We have seen too much that teachers and parents try to focus children’s mindset on one skill. Or even tries to push a child for one specific ”dream occupation”. But the fact is that we don´t know the future! Lifetime flexibility will be much more important.

How we help children to become fearless learners?

I believe that this was the most important topic in Slush 2017. Linda Liukas, author for award-winning Hello Ruby book series, lead the discussion on nurturing childhood creativity and curiosity with Zach Klein, CEO of DIY co., co-creator of Vimeo.

These two ambitious solvers had a lot to discuss about children, education and future. I was pleased to hear that they did not raise technology angle too much, but concentrated on the most important issue: How we help children to become fearless learners?

You should encourage the children to be curious about the world and how it works and changes.

And yes, most kids are spending too much time on internet, adults too. But something good is also in the game world. Age does not exist in games. How you perform is much more important. Unfortunately, kids nowadays might be better at recognizing TV show or game characters than actual animals. How do we reinstall the link between nature and children? You should encourage the children to be curious about the world and how it works and changes.

Zach talked from his experience about the school system in the US. He said that the lecturer is the boss and the system makes kids competing with each other’s too much. And the result is usually that everyone gets the same result. That does not lead children to an independent learning and critical thinking. In reality, we also join groups, we collaborate and work together.

Curiosity declines as children grow older.

Luckily I know that in Finnish education system the model is better. My colleague Jenni Vartiainen, the founder of Kide Science, found out from her doctoral thesis, some very important issues and results. Children are naturally curious: they wonder, ask questions, try things out and investigate how the world around them works. However, research shows that this curiosity declines as children grow older. If we can help children stay curious, then we can also ensure that they become life-long learners interested in self-development, even as they grow up.

Science process skills – The set of skills that are needed in learning in all fields of education.

And if we want to have an impact on interest for example in science, it has to start in early years, and that means already before school life, even from 3 years old. The aim of Kide Science is not only to introduce science for children. Our aim is to support children’s learning of so-called science process skills. These are the set of skills that are needed in learning in all fields of education.

We hope that adults encourage children to become independent learners like we do with our pedagogical model that is especially suitable for small children. We know that positive early childhood experiences of exploration and independent learning have effects far into adulthood. But you need playfulness for that.

Help kids thrive to the rest of the life, it´s going to be a strange journey.

 

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