In our desire to make the educational process uniform in this country, I think we may have forgotten the true aim of education, especially with our youngest citizens. Education, at least in my mind, should entice, delight, inspire, and ignite a desire to know and understand more. The educational method should also promote the cultivation of socially and emotionally aware human beings. To accomplish this, I feel there needs to be a greater emphasis on learning how to interact with the “self” and relate to the world from a deep sense of self. In this process, the child can learn the most important thing of all— who they are, how their own mind functions, and what fascinates and is important to them. These insights are the seeds from which true success can spring.
The idea of helping young children learn by interaction with themselves and by expression through their own hands, in response to their environment, is not a new idea, but one that needs to be woven more fully into our existing curriculum. For some of our youngest citizens, workbooks and mechanical learning teaches them that school is a dull and boring place that has very little in common with real life. It is not accidental that many children’s zest for “going to school” at five years of age is replaced at age eight or ten with boredom, lack of interest in learning, negative attitudes, and sometimes rebellion.
On the other hand, a more collaborative and unpredictable approach to learning is more engaging for the young mind because it seeks novelty. It is also a great way to grow and learn.
Recently I spoke with a young man who had just graduated from a top university in this country. He was horrified by the fact that many of his classmates were stifled by the fear of making a mistake and did not know how to think for themselves. Instead they were still operating from the mindset that was laid down in elementary school, “…just tell me what to do and the expected outcome and I will do it…”
This is not learning!
True learning is about fascination, the desire to explore, trying new things, problem solving, and discovery. There seems to be an illusion that when children graduate and go away to college they will learn to think for themselves and carve their own path. Some do, but many don’t because they haven’t discovered the intoxication of learning. Instead they are perpetually stuck, because they have not been given adequate opportunities to cultivate the art of exploring and fall in love with learning. This behavior needs to be learned, reinforced, and encouraged both in the home and in the school at a very early age. But how can parents who have never learned how to engage and delight their own mind, or teachers who are shackled by antiquated curricula and literally have no time to accomplish all they are expected to do to achieve this?
When you understand how the mind works, and how stress compromises the learning process, it becomes easy to prune and convert existing curricula into something that is more alive and engaging. Remember: if you want your students or children to learn something new, their conscious mind needs to be activated. This means the learning process needs to ignite their curiosity, creativity, and at the same time keep their body in a relaxed and open state.
The I Create What I Believe! (ICWIB) Program offers a variety of ideas and simple activities you can easily weave into your curriculum to help your students or children learn to activate their conscious mind autonomously. Over time, it will become part of their new natural response to life.
If you would like to explore the I Create What I Believe! Program, the following activities are currently available on the website for free (just click the link to access an activity).
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version One video
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Two video
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One: Version Three video
ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part One
ICWIB Instructional Guide: Part Two
Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four
Just Scribble, ICWIB Activity One (text):
Labyrinth, ICWIB Activity Four (text):
If you find the activities helpful and are interested in more, sign up for our FREE ICWIB newsletter: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/newsletter/
For more information about the I Create What I Believe! Global Classroom: http://icreatewhatibelieve.com/global-classroom/
For more information about teacher training via Skype: