Learning to learn with play
The important thing is that every child desire to learn.
Learning to learn is the skill that allows us to organize our learning pattern through the best strategies and tools according to our needs. The European Commission considers it a “key competence” to be an active, responsible, and free citizen, able to face everyday life better.
It is “the ability to persevere in learning, to organize one’s learning also through effective management of time and information, both individually and in groups. This competence includes the awareness of one’s learning process and one’s own needs, the identification of the opportunities, and the ability to overcome the obstacles to learn effectively “.
Teaching children the best strategies for their learning means giving them the opportunity, from an early age, to develop the desire and the curiosity to learn always and continuously from all the contexts of life, even from the game.
The art of learning to learn about Montessori
Montessori, educationalist, and scientist stated that:
“if you have learned to learn then you are made to discover” and that “when the hand is trained to work spontaneously, and the will to succeed to overcome an obstacle, the conscience is enriched by something very different from a simple cognition: It is the awareness of one’s value. ”
This means that if you learn to learn on your own, knowledge becomes meaningful and valuable and not, therefore, merely a mnemonic and abstract learning imposed by someone else. For Montessori, the freedom to choose what to learn was precious for her children. It meant making them free to aspire, be autonomous, grow, and develop their ideas about the world, use their imagination and creativity in their activities; It was not just a method but an approach to life.
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Learning to learn and Metacognition
Metacognition indicates the awareness and control that each of us has on our cognitive process and represents, therefore, the ability to know and analyze our thoughts to identify the best strategies to control our learning processes.
This ability can be developed, from an early age, thanks to the approaches that parents, teachers can implement, and in general, all the figures involved in the care of children. The path to developing metacognition and the ability to learn is different. Find below some you can use with your children:
• To aim for experiential learning to generalize starting from the experience made.
• Stimulate observation of the procedures for resolving a problem rather than focusing on the solution. In this way, children are stimulated to problem-solving rather than expecting answers already given.
• Reflect on responses while playing. It is essential to ask the child, “Why did you make this choice and not another? Are there any other ways to solve the problem? “.
• Teaching to plan times and activities.
• Focus not only on what you are learning but also on ensuring that children can generalize and use those procedures and strategies in other contexts.
Learn to learn through the play
The play in all its classifications and varieties (free/structured, individual /group, indoor/outdoor, functional/imaginative, traditional/technological, symbolic) represents children an excellent opportunity to get involved, participate, and active in learning to learn.
There are many things that children can learn thanks to the activity of play. For example, learning rules and self-regulation, mastering their ability to solve problems and reflecting on possible solutions, learning to respect their turn and others’ times, stimulate their imagination. That is, they determine to learn social values and to reflect on their actions.
At Masch&Co are very attentive to children’s learning. Our mission is to stimulate children’s curiosity, creativity, and desire to learn new things. We want children to learn the essential values of sharing, social inclusion, respect, and mutual help.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Letizia Grasso, Educationalist
“All grown-ups were children, but few of them remember it” This phrase is engraved on my heart. The child who marvels at small things is always with me. I firmly believe that the school should focus on the self-construction of knowledge through direct contact with the outside world and, therefore, through life experiences. A school open to life and from life itself learns. A school that teaches to observe every little thing, to wonder, and to ask questions. A school that forms adults who know how to reflect and put into a relationship the mind and heart.”