instruction just doesn’t work, babies can ‘tell’ you that

all I have now

… one ‘told’ me the other day. I wish I had taken a video!!! But the reflection on how this event could be useful for so many others kicked in (too) late. Now, all I can do is try and share it with you using words…I guess, this could be developed into a little picture story or comic strip and I might actually attempt to do this.

Well a few days ago, I was trying to show a 10-month-young baby boy how to ring a cow bell (I have loads of them at home and use them for teaching too). I placed the bell in his little hand and showed him how we could make it ring. We rang the bell together for a little while and he instantly started smiling and you could see it in his big eyes how excited he was. Instantly, I knew the bell was a hit. He must have loved all the noise he could make using the bell. However, what he didn’t like was me showing him how to do it. I understood that straight away.

The baby-boy was determined to take the bell from me, and he did. He started experimenting on his own with it. He didn’t need me! He wanted to make the bell ring on his own and he tried different techniques. No, he didn’t copy how I did it. He wasn’t interested in my way! He tried it his own way – and soon discovered that this wasn’t going to work. But he didn’t give up and he didn’t keep trying doing it the same way!!! The baby boy soon changed technique and was so happy to discover that he could now ring the bell even louder than we did together. He had full control of what was happening. He was smiling and laughing and having fun and the noises where filling the whole house – his laughter and the sounds the bell was making. It was such a great experience to witness the pleasure of learning through play and discovery.

What are the implications of the above for teaching and learning? Are we all experiential learners? Do you remember pedagogy, (also instructional theory) andragogy and heutagogy and how these seem to be attached to specific age-groups?  I would be very intersted in your views linked to the above observations, reflections and thoughts.

I just wish I had the camcorder at hand and captured this little important episode…


One thought on “instruction just doesn’t work, babies can ‘tell’ you that

  1. Hi Chrissi — Clearly you have an interest in Creative Play and learning. I have started a CMC11 “channel” called Creative Play in Education, and would love to see you in there. Maybe we can work out some ideas we may hold that are still in their infancy and not ready for prime-time blogging, and/or use the site as a centralized place for sharing links to our separate “libraries” (such as you diigo site) that are relevant to the Creative Play topic.

    the URL is … only one forum post there right now that I put up to kick off the first discussion if anyone’s interested. (Or just start a new discussion!)


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