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Children learn best by observing the behavior of adults and copying it.

Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and examples to support your answer

Fifty years ago, I would have agreed with the statement that ‘children learn best by observing the behavior of adults and copying it’ but in 2012 I would have to disagree with it, since it is now a very dangerous way to learn.
Children today are bombarded with images from various electronic sources. On any given night, a child can turn on the television after dinner to a show like ‘Two and a Half Men’. It often showed Charlie Sheen in bed with two women and his pre-adult nephew in the next room.

A child can also sit in front of a computer and type in the word ‘breast’ pulling up a number of images of naked breasts. On the same computer, children are able to download suggestive video games. They might see men and women acting out violence as in ‘Grand Theft Auto’.

Young impressionable children can watch their favorite athlete or movie star live in a game or a film in the theater. Should they copy behaviors such as out-of-wedlock births, bigamy or drug addiction?

Instead, there are better ways to learn. From my experience as an educator, I have found that children learned best by cultural experiences in context. They learn these as presented to them by their parents and their teachers. These activities, to be effective, must be done in context. For example, I took my young grandson out to plant flowers and vegetables, to smell their blossoms, and to touch the dirt. By doing that he learned what nature had to offer. Every chance I get with him, we do math problems with candy, sticks or cars. That is ‘in context’.

The activities children are presented with at an early age will enable these children to become better problem solvers, active learners and critical thinkers who can differentiate between the adult behaviors that they encounter.
The best learning for children, therefore, is not the example of adults but by learning through varied cultural experiences in context.

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