Among the many lessons during the historic year, this year’s annual Condition of Education report from the Rennie Center, a research and policy think tank, highlighted just how much communities rely on their education systems. In addition to basic learning, public schools fill a variety of needs for children like food security, technology access and mental health services.
One of the beautiful parts of childhood is the fact that kids don’t have conditioned reactions to differences in people. How many videos have you watched on social media where children of different races, cultures and abilities are playing together without conflict? I tack those up with my favorites like the animal videos of the mouse and cat becoming friends.
Written By: Michele Carlson, Esko Community Education |
“We have learned from history that people are united by questions,” observed Nobel laureate, Elie Wiesel. “It is the answers that divide them.”
Questioning has a rich and distinguished tradition in education. It goes all the way back at least to the Socratic questioning method, developed in ancient Greece. This disciplined practice of thoughtful questioning enables students to explore complex ideas. In the process, they uncover their implicit assumptions, expose deeply held beliefs, and recognize hidden contradictions. Rather than the teacher filling the mind of the student, both are responsible for moving the dialogue forward.
Children are like plants: they don’t stop growing as long as we feed them with water and nourishment. They, unlike plants, do not stop learning, either. They learn from the constant stimulation that surrounds them in whatever environment they exist. They learn from us even when we think they are not watching or listening.
In light of the pandemic, some people are worried that children are not learning in their remote situations. That’s not possible. Children learn every day no matter where they are. It might not be measurable on tests or in a grading system, but there is lifelong learning occurring every day. Some of it might be helpful. Some of it might be harmful.
Michelle Weise wants to redesign how we learn. In a nutshell, she thinks that we need to shift our thinking away from this idea that people go through a long period of education when they’re young and then shift to being a worker and no longer need to keep learning. She says to keep up with the way employment is going, people will need to find a way to combine working and learning throughout their lives.
We came across this great column with ideas for activities you can do with your child to build their fine motor skills. Especially apt at this time, but also timeless!
Written By: Shannon Matzdorf, Esko Community Education | Dec 3rd 2020 – 12pm.
Fine motor skills involve the use of hands, fingers, wrist, feet and toes.
Fine motor skills also include daily tasks of zipping up zippers, tying shoes or pulling Velcro and buttoning buttons. Preschool aged children should be exposed to the use of pencils, crayons, markers, glue, paint brushes and scissors.
Giving your preschooler the opportunity to handle these challenges on their own is key to fine motor growth and independence. It is important to offer support along the way, but let them do as much as they are able to independently.
Although markers are fun to use and give a nice bright color when working on projects, it is also important to have preschoolers practice writing with other writing tools. Crayons and pencils are important for teaching a tighter grasp. This will encourage the child to use a bit more hand pressure to leave a mark on the page and help them build up hand strength.
Scissors are also a great tool to teach fine motor strength by building up hand muscles when opening and closing while cutting. Scissors also help develop eye-hand coordination, teach how to cross the midline of the body and build attention skills. Children need to focus on where they are cutting while completing a cutting project.
These two millennials may have left school, but they are not closing the chapter on learning. In this SG Pulse, Vanessa Lim looks at how two millennials – a hawker and an aspiring environmentalist – are finding their footing in the real world amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
An old proverb said, Jonathan doesn’t know what Jon didn’t learn, In today’s information age, this statement can be reworded – both Jon and Jonathan participate in lifelong learning. Both of them are learning, only that the pace of acquiring knowledge and their interests are different. One is discovering the world and the other is trying to somehow comprehend the world. The world is changing at such a rate that learning and improving oneself has become a lifestyle. Only the focus of learning is somewhat different in each period of life.