Firm Foundations

This week I have been reading, ‘A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future’ by Daniel Pink. Daniel Pink is a man who provides analysis of business trends and he lectures to corporations, associations and universities around the world on economic transformation and the new workplace. In this publication Daniel Pink explains in a convincing way that the age of left-brain dominance is gone. The future belongs to a different kind of person with a different kind of mind: designers, inventors, teachers, storytellers creative and emphatic right-brain thinkers. Drawing on research from around the advanced world, Daniel Pink outlines the six fundamentally human abilities that are essential for professional success and personal fulfillment and reveals how to master them.

One reason that I enjoyed this book was that, in my view, it fundamentally agrees with our approach to learning in our Early Learning Centre. I was deeply encouraged that a man, who does not claim to be an expert in early childhood education or even education, was describing the importance of design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning, so that we can think and live in a better and more meaningful and productive manner.

Pink suggests that although both halves of our brains are important,

“Today, the defining skills of the previous era – the “left brain” capabilities that powered the Information Age – are necessary but no longer sufficient. And capabilities we once distained or thought frivolous – the “right brain” qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning – increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders. For individuals, families and organisations, professional success and personal fulfillment now require a whole new mind.”

In our Early Learning Centre, our approach to education of young children recognises the potential and ability of children to communicate their understandings and inner thoughts and feelings using many different languages, a ‘hundred languages,’ a metaphor, as ways of expression which may include words, movement, painting, drawing, sculpture, shadow play, music, dramatic play, reaching beyond dominant conceptions of language. We hold the image of the child who possesses innate curiosity to wonder and to ask questions, who searches for meaning and the interconnectedness of their surroundings and experiences. We endeavor to foster children’s learning through the development of all their ‘languages’, which are expressive, communicative, symbolic, cognitive, ethical, metaphorical, logical, imaginative, and relational by creating an environment to support this way of thinking.

We believe such a perspective renders the education of and scholarly study of young learners through their languages, thoughts, actions and interactions as vantage points to emphasise and to focus on the ever-recyclable human resources of listening, curiosity and imagination to enable literacy and language for all participants of a learning community.

The children are able to develop their ‘whole minds’ and form firm foundations on which to foster empathetic relationships with people and the world giving hope to our future. Thus, developing attitudes for life, helping us to search for meaning and holding humanity together.

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One Response to Firm Foundations

  1. Kim Cofino says:

    Love this book! You can see why it really resonated with the education community. We’re stuck in a model that doesn’t support this kind of learning, but so many of us want schools to be more like this! You are very lucky that your environment does put all of his words into action!

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