Teaching Them Why

It’s much easier to teach children how to do something or what to do. Teaching them why, which is what they truly want to know, requires more effort upfront, but in the end children develop their own critical thinking skills and do not become so reliant upon others to do their thinking for them.

We have become a technical isolated society with rather isolated knowlegde-bases. This leaves us with underdeveloped critical and creative thinking and intuitive apparatuses, causing many people to become too heavily reliant upon others to synthesize information for us.

An example of integrative teaching and learning that my 4 year old daughter Brooklyn and I engage in:

*Brooklyn left her Playdo out of their containers last night before she went to bed. When she went to play with it this morning it was hard and dry.

*I asked her why do material objects that were once soft turn hard, it is because their water content evaporates in to the air, just like Brooke’s footprints evaporate when she walks along the sunny pool deck.

*Also heat causes material objects to speed up their molecular movement and become softer, eventually transforming into liquids and gases, whereas cold causes their movement to slow and become solids (like water to ice).

*Therefore if we work some water into the Playdo with our hands and then speed up the Playdo’s molecules in the microwave, perhaps we can restore her Playdo to a workable condition.

*We did and she can now link several different phenonomena into a single integrated mental construct. In this way a consistent perception of reality can be synthesized without the confusing single data, or rote learning, that is so prevalently taught today. We remember and mature when our memories are linked up well.

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