I have been teaching science to elementary aged children for a few weeks now. The curriculum for the classes remains constant from one to the next in each week, yet each individual class tends to be very different from the others. Why is that? I mean, the subject matter we’re covering is the same, the materials I’m using are the same, often times the order in which we cover it is even the same, yet each class is different.
The only thing that changes from one class to the next are the children in the class. Each child has different interests and different question s/he wants answered. By letting the children ask their questions and contribute their knowledge on the subject at hand, each class turns out very different from the others. Though the children are learning the same material, they are learning it in a different way…their way.
Each child, each person has his/her own way of absorbing knowledge. By sparking curiosity, then letting the questions come in, the information is revealed in a way that suits the child. When a curriculum is set up in such a way to shut down the questions, and douse that spark of curiosity, the children will learn nothing, or next to it.
The key to ensuring that our children learn to the best of their ability is to let the children lead the way. Our children want to learn, all we have to do, is let them.