|When the ball of tape stays stuck to her hand, she develops a new theory.|
In 1938, educational philosopher/researcher John Dewey said:
“The scientific method is the only authentic means at our command for getting at the significance of our everyday experiences of the world in which we live...scientific method provides a working pattern of the way in which and conditions under which experiences are used to lead ever onward and outward.”
We can talk about the concept of "sticky" with children (and yes, "sticky" is a concept, not just a word) but until they experience it, over and over and over again, it is meaningless.
For young children, they can experience sticky when they eat pancakes for breakfast, and get syrup on their hands. Notice them experiencing it-- pressing their hands together and then pulling them apart; making a fist, and then opening their hands; squeezing their fingers together and then spreading them apart. We're quick to clean their hands-- because as adults, we usually experience sticky as gross and unpleasant.
Children can also experience sticky with tape, as they did in the Maple Room classroom this morning. They experienced it with their hands, as they balled up the tape and tried to set it down; they experienced it by trying to peel it off the table; they experienced it by trying (unsuccessfully) to shake it off of their shoes. And as they experienced it, they built and reshaped theories in their minds, building new neural pathways all the while.
A young toddler knows that if she opens her hand, a ball drops to the floor and she assumes the same is true for every object. That's her theory based on her previous experiences. When the ball of tape instead stays stuck to her hand, she has to modify that theory to include what happens to objects that are sticky. Sometimes sticky objects don't fall.
At the YCCF, we offer children a variety of experiences, including sensory ones, because we know that this is how the natural way that they learn about the world.