Infants and young children are not just sitting twiddling their thumbs, waiting for their parents to teach them to read and do math. They are expending a vast amount of time and effort in exploring and understanding their immediate world. Healthy education supports and encourages this spontaneous learning.— David Elkind
The most captivate David Elkind quotes that are life-changing and eye-opening
Decades of research has shown that play is crucial to physical, intellectual, and social-emotiona l development at all ages. This is especially true of the purest form of play: the unstructured, self-motivated, imaginative, independent kind, where children initiate their own games and even invent their own rules.
Friendships in childhood are usually a matter of chance, whereas in adolescence they are most often a matter of choice.
Certainly, young children can begin to practice making letters and numbers and solving problems, but this should be done without workbooks. Young children need to learn initiative, autonomy, industry, and competence before they learn that answers can be right or wrong.
The conviction that the best way to prepare children for a harsh, rapidly changing world is to introduce formal instruction at anearly age is wrong. There is simply no evidence to support it, and considerable evidence against it. Starting children early academically has not worked in the past and is not working now.
When we are polite to children, we show in the most simple and direct way possible that we value them as people and care about their feelings.
We now recognize that abuse and neglect may be as frequent in nuclear families as love, protection, and commitment are in nonnuclear families.
Taking the child's point of view demands good will, time, and effort on the part of parents. The child is the clear beneficiary. Parents who make the effort to understand their children's point of view are likely to treat children fairly and in an age-appropriate manner.
If it is to be done well, child-rearing requires, more than most activities of life, a good deal of decentering from one's own needs and perspectives. Such decentering is relatively easy when a society is stable and when there is an extended, supportive structure that the parent can depend upon.
If learning to read was as easy as learning to talk, as some writers claim, many more children would learn to read on their own. The fact that they do not, despite their being surrounded by print, suggests that learning to read is not a spontaneous or simple skill.
I believe the important thing is to continue to create new experiences.
That's why so many retired people travel. New experiences raise our consciousness and stimulate cognition. Retirement offers the opportunity to learn new things, and that is what keeps you young, at heart at least.
Preschoolers sound much brighter and more knowledgeable than they really are, which is why so many parents and grandparents are sosure their progeny are gifted and super-bright. Because children's questions sound so mature and sophisticated, we are tempted to answer them at a level of abstraction far beyond the child's level of comprehension. That is a temptation we should resist.
Sigmund Freud was once asked to describe the characteristics of maturity, and he replied: lieben un arbeiten ("loving and working"). The mature adult is one who can love and allow himself or herself to be loved and who can work productively, meaningfully, and with satisfaction.
So while it is true that children are exposed to more information and a greater variety of experiences than were children of the past, it does not follow that they automatically become more sophisticated. We always know much more than we understand, and with the torrent of information to which young people are exposed, the gap between knowing and understanding, between experience and learning, has become even greater than it was in the past.
Certainly parents play a crucial role in the lives of individuals who are intellectually gifted or creatively talented. But this role is not one of active instruction, of teaching children skills,... rather, it is support and encouragement parents give children and the intellectual climate that they create in the home which seem to be the critical factors.
Children in the 21st (century) have been transformed from net producers of their own toy and play culture, to net consumers of play culture imposed by adults.
Much of the pressure contemporary parents feel with respect to dressing children in designer clothes, teaching young children academics, and giving them instruction in sports derives directly from our need to use our children to impress others with our economic surplus. We find "good" rather than real reasons for letting our children go along with the crowd.
Play is not only our creative drive; it's a fundamental mode of learning.
Modern children were considerably less innocent than parents and the larger society supposed, and postmodern children are less competent than their parents and the society as a whole would like to believe. . . . The perception of childhood competence has shifted much of the responsibility for child protection and security from parents and society to children themselves.
It makes little sense to spend a month teaching decimal fractions to fourth-grade pupils when they can be taught in a week, and better understood and retained, by sixth-grade students. Child-centeredness does not mean lack of rigor or standards; it does mean finding the best match between curricula and children's developing interests and abilities.
Honesty remains the best policy. If parents use alcohol in moderation in front of young children, that provides the right model. Drug use is more complex because even moderate use can have unforeseen consequences.
Young children learn in a different manner from that of older children and adults, yet we can teach them many things if we adapt our materials and mode of instruction to their level of ability. But we miseducate young children when we assume that their learning abilities are comparable to those of older children and that they can be taught with materials and with the same instructional procedures appropriate to school-age children.
There's enough evidence that variation in sexual orientation is more a function of genes than of environment and for that reason alone, it should be accepted as but another example of human variability.