Dr. John Medina wrote about 12 “Brain Rules” to help us all become more intelligent, more effective humans. These rules have become a movement in schools in the last years. His website discusses the implications for exercise, sleep, senses, and music on knowledge and learning, just to name a few.
The last rule, Rule #12, from his website, reads like this: “We are powerful and natural explorers.”
Dr. Medina says that the human brain is wired to learn, and children need to explore, touch things, ask questions, and interact with their environments to learn. He writes, “The desire to explore never leaves us despite the classrooms and cubicles we are stuffed into. Babies are the model of how we learn—not by passive reaction to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis, experiment, and conclusion. Babies methodically do experiments on objects, for example, to see what they will do.”
The best teachers encourage children to learn, not through flashcards or drills, but through exploration. Children need to explore, play, and question to better understand the world around them.
Children need to jump up and down, touch different objects, play outside, and draw pictures. This helps children to test their knowledge and understanding of the world.
Like John Medina, the teachers and staff at ABCs and 123s encourage our children to explore and question the world around them. Problem-solving and sensory activities naturally evolve from field trips, art, and the outdoors (weather-permitting).
On February 8, the staff from Avon and Indianapolis explored some ideas to help children explore with the “Ooey Gooey Lady,” or Lisa Murphy. She taught about multiple intelligences, a child-centered environment, and art activities. They learn ways to improve their classrooms so our kids can explore and ask questions to help them learn better.
Early childhood education degrees, ongoing training, and conferences like these equip teachers to facilitate learning by encouraging their students to explore the world around them.
Exploring is learning!