym, language development is the merry-go-round which spins off reasoning, literacy and mathematics. Children who are exposed to a rich vocabulary through story-telling, reading and social interaction are primed to learn. They learn from each other as much as from their teachers: even from a very early age, reasoning and argumentative skills can be nurtured through creative engagement among children. These skills are vital in stimulating a culture of creative innovation.
Teaching should be fun for both children and teachers. Teaching allows children to swing higher than the confines of their immediate environments. It should expose children to life experiences and ideas that spark their imagination. Children from poorer backgrounds often lack the basic conceptual tools for learning, which is a major reason why they drop out of school. Exposure to new ideas, experiences and learning techniques can improve learning outcomes for poor children.
What we support:
- Reading-for-joy as a fundamental tool for learning, exploration and imagination;
- Access to books and other reading resources;
- Creative learning spaces for learner-driven exploration of knowledge;
- New technologies as a way of enriching user-driven learning;
- Re-integration of motivated school dropouts and underperformers into the formal system.
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