Sunday, November 13, 2011
Home Schooling - Part 12 of a 12 Part Book Review - Brain Rules - Rule 12
Song: Gift Of Life
Composer: Thomas Bergersen
BRAIN RULE 12
EXPLORATION: We Are Powerful And Natural Explorers
The author covers some fascinating examples of animal and human
responses to observed stimuli...the ability to learn from how others do things
through our ability to imitate through the Brain's use of Mirror Neurons.
We can feel what another is feeling through visual or auditory cues.
This way of learning is so powerful that even through our own movies of the mind...
we may learn or rehearse movement or behavior without actually doing it (visualization).
This is the reason that it is so important to conduct yourself in a correct manner
in front of your children. Especially when they are young...
much of what they learn is monkey see...monkey do.
Perceived attitudes are picked up and mimicked.
For many of us...our first realization of our children doing so
is an "Oh No!" moment.
The Author also revisits the notion of plasticity in the brain...
even in adults. This means that anyone can learn anything...
at any time...it just takes more time the older you get.
The real variable to learning is the amount of desire spurring drive.
Exploration is the unfettered desire to satisfy curiosity.
It is the drive to learn...
to input information into our hard drive.
it is never shame on them for exploring their environment...
it is shame on us if they get hurt during their exploration
(it is always up to us, as parents, to baby safe the environment).
It is not exploration that you wish to curtail...
it is the concept of sharp, hot, bad, dirty....etc. that you wish to teach...
and in how to recognize them. Again...not by detail first...but by large categories.
In attempting to dampen exploration... you attempt to dampen curiosity.
This is from where their drive for learning comes.
This is to always be encouraged.
1) Babies are the model of how we learn - not by passive reaction
to the environment but by active testing through observation, hypothesis...
experiment, and conclusion.
2) Specific parts of the brain allow this scientific approach.
3) We can recognize and imitate behavior because of
"mirror neurons" scattered across our brains.
4) Some parts of our adult brains stay as malleable as a baby's...
so we can create neurons and learn new things throughout our lives.
We have always encouraged Alex to explore his world.
We made special effort, when he was very young, to ensure
his safety so he could have unfettered access to as much of
his environment as possible...to explore and learn...
mostly to stimulate and nurture his love of learning.
An example of the amount of environmental stimuli and the baby safe
environment we had established for Alex when he was still very young.
This book was as informative as it was fun to read.
Although much of it was basic common sense...
what was surprising to me was how much of it was
actually experimented with and researched.
This book is very informative and examines much of what we take for granted.
For new parents and for teachers (which all parents should be)...
this is a good reference book...
a reminder of the basic what and whys of human behavior...
probably one of the most fascinating subjects one could study.