Learning With Wonder
A Childhood Manifesto
What happened to the dinosaurs? Why is the sky blue and not green? What is on the back side of the moon? Can cats eat dog food?
To a child, the world is a place of wonder, a place where every fact needs to be more deeply explored and every assumption needs to be questioned.
As educators, it is our job to help all children uphold this wonder and inquisitiveness -- now, as they grow, and into their adulthood.
Children are born learners and explorers. They have an innate capacity for learning that is tied to who we are as human beings. They need time to play, to rest, to freely explore, to discover nature, to make friends. What we teach children, and how we teach them, will have a material impact on who they become as adults.
Teachers are here to ignite and channel children’s innate curiosity. They have the power to change how children think and how they learn. It is their responsibility, their unique opportunity, to help children find joy in learning, to coax out inquisitive thinking and encourage free thought. By making coursework and homework active, interesting and exciting, they can help students take a topic and explore it, master it and own it.
Learning is at its best when it is messy, loud, active, fun and intense. The spirit and passion of learning is more important than the facts and figures we memorize. Learning should align to where children, adolescents and young adults are in their development to help form habits of mind, evolve new ways of thinking and develop the capacity for continual growth.
We are tasked with the quintessential duty of giving students the tools they need to grow their curiosity and answer new and more challenging questions every day.