They'll believe they can fly

This image was sent to me by my university colleague Will Barlow. It is clearly an illustration from another age, but the sentiments are as true today as they ever were: If you constrain a child's creativity and imagination, don't be surprised if they begin to lose their curiosity and passion for learning about the world around them.

It was wonderful earlier today to see almost 2000 very excited school children witnessing British astronaut Tim Peake's launch into space. They were watching the live TV coverage from the Science Museum in London, and I couldn't help but wonder whether that excitement will be transformed into a lifelong passion for scientific discovery. They are certainly in the right place to learn about science. One would hope that those teachers in charge of them will allow them to spend some time walking around exploring the exhibits, and focusing their attention on what scientists have achieved. The Science Museum has a particularly good display of space memorabilia, including a full scale replica of the Apollo lunar landing craft. Those children might also be encouraged to follow the 6 month long mission by Major Tim and his two fellow spacetravellers - they will be back on earth again just in time for the end of the summer term. How many projects can the kids complete in that time that will help them to learn more about subjects such as the environment, physics, biology and technology?

It only takes one person, one event, one experience, to create a spark of passion in a child. My own lifelong passion for technology and learning began on a school trip to a science museum (the full story is here). Sadly, it also takes just one person, one event or one bad experience to turn children off for life. Let's not clip the wings of our children. Instead, let's give them the space to believe they can fly.

Image source

Creative Commons License
They'll believe they can fly by Steve Wheeler was written in Plymouth, England and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.


Martin King said…
"It only takes one person, one event, one experience, to create a spark of passion in a child" - yet that spark can be extinguished by a whole system designed to enforce conformity ....

John Laskaris said…
I think student-led training could be really helpful to the cause of empowering students, wouldn't you say?

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