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David Williams

Training Specialist , Arvato

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Is the increased maturity of children leading us to educate them wrong?

In modern first world culture children not have much more access to information through multimedia and technology. Censors are more lenient, mobile internet more prevalent, access to knowledge and people is easier than ever.

Children as a result are less likely to ask questions and may be more inclined to self educate in areas of curiosity and interest. Does this new access to to information that would be previously staggered and controlled mean that children are maturing quicker and education needs to account for this?

Adults learn because they want to or have to, unlike children can be told to, will this now change?

Do we need to take more form Andragogy to apply to our Pedagogies?


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    Sep 10 2013: For those not familiar with Andradogy......


    Your OP is fascinating...........how did you come up with the question? If I may ask?
    What else have you observed in today's youth?
    And what age groups are we talking about?..........5-10, 11-14, or 15-17+??
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      Sep 10 2013: Hi Mary, it is an idea that occurred to me as I'm working on my PhD and i was considering various impacts to learning scenarios. I work in adult education and specialize in policy and sensitive topics for a major internet and search provider, so in these include things like Child Safety and Adult content etc, where I've seen how things like sex education and racism are more open and visible topics which were traditionally hidden or at least controlled conversations. I see how 18 year olds are coming into work with more and more knowledge of these topics from self experience and exposure.

      Also in Ireland unfortunately we have had a recent influx of child suicides and where cyber bullying and such are very prominent and the maturity levels and more mature pressures have become more apparent for the younger generations.

      From my experience I was working with a group of 8 year old's recently from the UK where more than 50% of them had access to mobile devices.
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        Sep 11 2013: You know David, as a teacher of small children, I find that children are coming to school with a lot of knowledge......or at least a lot of access to knowledge.

        As for maturity........hmm.....I don't know.

        It's kind of a toss up for me.

        I think that children are being exposed to adult topics early on.....via technology......but, is it possible that they are not able to process all this information in a way that makes for healthy development? I don't think many of them truly understand what they are watching and listening to.

        I sure wish parents would think twice before exposing their small children to all that is out there.
        It is kind of sad.

        Your question continues to be a fascinating one.........I do hope you are able to test out your theory somehow, and that once you publish your findings, you will be able to help education in one way or another.
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        Sep 11 2013: Let me come back and say that some older teenagers are indeed a bit more knowledgeable as to adult topics, and perhaps all the exposure through technology has in a way made them a bit more mature.

        Do you think perhaps that due to this we might be able to, lets say, start them off on a university degree or a technical career sooner?

        Or were you thinking of something else?
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          Sep 11 2013: Hi Mary,

          I don't think whats needed is to necessarily start work or college sooner, but to perhaps deal with people in an environment with more reasoning and respect of independent reasoning skills which could lead to a learning environment that encourages participants to surpass predefined learning objectives and really grow.
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        Sep 11 2013: David, having read what Fritzie stated above, and your reply to her and to me, now I am a bit more educated and enlightened as to what it is you are trying to do with the conversation.

        And as Fritzie has brought out, we already do this here in many schools......although sometimes individual teachers take matters into their own hands if they are a bit old school and haven't changed their ways and adopted the new pedagogy.

        Have you ever come to the United States and been involved in any kind of professional development workshops or educational courses?

        Sounds like perhaps you would enjoy these.........or perhaps visiting local schools?
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          Sep 11 2013: I have worked with professional development with a few US firms, as for schools my experience is limited to Ireland, England and Cambodia.

          Depending how I further this study an understanding would be great. In fact a comparative of the Asia/Europe/US would be quite interesting, as with the US being at the front of technology and technology based environments this could be a case of something that is already happened in the US and has yet to filter to other societies.

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