Kids cognitive abilities are amazing. Believe it or not, sometimes those young folks we label " kids" or " children" know more than the so called " adults " do ( proof is in the videos below ). Cognitive scientists differentiate between the Biological Age ( physiological , chronical age), and the Mental Age. The growth of mental age is not NECESSARILY linked to the growth of the biological age and this is why we find mature kids and childish adults. Have you ever met adults or old people who don't act like the way they should or have mentalities that they shouldn't have since they are called " adults" ? Well I have and in many occasions. Mental age can advance quicker than biological age provided the kid is nurtured in the " appropriate" environment. My contention here is that we , as teachers and educators, should never underrate our kids mental abilities. We should do our best to create for them the ideal environment where their maturity can thrive and progress independently of their chronological age.
Below are some great TED videos featuring an example of the mature kids I talked about above. In fact watching these kids talk about their creations and how they are addressing a highly intellectual audience with such an elevated sense of confidence and self esteem , it makes me think that I should reconsider who the real adults are. Enjoy
1- Thomas Suarez : A 12-year-old app developer
Thomas Suarez's interest in technology and programming led him to learn Python, Java, and C “just to get the basics down.” He built an app and then coaxed his parents into paying the $99 fee to get his app, "Earth Fortune," in the app store. Thomas also started an app club at school to help other kids build and share their creations, and is now starting his own company, CarrotCorp.
2- Teen cancer survivor creates video and a social network for kids
Five years ago, 12-year-old Steven Gonzalez, Jr. found himself lonely and afraid while battling a rare form of cancer that gave him only a two percent chance of survival. Today, he is a survivor of the deadly disease and credits video games as what helped him get through the hardest part of his life. He’s created a video game to provide that form of relief to others who are now going through similar pain and seclusion.
3- Adora Svitak : What adults can learn from kids
Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.
4- Birke Baer: What's wrong with our food system
11-year-old Birke Baehr presents his take on a major source of our food -- far-away and less-than-picturesque industrial farms. Keeping farms out of sight promotes a rosy, unreal picture of big-box agriculture, he argues, as he outlines the case to green and localize food production.