Have you ever watched a child play? They are so creative. Left alone, they will use toys and other objects in ways that adults would never imagine. Unfortunately, most adults aren’t content to let kids discover their own ways to play. Here’s some research showing how damaging the well-meaning attempt to “teach” children how to play can be.


It turns out that there is a “double-edged sword” to pedagogy: Explicit instruction makes children less likely to engage in spontaneous exploration and discovery. A study by MIT researchers and colleagues compared the behavior of children given a novel toy under four different conditions, finding that children expressly taught one of its functions played with the toy for less time and discovered fewer things to do with it than children in the other three scenarios. –Science Daily


Writing Prompt: Create a scene where a teacher either helps or hinders learning by his or her teaching method.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a teacher who made an impact on your learning.

Art Prompt: Teacher

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell your audience about the importance of play and exploration in the development of children.

Photo Credit: pedrosimoes7 on Flickr

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