“Siblings are the guarantors that the private childhood world – so unlike the adult world that scientists are only just beginning to understand it – is a fully shared and objective one.”
- Samuel Johnson called it the vanity of human wishes, and Buddhists talk about the endless cycle of desire. Social psychologists say we get trapped on a hedonic treadmill. What they all mean is that we wish, plan and work for things that we think will make us happy, but when we finally get them, we aren’t nearly as happy as we thought we’d be.
- Scientists and philosophers tend to treat knowledge, imagination and love as if they were all very separate parts of human nature. But when it comes to children, all three are deeply entwined. Children learn the truth by imagining all the ways the world could be, and testing those possibilities.
- Scientists learn about the world in three ways: They analyze statistical patterns in the data, they do experiments, and they learn from the data and ideas of other scientists. The recent studies show that children also learn in these ways.
- Siblings are the guarantors that the private childhood world – so unlike the adult world that scientists are only just beginning to understand it – is a fully shared and objective one.
- Something like reading depends a lot on just having people around you who talk to you and read you books, more than sitting down and, say, doing a reading drill when you’re 3 or 4 years old.
- Successful creative adults seem to combine the wide-ranging exploration and openness we see in children with the focus and discipline we see in adults.
- Teaching is a very effective way to get children to learn something specific – this tube squeaks, say, or a squish then a press then a pull causes the music to play. But it also makes children less likely to discover unexpected information and to draw unexpected conclusions.
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