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  •  Some books you might read (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    texasmom, JDsg

    Mindfulness and The Power of Mindful Learning by Ellen Langer

    Punished by Rewards by Alfie Kohn

    Why We Do What We Do by Deci and Flaste

    The Difference ... by Scott E Page

    The toothbrush case is a good example of what happens.  If a child asks if a toothbrush is for cleaning her teeth, Langer might say that "it could be" used that way rather than "it is" used for cleaning teeth.

    If learning is guided too much by limiting possibilities, the child will become less creative.  If we regularly provide external motivations for what is naturally intrinsically driven, the child will become less creative.

    If you want people to work hard at something, provide them with external incentives, but don't expect them to then work effectively with others or to work creatively.

    If you want people to remain creative all of their lives, support what they like to do without praising them for it too much and find ways to work with them in solving the problems that they are interested in.

    Never treat children as flawed individuals who need to be fixed for their own good.  If we take our children seriously, we can learn at least as much from them as they can from us.

    "Trust only those who doubt" Lu Xun

    by LookingUp on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:28:55 AM PDT

    •  I think my wife was more upset... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      texasmom, LookingUp, Elizaveta the "misuse" of the toothbrush than I was.  Granted, using a toothbrush on one's foot is not something I'd have encouraged my daughter to do, but I'm also much more familiar with stories of products or other items that are not used for their intended purposes, but have been used successfully in more creative ways. I mean, who would normally think of putting some Mentos into a bottle of Coke Light to create a fountain?

      Muslims and tigers and bears, oh my!

      by JDsg on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:17:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You just reminded me of wintergreen (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        candy and the band bus.  In high school, we used to look for  different varieties of wintergreens and crunch them rapidly to shoot sparks out of our mouths - entertainment on those late night rides on the band buses.  We'd have a contest to see which variety sparked the most.

        Kinda gross, but fun at the time.  

        The truth always matters.

        by texasmom on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 08:35:00 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  My daughter was once shown (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        texasmom, JDsg

        four pictures and asked to point out which one didn't belong. There was a sock, a jar, a cup, and a bowl. She picked the jar because it was made of glass and you shouldn't take glass outside (our safety rule for avoiding broken glass everywhere). Then she thought for a minute and said it could be the sock, too because you aren't supposed to go outside in your socks (not that that every stopped any of my kids from running around the yard in socks).

        Of course, the "right" answer was the sock because you can't fill socks up with water (sort of a random answer, but it made enough sense). M kids can tell you that you can fill socks up with lots of other things and they had to give the water theory a try before they bought in to it.

        My daughter was probably five or six at the time. Now she's 18. She still finds answers others didn't think of and questions how test questions are written and why there is only one right answer (we often find that there is more than one answer that makes sense or that the test is incorrect).

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