The Importance of Play and Experiential Learning in Early Childhood
Psychologists say that knowledge gained through the use of images and hands-on experiences that we are exposed to go into our long-term memory and they are retained there as compared to knowledge gained through lectures methods which go into our short-term memory.
Here are some key points on the importance of play and experiential learning in early childhood
- Education in early childhood lays the foundation for further course of studies and therefore it becomes important to teach a child in a manner so that the concepts are well understood by the child and can be recalled by him easily as and when needed.
The experiential learning lets children chose their own areas of interest and to work through hurdles and problems that they encounter in a real-life scenario.
- They are not just doing normal calculations like,’3+3 is equal to’ because their mentor says its relevant, they are working out how many toffees they have, how many bananas monkeys ate or how many pencils they need to pick up. A common issue for primary class children and high school children is that they loose disconnect between theoretical concepts and its real-life application.
They are unable to understand why we are studying this? Experiential learning explains the importance and application of maths, science and other subjects.
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What is important for the growing children?
It is important for children to experience what failure means in real life and how to overcome such situations. In short, it prepares them to be a strong citizen of tomorrow, as they learn to tackle such problems themselves.
Experiential learning is cooperative in nature and allows children to find their own solutions with some from others rather than using a conventional formula. Children will be more innovative and creative in coming future because they will be in habit of creating their own right paths to get there.
It develops leadership skills, social skills and builds the habit of working in a team. It will make them respect other ’s point of view as learning is not just academics but also the development of life skills.
Teach a child how he/she wants to learn, not how you want him/her to learn. The results will be phenomenal.
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This article is contributed by Ms. Aparna, an MSc in Organic Chemistry from Hindu College, Delhi University. She was also Awarded Post Graduate Diploma in Pedagogy by the prestigious TeacherSITY (2016-17). In her free time, she loves to dance, and calls it a great stress buster. She also loves cooking and believes in being an easy going, a very co-operative person to work with.