Isn’t it interesting…….
…watching the excitement and anticipation of young children helping mom make cookies? Initially, they are mesmerized, watching the preparation of the cups of measured ingredients, asking questions like “What’s that?” and “Can I pour it in the cup?” As the supplies for the cookies come to the table, the struggle to keep enthusiasm in check becomes overwhelming and they are so eager to start making the cookies. Such joy!
Visiting a kindergarten classroom, I was hoping to see the same enthusiasm and excitement for learning. Instead, I saw children in small groups, with identical pictures to fill in and color; identical letters to trace. As children completed their papers, several disrupted others. Children who experienced difficulty with the task gave up quickly and left the group.
If young children, all children, are to be engaged in learning, they must:
- see/feel a connection to the learning
- be encouraged and respected to be creative (which as children get older leads to accepting and respecting diversity)
- see joy in the learning process.
Without joy, why would they persist in learning something new at all?!
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Elaine M. Millen, M.Ed. C.A.G.S., has over 50 years of experience in education as a teacher, principal, director of special education, curriculum director and assistant superintendent of schools. She has taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As an educational consultant/instructional coach, she has worked countrywide with hundreds of school leaders in areas of leadership, instructional coaching, and student engagement. She worked with Brown University as a consultant, guiding project work. Elaine.firstname.lastname@example.org
Authors: Dr. Robert K. Greenleaf was formerly a professional development specialist at Brown University. Bob has 45 years of experience in education ranging from superintendent, principal, teacher, & special education. As President of Greenleaf Learning Bob has traveled the world conducting Brain & Learning Institutes. Dr. Bob’s doctoral work was at Vanderbilt with undergrad psychology. email@example.com