• Without iPhones Can German Education Save Kids From Screens? - Psychology Today

    Creative Commons

    Kindergarten Guanacaste Waldorf School.

    Source: Creative Commons

    From giant storefront LED signs to devices that fit in the palm of your hand, we have assimilated screens of every kind. Yet from selfies that spoil the restorative effect of nature to heavy social media use that makes us lonelier than ever, screen invasion can affect self–image, the way we communicate with one another, and the way we feel [1].

    How will upcoming generations fare when they are exposed to screens earlier and in more ways than ever before?

    Social Media competes with social brain networks 

    A German approach to early education could possibly mitigate the way that screens interfere with social development in the young. A growing number of experts see high levels of stimulation from the immediate external world as a force that competes with the process of plasticity through which experience naturally forges new connections among nerve cells. Especially during the early years, these connections are laying down brain networks for socialization and emotional intelligence [2, 3].

    From an evolutionary perspective our brain is inherently social. Infants instinctively read others long before they learn to speak. They can distinguish different facial expressions and what they mean. Another burst of social development happens during adolescence and puberty, but the process continues, less robustly, well into one’s twenties.

    When the real–world experiences that drive these pathways are pushed aside by audio–visual stimulation that emphasizes sensation at the expense of critical thinking, then we have conditioned ourselves to “socialize” only through texts rather than face–to–face interactions.

    Kindergarten: “The work of a child is play”

    Early education in Germany stresses “playful learning” over rote memorization and book learning. After all, the word Kindergarten coined by educator Friedrich Fröbel in 1852 translates as “garden for children” and implies a place where they can grow up in a natural way. Kindergartens put the focus on the child and emphasize joint cooperation, learning from nature, and discovering their inner feelings.

    Kitafahrten, or “daycare outings” (fahren = to travel or wander) are the antithesis of hypervigilant helicopter parenting. German youngsters 3–to–6 years–old head for the woods accompanied only by their teachers, their classmates, and their wits. No books or pencils come along because Germans generally don’t learn to read and write until the age of 6. Phone calls and texts are verboten. “We’ll contact you if needed,” is all the teachers tell parents.

    By law, kindergartens must strive to develop their pupils into independent, self–sufficient individuals. Families do their part to instill social skills, too: It is common to send young children to the bakery or on similar errands all by themselves. The baker eagerly joins in the exchange. In America “free range” parents who encourage such behavior risk arrest for child endangerment and loss of custody to Child Protective Services. In a famous case in Silver Spring, Maryland that’s exactly what happened to parents who let their two children walk to a nearby park by themselves [4]. 

    Kitafahrt teachers don’t panic when their charges disappear, as they typically do. Experience tells them they will be fine. By nudging the very young to explore on their own, German teachers teach them to cope with challenging circumstances. On Kitafahrt outings they sleep under the stars, roast sausages by themselves around the campfire, and invent their own games with sticks and stones by the lake. As these youngsters explore the forest, choose their playmates, settle their own disputes, and figure out how to ask for help, they are developing the lifelong gift of resilience.

    Green exposure can focus the mind

    France has a similar classe verte, or “green class,” that takes place between the first and fifth grades and likewise encourages students to learn from first–hand experience such as pottery making, weaving, and exploring the woods rather than solely from books. Finland’s version is largely kindergarten in the forest with an emphasis on exploratory learning. “The work of a child is to play,” says one Finnish educator. “When they are moving their brains work better.” The American Academy of Pediatrics agreed in its 2018 report: “The importance of playful learning for children cannot be overemphasized.” Play–based building with natural materials, problem–solving, and physical activity all help to develop fine motor skills  [5]. 

    Our Stone–Age brain is at home in an environment where it gets to engage its natural disposition to socialize during the early years when it engages in robust plasticity. When the brain is busy laying down the physical networks for social and emotional intelligence is exactly the time they can be pushed aside from their prescribed trajectory by competing audio–visual stimulation that screens deliver in abundance.

    Epidemic of college loneliness

    NY Times columnist Frank Bruni says this about college freshman: “Arriving snowflakes are lonely. They don’t know how to engage other people.” Thanks to “their fixation on digital screens, communicating almost exclusively by text and avoiding face–to–face interactions.” They have had no practice in making small talk or listening attentively so they can sustain an actual conversation. They realize “to their horror that they are quite unprepared to navigate the real world. The social world” [6-7]. 

