I will be speaking on Preschool, Thinking and Development : A Triangle Nigeria Must Connect.
Developing nations including Nigeria is not under any curse. We can’t imagine that we deserve anything better than what we already have. But you know what? We were created to live beyond our current jar, regardless of our age, sex, race, or ability. We were designed to jump so high and so hard that we can literally break the lid off wherever we are. The difference that makes the difference is in our thinking. Our thinking don’t just happen. There is a structure behind every experience. Our preschool shaped a lot about our thinking and who we are today. We depend so much on Europe and Asia for most of our needs in the early parts of the 21st century an even now. Can we allow our children to continue in that stead , if no then we must deliberately raise thinkers from our preschool classes.
Every teacher or school can help children build a foundation for thinking if they:
Provide opportunities for play
Pause and wait
Don’t intervene immediately
Ask open-ended questions
Help children develop hypotheses
Encourage critical thinking in new and different ways
Provide opportunities for play
Testing how things work informally is crucial to developing thinking. It is during play that children explore cause and effect. What happens if I drop a spoon over and over again off the side of a high chair tray or roll two coins down a stair case at the same time? By providing indoor and outdoor space for playing, along with time for pretend play, you provide open-ended opportunities for your child to try something and see the reaction; and then to try something else and see if he can create a different reaction. These hands-on experiences provide an integral foundation for later thinking.
Pause and wait.
Offering your child ample time to think, attempt a task, or generate a response is critical, but not necessarily easy to do. Try counting (silently) to 60 while your child is thinking, before intervening or speaking. This gives your child a chance to reflect on her response and perhaps refine, rather than responding with her very first gut reaction.
Don’t intervene immediately.
Instead, try counting from 1-120, or even longer, and observe what your child is doing before stepping in. As challenging as it may be, avoid completing or doing the task
for your child. For younger children, patiently readjusting and maneuvering to grasp a toy on their own encourages continued problem solving and develops executive functioning skills. For older children, ask critical thinking questions and provide enough information so they don’t get frustrated, but not so much that you solve the problem for them.
Ask open-ended questions.
Rather than automatically giving answers to the questions your child raises, help him think critically by asking questions in return: “What ideas do you have? What do you think is happening here?” Respect his responses whether you view them as correct or not. You could say, “That is interesting. Tell me why you think that.” Use phrases like “I am interested to hear your thinking about this.” “How would you solve this problem?” “Where do you think we might find more information to solve this problem?”
Help children develop hypotheses.
Taking a moment to form hypotheses during play is a critical thinking exercise that helps develop skills. Try asking your child, “If we do this, what do you think will happen?” or “Let’s predict what we think will happen next.”
Encourage thinking in new and different ways.
By allowing children to think differently, you are helping them hone their creative problem solving skills. Ask questions like, “What other ideas could we try?” or encourage your child to generate options by saying, “Let’s think of all the possible solutions.”
Of course, there are situations where you as a teacher needs to step in. At these times, it is helpful to model your own critical thinking. As you work through a decision making process, verbalize what is happening inside your mind. Children learn from observing how you think.
Taking time to allow your child to navigate problems is integral to developing your child’s critical thinking skills in the long run.
Getting children to become thinkers is to actually make them to think. Get a copy of the book THINKING ELICITING ACTIVITIES for PRESCHOOL. It’s just 2000 naira. Release date is MAY 1ST.
Are our teachers themselves thinkers?
My dear school owner how many teachers in your school can you say are actually thinkers? Teachers can’t give what they don’t have. Children cant out think their teachers. Montessorri asserts that the ages mind of the child is absorbent. It soaks in everything in its environment unconsciously between ages 0-3 and soaks it consciously between ages 0-6 and it reincarnate all in itself. The question today is that the ‘’the everything’’ includes teachers complains, teachers thinking patterns and idiosyncrasies, teachers attitude and behaviours, poverty mindset and abundance mindset in some situation. If your teachers can internalize these strands of thinking from our THINKING MASTERY COURSE what will your school look like? Some school owners are more comfortable with non-thinking teachers. True or True? I will share just two strands for this training.
8 STRANDS OF THINKING.
1. THINKING PERCEPTIVELY:
Obtain a clear view of reality
Obtain a clear view of bias
Double check perceptions
Concentrate on crucial facts
Ask penetrating questions
Lead with the brain and follow the heart
2. PROBLEM THINKING :
Focus on what the economy has done
Focus on what the proprietor has done
Focus on why your parents did not do better than they did.
All this does not allow teachers to take responsibility hence it drains all energy to think
Plan to attend our Maiden Thinking Conference on May 1st. By 10 am. Venue – ECO EVENT CENTRE, EGBEDA BUS STOP.
If we enthrone thinking in preschool, the coming generation will look back and thank us. If almost everything in your classroom, sitting room and bedroom is imported (not important ) then you have a responsibility to be part of this process to raise thinkers in our society and be at this THINKING CONFERENCE. Any society that spends more money on its adults more than it’s children will continue to depend on others.
I take responsibility for the network issues and acknowledge Ebenezer Adetola’s determination to enthrone best practices.
I honour you all.