Experiential learning resources for the innovative educator
Learning and Imitation
There's no question about it, children learn by watching and imitating. These pictures are cases in point. This child of mine is a mini-me. I see her observing me. She examines my actions, takes mental note, mimics my every move, analyzes the outcome, and adjusts her behavior accordingly. All the while her brain is rewiring and building new connections as she's learning from me. I can see all of this go down simply by the expression on her face as she's watching me and mirroring my behaviors.
It’s a reminder for me as a parent and educator to model behaviors, values, and priorities that I hope to see in my own children and my students. It's a seemingly simple concept. Don't hurt others, don't disrespect others, work hard. But I catch myself often doing things that I wouldn't want my own children doing. I have to stop myself, reflect, and make changes. For example, I want my children to be good listeners. If I want that, I need to listen to them. I believe I do that....when I'm physically AND mentally present. My cellphone compromises my ability to be mentally present. My children take note. They are learning that it's OK to have their faces buried in their phones while others are speaking to them. That's not OK with me.
So I have to take a step back, reflect on my actions, ask myself if I want to see these behaviors in the children in my life, and make changes if not. Educators and parents, we need to be cognizant of our actions, because these kids are watching us!!
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Observe. Question. Explore. Share.
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To provide innovative educational resources for educators, parents, and students, that go beyond lecture and worksheets.
Sara Segar, experiential life-science educator and advisor, curriculum writer, and mother of two.