    And that’s the crux, isn’t it—the paltry development of social brain pathways in kids who have been fixated on screens their whole lives.

    Outdoors, everyone wins

    What if America adopted a European–like approach and had primary school teachers coach students in how to build and maintain friendships? Older Kitafahrt students act as guides to less experienced ones because assisting others builds character and confidence, too. Everyone learns to give and take when they practice social skills. An atmosphere in which students practice making friends and going through what it takes to sustain actual ones helps forge the social bonds that mitigate isolation, loneliness, and feeling left out.

    Because much of today’s world is predicated on the use of digital screen media, youngsters can’t realistically live as luddites. What the educational approach of other countries suggests is that building resilience and a strong social foundation leaves youngsters better able to adapt to inevitable screen technology without it undermining their social development.

    Let's block ads! (Why?)



    "education" - Google News
    February 20, 2020 at 01:23AM
    https://ift.tt/2HFWlDY

    Without iPhones Can German Education Save Kids From Screens? - Psychology Today
    "education" - Google News
    https://ift.tt/2L9LNOh
    Shoes Man Tutorial
    Pos News Update
    Meme Update
    Korean Entertainment News
    Japan News Update
  • You might also like

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

Tags

9-11 A place to start A to Z AAA Birthday advent Aging Alcohol ink Alex Syberia Design all Altenew Anniversary appliances Arteza articles of faith Ascension audio books Australia Avery Elle Baby card baby kort Baby Names Birch Press Birthday card Blog blitz blogging bokeh book review books boy card Brandt Lassen bushfires C.C. Designs camping caregiving CAS Catholic cats Children's Liturgy Choices Christ the King Christmas Cleaning Clearly besotted clutter Coffee coffee lovers blog hop COMFORT Concord 9th condo Connie Fong copic coloring Couture Creations Crealies Create a smile stamps Creative Expressions crochet dåb Dansk tekst daughter design team developing talents DEVELOPMENT diet Digi Doodles digital image digital stamp distress ink Dixi Craft dogs Doodlebug downsizing dry embossing Dutch Doobadoo Easter Education efterår embossing powder Epiphany Eskarina exercise Faery Ink fairy faith in god fall Family Family history Fars dag Father's day faux stained glass Feast Day Fitbit fødselsdagskort foil friends garden Gerda Steiner Gittes design glimmer paste glitter goals Government Graciellie grand daughter gratitude Guest designer Gummiapan Halloween HEALTH heat embossing heat tool Hello Bluebird Hero Arts hobby Hobbyboden holidays Holy Family infinity shaker ink blending ink smooshing interactive journals Joy! jul Kenny K stamps knitting Lawn Fawn Leane Creatief learning and living the gospel Lemon shortbread Lent life life-change Lil' Inker Lili of the valley Living Love Lucy Abrams Make it crafty Mama Elephant Marianne Designs Maryland Sheep and Wool masculine Max memories Memory Box mermaid minimalism Mo's digital pencil mom moving My Favorite Things my gospel standards nature Nellie Snellen Newton's Nook no-line coloring Nuvo drops Nuvo glaze Nuvo shimmer powder opaque operation skriv hjem OSH Oxide ink oxide inks Panduro Parenting peace peek-a-boo Pendidikan Pentecost pets Pinkfresh Studio planners plants PLAY poem politics Polkadoodles Poppystamps preparing for young women Pretty Pink Posh rainbow Ranger RELATIONSHIPS santa season serving others shaker card shimmer Shimmer powder sick Simon Says Stamp Simple and Basic Sissix Sizzix Sleep slider card sommer son sparkle Spellbinders Stamping Bella stencil Studio Katia Sugar Pea Designs summer Sunny Studios swatching tak tapestry Taylored expressions texture paste thank you The Cat's Pajamas The Greeting Farm The paper Shelter The Virtual Appalachian Trail Hike Three Scoops Tim Holtz Time tips Tonic studios trains transluscent tri-fold Trifold card Trinity Turnabout stamp TV unicorn update Waffle Flower walk Walking Wally watercolor watercolor markers weather Weaving wedding weight Whimsy Stamps winter WOW! wreath yarn