Natural learning has always been accepted, if not expected of babies as the learn on their journey to school. So, why is it that once they reach school age, that abruptly ends?
Before we were accepting that all children learn to walk, talk, go to the toilet and feed themselves when they are ready.
It has always been a known fact that babies do things when they are ready. That has always been encouraged and embraced. Our excitement, as they discover something new, is close to theirs.
The education Department accepts that children do have different learning styles; but there is one that will always be the same for each and every child, which seems to be frequently over looked, and which all children thrive from. That is self directed learning.
When a child is genially interested in something it is retained, as opposed to learning to pass a test, where the information is forgotten soon after.
An example would be a boy I know, who was interested in all the flags of the world from the age of four. He can now recognize most flags on sight at the age of eight. Whereas other children who are made to study flags of the world, and are not interested will find it difficult and boring.
So, why are we reluctant to give children the rein’s and let go? Is it because we don’t trust the children? Maybe we are fearful that they will chose something that we think will waste their time, that they will learn nothing from, maybe computer games? Can they learning anything of value from that?
Maybe they can, if they don’t learn to read the words on the screen, how can they play? Maybe addition, problem solving is incorporated? Technology, computer skills. Technology and computers are going to be part of our children’s lives, and they will no doubt need that knowledge.
So, should self directed learning form part of the Australian curriculum?