Friday, December 4, 2009

Brain-Based Learning: Core Principle 3

The third core principle of brain based learning
is my favorite, and is something I said to myself continually as I taught high schoolers:

The search for meaning is innate.

The dictionary defines 'innate' as existing in one from birth; inborn; native. Applied to brain based learning, this means that all children want to learn because the search for meaning is a part of them and always has been.

I see this daily with Ty and Za. Za, especially, wants to learn. She is trying to walk, so she tries to figure out how to let go of furniture while looking for her next piece to grab. She puts everything in her mouth. She looks at noise and light. She points now, which is fairly new and tries to mimic what we say, such as pointing at the dog and saying, "du, du." 

Often, Za, now 10 months old, does not care if she can't learn something. She isn't bothered and goes on to her next task. Ty, however does care. He continues to try. More times than not he is patient but sometimes he does fuss when he can't produce his desired result. He is trying to identify numbers past '10' and gets twelve and thirteen confused. All day, he will bring me numbers, trying to get it right. Eventually, after many tries, he did. He wanted to learn those numbers. I was positive about it, but didn't give him overwhelming pep talks. It was a natural desire.

Overall, they both keep going, because their search is innate. 

This website reminded that since my children are so young, my interactions with them are ever so important: 

What children need most is loving care and new experiences, not special attention or costly toys. Talking, singing, playing and reading are some of the key activities that build a child's brain.

Recent equipment and technological advances have allowed scientists to see the brain working. What scientists have found is that the brain continues to form after birth based on experiences. An infant's mind is primed for learning, but it needs early experiences to wire the neural circuits of the brain that facilitate learning.

The two lessons combined, that learning is innate and that their brains are primed for learning, hone the message that my interacting in a positive way will pay off later for them. I'm giving myself a pep talk that even though I am not producing huge results (Za surely doesn't talk back to me), I am truly forming them.