It is clear that from the moment of birth a child is learning; the brain hits the ground running and it does not slow down. In fact, during the very early years one could say that toddlers are either learning or sleeping. They are born curious and motivated to understand the world around them. It is during the first 5 years of a child’s life that 85% of their brain is formed and crucial brain connections are made which form the basis of all their learning.
Young children learn a lot through imitation but there comes a time when they want to do things for themselves, figure things out on their own. Say hello to…adolescence!
Adolescence gives rise to the thought that children should be given the opportunity to learn and not just be taught. These years are an amazing time for the learners to develop creativity and independence by collaborating with their classmates, and having access to other resources and opportunities for learning other than the teacher.
There is a growing appreciation of adolescence, instead of fobbing it off as the time of the “terrible teens”. It is during this time that the brain undergoes another season of rapid change and development. No, their brains are not malfunctioning but rather adapting to allow for opportunities for learning by trial-and-error experience, exploration, taking risks, and trying new things.
Whatever causes a child to fail or drop out of school, it cannot be attributed to a lack of potential. Every child has incredible, innate potential which education is partly responsible for drawing out and developing. Children are hard-wired to learn, so let’s do our part to ensure that their learning has a long-term positive impact on their lives.
Take a moment to watch this short video on this subject.