Why Are People So Surprised When Kids Learn By Themselves?

So, Ethiopian village kids teach themselves via a tablet.

Or there’s the pretty famous computer in a wall experiment where Indian kids taught themselves a whole range of things.

We read these stories, become inspired and just think it’s amazing.

But really, why is it so amazing? Why do we think so little of the future generation?

Kids don’t need teachers to learn.  Their environment is what creates them and facilitates their learning.

How many things do 0-5 year olds learn before they start formal schooling?  I think if you started to create a list then it would soon become a very, very long.

Yet, this magic ‘age 5’ is a turning point where society believes that their kids will only ever learn in a formal environment and being told what to do, how to do it and when to do it.  The fear is struck into professionals to perform to achieve some kind of target.  And parents are convinced their kids won’t make it in life without the 12 years of formal schooling.

Along the way everyone seems to forget that we don’t need what most of school forces upon us to do real learning. We forget that curiosity, passion and desire to learn something new is 1000 times more powerful and exciting.

Why are we so afraid to embrace the simple fact that all human beings can and will learn at their own pace, given the right environment and given the opportunity to make their own choices?

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