Rule #26: Biologically, the necessary order of learning is: explore, then play, then add rigor.
Look at the process by which children learn to swim:
First, children are introduced to the body of water. Once children get comfortable in the water itself, they naturally start to play. Finally, the children begin to test themselves through increasingly rigorous rules and specific challenges. These exercises force them to hone skills they can transfer to other bodies of water.
Children move effortlessly from exploration and free roam to structured but simple games to taking on rigorous challenges.
First, imagine how stunted and crippled and punitive the learning process would be without the exploration and play phases.
Second, imagine how the first two phases would be implemented in a traditional state-run industrial school—with tests and metrics and “teacher and student accountability.”
- Rule 1: Learn to be; learn to do; learn to know.
- Rule 3: Learn something because you need it or because you love it.
- Rule 8: What a person learns in a classroom is how to be a person in a classroom.
- Rule 12: Internships, apprenticeships, and interesting jobs beat term papers, textbooks, and tests.
- Rule 33: In education, customization is important like air is important.
- Rule 36: Fifteen models that are better for childhood learning than schools are.
- Rule 43: [Parents...] Avoid "the drop off."