Brain development: you should not excite the child

We are learning more and more about how our minds work. Hence also about its development. For example, brain experts have noted that education is not always proportional to children’s brain development. Sometimes the brain is not ready yet. Is it time to look at education from a different perspective? In an article in Psychology Magazine, I read new insights into children’s learning ability and it’s definitely also fun to learn to swim.

brain development

Neuroscientists have done a lot of research on the evolution of our brain in recent years and discovered that the brain matures at different stages during our lives. Some structures are already reasonably completed at birth, while others are fully developed around the fifth, eighth, fifteenth or even after the twentieth year of life. For example, the number of connections in your brain grows first, allowing you to develop in all kinds of directions, then the connections that are little used are erased and then the remaining connections are improved, as it were. This whole process takes about 30 years. So everything is in time. But what happens when the brain learns something that it is not yet ready for? Are there differences in the brains of boys and girls that affect the learning process? In an article in the Journal of Psychology, brain researchers Gilly Jules (professor of neuropsychology at VU University Amsterdam) and Evelyn Kron (professor of developmental neuroscience in society at Erasmus University Rotterdam) made a number of recommendations. Here are half of the recommendations for learning to swim.

1. Give the late pants some time

Brains develop at their own pace, but this is not usually taken into account in education. With all the consequences that ensue, you have to stop yourself from stimulating the brain by learning the things the brain is still ready for. Which could have the opposite effect. It turns out that if kids learn something that isn’t yet possible because the brain isn’t fully developed yet, it can create a fear of failure with far-reaching consequences. As a result, children may have an idea that they cannot and may not be able to do something, which can have an effect until a later age. So you have to be patient with the late shorts and give them time. Definitely don’t pay for something you can’t really ask the kids at all.

Read also: “Do you make boys in swimming lessons enough boys?”

2. Be careful of busy men

The brains of boys and girls are almost identical in nature, but there are differences. For boys, programs that provide activity and exercise are somewhat more active. As the boys’ body develops more muscles and heavier skeletons, exercise is important for them. In practice, this means that boys often climb, jump and run more often. But also boys are often seen as busy and girls are seen as calm as a result. However, brain researchers call this functional stress, it is important for boys for their development. Girls’ minds are usually less focused on exploration and less focused on motor skills. Girls are more interested in communication, which means that they also engage in social interaction somewhat earlier than boys. Does this mean you should treat boys and girls differently? Regardless of gender, you should encourage children from an early age to be exploratory and entrepreneurial, as well as to develop their social skills. This means that boys can be a little busier, but don’t see this as an obstacle to the learning process.

3. Do not let the children choose yet

The frontal lobe, which is the area responsible for logical thinking, decision-making, and impulse resistance, among other things, is gradually maturing. For some, this doesn’t mature until after their twenties, and only then can the emotional brain process information in a more controlled manner. Which means that even then it is difficult to oversee the consequences of certain choices. In fact, children are still not able to make responsible choices and properly assess possible outcomes. Also when it comes to swimming safety and water hazards. So parents choose their children and protect them from danger. But there are also parents who leave the decision, for example, to stop swimming lessons with the child. Because the child no longer feels it, parents decide to stop early or they don’t keep up with swimming enough. Or is the child convinced that it is important to his or her safety. But the child does not see the importance of learning and continuing to swim for his safety (swimming). For the child it should be fun, for him or her in the end the most important reason to keep going.

Courtesy of Psychology Journal “Why Education Doesn’t Fit a Child’s Brain”


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