Children are surprisingly capable of self-reflection, given the opportunity.
I spent a good fraction of last night’s dinner discussing creativity with my three boys (Mighty Mite, 10yo, Worm Burner, 12yo, and Dark Omen 15yo). Their thoughts and insights give me hope for the future, but first, a little background…
Thinking Big Thoughts
Yesterday was a day to think big thoughts.
I try to leave time for that, on occasion, because we so rarely do this in the hustle and bustle of life. It helped that I was recovering from a cold and determined to rest up. So I parked on the couch, watched a bunch of TED videos, and did some thinking.
Along the way, a writer-friend on FB posted that she was stuck in her manuscript. I jumped in and offered to run a brainstorming exercise with her that I’d learned in my screenwriting class. I’d done the exercise myself several times, as well as guided other people in doing it. She was available, so we hopped on FB messaging and did the exercise right then (took about a half hour).
Awesome Thing #1: She came up with great ideas and was pumped to move forward with her book.
Awesome Thing #2: I realized how much this epitomizes modern learning.
Think about it: she posted a problem on social media, I was the right person with the right tool and the time, she grabbed onto the opportunity… problem solved!
The world did not work this way a decade ago.
Why did this work?
(I warned you I was thinking big thoughts, yes?)
You could easily say, “Oh, well, Facebook greases the way for all kinds of interactions now that didn’t exist before,” and you would be right… but that’s incomplete. You could say, “Well, Sue, you’re just a nice person, and not everyone’s going to just up and help a friend like that,” and there you would be wrong. Although I am nice, there’s something much more fundamental at work here.
Dan Pink, in this animated TED talk, spells out the best-kept secret of economics and motivation, something that flies in the face of how every normal paying job is structured today: once a task requires even rudimentary cognitive skill, larger rewards result in poorer results.
Dan Pink’s Big Idea is this: for tasks requiring any level of cognitive effort, people are motivated by three things (which are all intrinsic motivators):
- higher purpose
The Future Is Already Different
Sir Ken Robinson makes the profound case in his TED talk that we are not currently educating our children for the future…