By Leslie Hundt, Ebenezer’s Curriculum Coordinator for its Oak Creek Child Care Center.
While listening to Dan Pink-The Puzzle of Motivation on TED.com I heard something that made me rethink how we teach children:
‘That routine, rule-based, left-brain work –certain kinds of accounting, financial analysis, computer programming –has become fairly easy to outsource, fairly easy to automate. Software can do it faster. Low-cost providers can do it cheaper. So what really matters are the more right-brained creative, conceptual kinds of abilities.’
This statement was so eye opening to me. Everything we do uses some type of technology; calculators to do math, google to find a definition and google maps to find a location. Technology is the cornerstone of what we want, need and how we learn. We no longer have to wonder-just google it and the answer is at your fingertips.
Think of the current technologies that did not exist 15 years ago, I pods, I pads, smart phones, tablet computers, MP3s, etc…. Someone had to invent these items, someone who had the capacity to create, think outside the box and imagine something new; someone who was not afraid to try new things, to fail and try again. When we allow children the opportunity to be creative we are preparing them for their future, for jobs that do not yet exist, using technologies that have not been invented, in order to solve problems we don’t even know are problems yet.
Are children as creative, inventive and imaginative as they used to be?
An observation: Children have become used to waiting for something to happen. Push a button and something happens, grab a device and always have something to occupy our minds. No imagination needed. No thinking needed. This type of immediate response does not create initiative, a desire to try something new or imagination to invent.
As adults we rely on our phones for everything from telling us where to drive, where to find an imaginary creature, get a recipe or drive the car for us. We are teaching our children to do the same.
Do we allow children to think, try and fail? To meet the challenges of the future children must become critical thinkers, creative thinkers, intelligent problem solvers, and good communicators. To help them we need to change the way we teach our children. It is our job to encourage their creativity, problem solving and most importantly, allow them to fail and try again. These are the skills to which will help children be prepared for their future.