Recently, Rowan has started to become a journalist and has become very active in his own learning, interviewing the people around him in order to explore deeply some topics of the national curriculum related to history, spanish, math...Leading the interview and writing down the answers himself; it’s extraordinary how far he has come.
This is how he started to learn more about the Vietnam War by interviewing his neighbour Robert, a Vietnam Vet about his involvement during the war. He learned how to introduce himself in Spanish by interviewing some of the HB team people coming from South America (Belen from Bolivia and Julian from Colombia), and he also learned about the meaning of the mean value and its practical use in life by interviewing Iliane about her experiences in sharing things in a fair way between people...
He is learning from the people around him, from their experiences as human beings.
Rowan interviewing his neighbour Robert about his experiences during the Vietnam War.
Suddenly learning becomes fully alive. This is all about learning the “collective” knowledge, the knowledge of our grandfathers, of our past generations, the historical knowledge and the scientific, biological, mathematical, physical, geographical knowledge.
What if the purpose of education was to create this journalist/scientific mind, a creative, active mind which is explosive, free to explore and inquire deeply into any subject without conforming to a pattern which school/ society has set.
But how do we help children develop such a mind? Children are born with an intense curiosity and desire to explore the world around them. This natural joy of exploration is a force that drives their learning, critical thinking, and reasoning. So the key is simply to follow, encourage and guide the child in this natural way of exploring the world:
Following the child is helping them to learn through their interests. Indeed researchers in neuroscience have found that when curiosity is stimulated during learning, there is not only increased activity in the hippocampus, a region of the brain involved in the creation of memories, but also in the brain circuit that is related to reward and pleasure. (See science of learning) So encouraging a child to learn through his interests would be simply to foster this natural desire of exploration and learning. Learning becomes a rewarding and pleasant experience, leading them to learn more and explore for themselves.
Following the child is also helping them to learn through physical movement, moving with them and guiding them in his natural exploration. Indeed, studies have shown that allowing and encouraging the child to physically move while learning facilitates the neural connections in their brain that are involved in learning. (See science of learning)
Following the child is all about giving them the tools that would help them to think clearly, to go beyond words to understand their true meaning so they are free to learn any subject and can develop their own knowledge and creativity.
So education should not be only learning from books, memorizing some facts in between the walls of a classroom but going out in the world, exploring, questioning, learning from the people that are part of the history and present story of mankind.
When you cultivate such a journalist mind, you develop relationships with others and the world around you, and you become a human being that knows compassion, such a human being knows what it is to be alive, what it is to be happy, what it is to identify and build your dreams.