It sounds like a fancy and complicated thing, this educational awareness, doesn’t it? Yet is is an everyday phenomenon, and often a hot topic of common conversations. We all have an idea about how to raise our children – or better yet, the neighbour’s children!
We also have strong ideas and beliefs about teaching, because of the experiences we have had during our school years. Just like our beliefs about the best ways of raising children were partly developed during the time we were being taken care of. In the past these views of good parenting and good education were passed from mother to daughter, or within the community in general. I think we all should start looking for answers beyond our family traditions, or the ways “it have always been done”.
Today we have more challenges in education and parenting, due to the globalization and free information available everywhere. But where to look and find the best practices? Fortunately we have tools to define good enough parenting – or good quality education. We also have tools to understand what these good practices look like. And this is what I am talking about while asking people to raise the educational awareness in their own communities: looking for practices that support development, learning process and understanding (as opposite of obedience, performance and memorization). There is lots of data available for us in print and on the internet, and we just should communicate about the best ways of supporting learning to people we meet in our everyday lives.
For example there was a new study published today about how maternal support has an effect on our brain, in the regions that are essential to memory and stress modulation. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/01/24/1118003109 The support I am talking about is seeing the positive in the child instead the negative. So, instead of paying attention to failure and saying negative things when students / children are misbehaving or unsuccessful we should try “catching” them in the moments of good behaviour, and just simply verbalizing the positive outcome.
How could we communicate this to all the parents, teachers, grandparents, neighbours, and other people being involved with developing children?
Will you help me tell people everywhere that children will learn better in school if they have been supported and nurtured in their early explorations within the safe structure of limits?