The Fundament of Successful Learning
People are relational beings. Being seen and perceived is a basic human need. Even young children seek contact and react to other people. This can be observed on any playground: “Look how high I can climb!”. “Look what I built!”: Children don’t necessarily need praise, but they do need a lot of attention. Whether, how and what children and young people learn, whether they dare to try new things and how much patience and perseverance they show in the process, depends to a large extent on whether there are adults who take an open and unprejudiced interest in them.
Studies have shown that schoolchildren learn better as soon as an adult simply watches them – even without intervening or lecturing them. In our German education system, on the other hand, adults usually ask the questions with the expectation of a very specific answer. Learning success, however, should be measured by the expansion of competencies and not by the reproduction of supposedly correct content.
A Question of Attitude
When children and young people experience that someone is genuinely interested in them, treats them with goodwill, and curiously takes an interest in their development, it is like nourishment for the mind. What is important here is an attitude of trust: If adults hold back because they trust that the children will go their own way and find their own solutions it is possible to make real, sustainable developmental progress.
Children sense whether their perceptions and needs are being taken seriously. Even as infants, they can and want to cooperate, as Emmi Pikler has shown in her work on mindful care. From the very beginning, children learn not only by being with adults, but also from and with their peers. However, for group processes to be fruitful for learning, an atmosphere of openness, trust and mutual respect is essential.
Competence Right from The Start
Education Needs Relationship
The Zukunft bilden – Andrea & Markus Eisel Stiftung therefore promotes projects in which children and young people are considered to be of equal value and worth.