In this TEDx presentation, Dr. Nancy Carlsson Paige talks about the difference between direct teaching for the answer, and indirect teaching for the concept behind the answer.
Allowing children to learn first through play and discovery in the preschool helps them develop capacities which will prepare them for the concepts they’ll learn in grade school.
She uses the example of her son and a new friend playing together in a park, to illustrate that when young children learn through play, there is a lot of power in that learning experience, including:
the initiative the kids took,
defining and solving their own problems,
showing original thinking in inventing new ideas,
and perservering and cooperating in working together.
Education goes wrong when we try to take this power out of the learning experience, and instead “drill and grill” facts into the children. “We take their love out of that learning,” she says. The cost is that young children in classrooms all over the country are tuned out, confused, scared, and have already learned a sense of failure.