Monday, July 18, 2016

Tales of Fantasy Instead of Text Books

Another case of science catching up with ancient wisdom.  New research in Head Start programs is showing that children are better able to take in and assimilate new information if they learn it in the context of fantasy rather than realistic mediums - i.e. fairy tales as opposed to cookbooks.  It's not conclusive from the recent research why this is.  It could simply be that kids find the fantasy stories more interesting and therefore pay greater attention. But a richer possibility is that maybe there is something about the nature of fantasy - thinking about impossible events - that engages a child's deeper processing.  Either way, it appears to be a more effective approach to learning for young children.  That's a break from accepted theories on education and, if we act on it, good news for the kids.

Covey Cowan, San Francisco, California