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  • Ever feel like you're capable of far more than what society expects of you?

  • I know I do.

  • Remember being a teenager...

  • ...and school being less about a passion to learn and more about getting good grades?

  • How many times did you sit in class bored and desperate to just get away?

  • Every teen's felt that.

  • Albert Einstein acted on it.

  • Age just 15: he's sitting in class when all of a sudden he decides...

  • ..."enough is enough", gets up and walks right out the door.

  • He never goes back.

  • Remember being a kid and just wanting to play around with stuff...

  • ...pull things apart, not things together...

  • ...and the grown-up saying "No, no, no"?

  • Or being called "Good" for sitting still...

  • ...or "Naughty" when you couldn't bear to sit still any longer?

  • It's all completely well-intentioned, of course,

  • but that doesn't make it any less insane.

  • Because the fact is our capacity to create and learn knows no bounds...

  • and the latest research proves it.

  • The invention of MRI scans, only in the past 25 years,

  • has allowed scientists to see which parts of the brain are used by different kinds of thinking.

  • We now know infinitely more than we did about how we learn and what makes up human intelligence.

  • And it's extraordinary.

  • So, want to know what you're really capable of?

  • Let's start at the beginning.

  • A baby's brain is amazing.

  • It doesn't take nine months to create.

  • It's taken seven million years and around 350,000 generations.

  • All the skills, knowledge and talents cultivated by our ancestors are stored inside it.

  • These are like numerous software programs...

  • which can only be activated by the baby engaging with its environment.

  • Here's the striking thing:

  • if not activated at the most appropriate time they simply disappear.

  • Take language:

  • if a child doesn't hear language by around the age of eight...

  • ...they may never learn to speak.

  • So you can see just how important our interactions are.

  • They ignite are dormant intelligence and they reinforce too.

  • There's something else. We've evolved to learn by looking at things from different perspectives...

  • and making connections between things, and we do that through play.

  • So wouldn't it be amazing if we bore all this in mind when raising kids,

  • Letting them play when they're little and when they're older too?

  • Charles Darwin's teacher said he'd never amount to much because he spent too much time playing with insects.

  • So let children play, because it's never just play.

  • Of course it takes more time and energy to do this,

  • but when you're deciding where to focus resources for kids learning...

  • you couldn't do better than focusing on pre puberty.

  • That's when we learned by copying the people around us.

  • After 12, or there about, it's all changed.

  • Say goodbye to pliable easy child and hello to rebellious challenging teenager.

  • Where did that cute baby go?

  • Oh, well, let's have another look at that brain.

  • See what's happening?

  • Loads of the connections made through childhood are breaking up and reforming.

  • From around the age of about 12 through 20, the equivalent of an earthquake takes place in a young person's brain.

  • No more going along with what the grown-ups say. The adolescent brain needs to go its own way.

  • "Oh, no", say parents. "Oh, yes", say evolutionary scientists.

  • Because if we hadn't developed this urge to do things differently we would never have made it this far.

  • Up until about 60 or 70,000 years ago...

  • was fine for children to grow up like their parents,

  • but then along came the last ice age.

  • Thank goodness for the handful of our ancestors...

  • ...who chose to break away from their doomed parents freezing to death in the ancestral caves.

  • They built rafts and set off across the ocean hoping to find a place with a warmer climate.

  • Critically this made risk-taking the essential feature of adolescence.

  • We shouldn't belittle adolescence, we should be honoring it for what it really is:

  • the defining struggle, the moment when the next generation challenges the status quo...

  • ...and pioneers new ways of thinking and being that ensure our survival.

  • Now, just imagine if we actually gave adolescence the freedom to undertake that struggle...

  • rather than force them to sit passively in class.

  • How about trusting that there earlier clone like learning...

  • enables adolescents to spread their wings and work things out for themselves?

  • If that sounds terrifying, it needn't be.

  • Because if we allowed their natural curiosity to flourish in childhood...

  • they'll be bursting with the longing to learn and climb unscaled mountains of the mind,

  • and that's not scary, that's exhilarating.

  • This is the way we've evolved to be. It's what makes us fulfilled well-adjusted human beings.

  • Let's stop trying to live in a way that so goes against how we're hardwired to live.

  • Let's allow ourselves and the next generation to reclaim the incredible gift of our ancestors.

  • Adolescence is not a problem, it's an opportunity.

Ever feel like you're capable of far more than what society expects of you?

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B1 US adolescence brain play age activated teenager

Born to Learn (with subtitles) // Nacidos para aprender (con subtítulos)

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    鐘燕華 posted on 2017/04/02
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