TED Conversations

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 11 2013: Filling your brain with knowledge about the world, especially from the internet, does not equal maturity.

    Children still need a great deal of guidance to understand what it is they are seeing and learning. I would argue that they actually need more human contact and greater understanding of how to interact with each other. That is something that should be put back into the curriculum.
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      Sep 11 2013: Hi Everett, i absolutely agree with your point about guidance but is what your describing not more in tune with wisdom rather than maturity, in that although the younger generations may have a heightened intellectual maturity they do not necessarily have the wisdom in how to appropriately apply it?

      And you interaction point is a great one, because from m studies i genuinely do believe that in this information age we are losing the social interaction skills that were previously developed over time and we need to consider how to we get people to learn them from digital social environments. In traditional schooling a bully could be held accountable and shunned or even defended against, in cyber bulling there is little if any backlash which can result in a feeling of immunity to the social norms, and sociopathic behaviour that is traditionally dismissed as trolling.
      • Sep 12 2013: I think in many ways it is both wisdom and maturity. I don't have a solid answer though. I don't know that our young children have a heightened intellectual maturity as much as a better skill set for finding information. They do not have the wisdom to apply it though.

        Our kids are being forced to grow up very quickly, assimilate knowledge, develop skills, but they aren't given the skills to evaluate what it is that they are learning at a rapid enough pace to keep up with what they are researching. For example, kids know how to search the internet and find ANYTHING that they want. They also know how to skirt filters, bypass parent controls, and work around any block that is put in their way if they want too. That is a maturity issue but also a wisdom issue. The consequences would provide wisdom, but often, there are no consequences.

        I am mostly concerned with the disconnect from reality that we are seeing. Kids, and adults in all honesty, are disconnecting from each other as they delve deeper into a surreal world of technology. Reality has become what they see on the computer screen. That, to me, is a major issue.

        I also see teachers assuming higher levels of maturity, and wisdom, than previous generations, assuming that students are more advanced than what they are. The skill sets, for social skills, are being ignored in teaching which will have devastating consequences for those who immerse themselves in the world of technology.

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