Learning

Ideas to take advantage of the surprise effect in children's learning


We live in a world in which few things amaze us; the older we get, the less surprises we get. There are few circumstances that surprise us (it is true that we have lived longer), but what about today's boys and girls? Do they show surprise in certain situations? Are they easily surprised? We tell you how to take advantage of the surprise factor or effect at home or class to improve children's learning, according to their age.

The surprise factor is essential in the early ages to initiate boys and girls in research, wanting to know and learn moreIt is a feeling that as adults we must take care of and maintain in the lives of the little ones.

When we feel a surprise all our attention is focused on it. Being something unexpected, our body does not know how to react, sometimes it does so in a positive way and other times in a negative way, depending on whether the surprise is pleasant or unpleasant.

It is a relatively short feeling, since immediately go to another feeling: joy, sadness, anger, etc. These are feelings derived from wonder. But, as with these other emotions, both parents and teachers must take it into account in our upbringing and education.

Furthermore, as the AECC report 'Emotions' points out, surprise is related to shock, astonishment, and sometimes even bewilderment. It is a type of emotion that invites us to get closer to what is new that is happening to learn more about it and know how to react to the new circumstance.

Most of today's children are overstimulated, they are hardly surprised or amazed. What does this mean? They are minors who spend a high number of hours glued to a technological device with or without Internet access (mobile, tablet, television ...). These devices emit a large number of images and sounds per minute, impossible to make in real life, so for them the return to reality is boring, they get impatient easily and it demotivates them.

Let's take an example: a 6-year-old boy or girl should plant legumes at home in a yogurt container with water and cotton, to observe all the phases it goes through until the plant comes out. This process can last several days, but we find that the boy or girl wants the plant to be born now or has already searched the Internet for what will happen. Instead of being surprised, he has anticipated.

It is the adult's task to keep the feeling of surprise alive in the early ages, not immediately facilitating everything they want, showing them the reality of real life more than through a screen, letting them surprise themselves...

Surprise has many benefits in the early ages, such as:

- Encourage the impulse to investigate, want to know or learn new knowledge, be more curious.

- Learn to manage the emotions derived from surprise.

- Get to know the boys and girls better, if the surprise has been positive or negative.

Surprise is a fantastic resource when it comes to receiving the attention of children. It is a very recurring medium within the classrooms and that can also be transferred to homes. Depending on the age of the boys and girls, their tastes, their concerns, we can surprise them for a multitude of things:

1. Boys and girls from 0 to 3 years
At this age almost everything surprises children, since their instinct leads them to want to investigate and know everything they have around them: sounds, images, moving objects, flavors, etc. It is a range in which they do not clearly verbalize their emotions, but it is very visual, since they are capable of gesturing all of them.

2. With boys and girls between the ages of 3 and 6
It is the best age for use the surprise effect as a means of learning. It is enough to dress up one day in class or at home if we want to transmit some knowledge so that the boy or girl wants to know more and more, for example: dressing up as a scarecrow.

In this case, we can propose to the child to find out what we are wearing. In this way, we begin with the learning that we want to carry out (teaching the garden, farm animals, etc.). At these ages all minors are able to verbalize what they have felt with surprise.

3. The surprise in your children or students from 6 to 9 years old
In this age range, many boys and girls still keep that innocence and it is not so difficult to surprise them. We can do this both by way of age before and age after. It is a key age in learning and we must seek resources to attract their intention and motivation to new knowledge and surprise is one of those essential resources.

For example, to teach the bones of the human body we can surprise them with the arrival of a skeleton in the classroom or we can make a DIY model ourselves. Or if we are going to talk about minerals or rocks, it would be a very good option to have several samples of these in class. They will surely be amazed and we managed to get their attention

4. Age from 10 years
As at these ages they already control technology perfectly, the best way for a child to be surprised is to experience it 'in situ'. That is, if our son or daughter has to do a job on the Middle Ages it is better to take them to a nearby castle before giving them the computer. Visiting the castle you will learn, observe and be amazed much more (since perhaps it has been an experience that you have never had).

You can read more articles similar to Ideas to take advantage of the surprise effect in children's learning, in the On-site Learning category.

Video: How China Is Using Artificial Intelligence in Classrooms. WSJ (September 2020).