The education of children is hugely important – we all know this. Children are very much our future, and growing their brains is how we continue to advance as a society. Teaching them crucial information from a very young age is also likely to boost their brain capacity, as the brains of young children are incredibly plastic and malleable from the time they are born until they reach the age of about six. And with more nerve cells in the typical human brain than there are in the entire galaxy of the Milky Way, taking full advantage of the brain in those early years will be particularly beneficial.
But children learn in different ways that adults (and lifelong learning is important, even once you grow to adulthood and lose much of your brain plasticity), and it is important to teach them in the ways that their brains retain information the best. Playing, for instance, doesn’t feel like learning – but it is actually a really great way for the brains of young children to grow and develop. Active play has been linked to the normal development of both fine and gross motor skills, and this is actually more important than you might realize. If children have not adequately developed their motor skills by the time they reach the age of six, it is unlikely that they will ever be fully able to develop them and will be working at a deficit (even if it is a slight one) for the rest of their lives. However, regular and active play can negate the risk of having this happen.
When many children get a little bit older and become engaged in a school environment on a regular basis, it has been found that visual learning, such as through everything from a dilation chart to a womens anatomy chart or smoking chart, is the best way for young kids to learn – at least for at least as many as sixty five percent of them. This method of visual learning through the use of something such as a dilation chart can be particularly important for learning in the areas of biology and other sciences, as it can put concrete images and associations with some very abstract concepts. Health class, which can arguably also be called a certain type of science (the science of the human body, that is), can be a great place to utilize these visual displays. From the dilation chart to the chart of a smokers mouth to an anatomical chart digestive system, there are many ways to show children the inner workings of our bodies – and how we can best take care of them. And things such as a dilation chart can even help to remove some of the stigma around discussing certain parts of the body that might make children and teenagers alike (and even some adults, let’s be honest here) uncomfortable and embarrassed to even talk about. Having a visual representation, such as in a dilation chart, normalizes the body, and helps to inspire discussion around it.
And here in the United States, the focus on science has been slipping and needs to come back up. When it comes to the top forty most highly developed countries in the world, the United States ranks a poor thirty eight when it comes to the fields of science, with less than twenty percent of all college graduates graduating in a STEM field, a sharp contrast to the nearly forty percent of Korean students graduating with STEM degrees. In fact, only five percent of the total population of this country is employed in STEM careers, even though this scant percentage contributes as much as fifty percent of our whole economy. And around forty percent of STEM field college students will actually change their major before they get a degree, switching to something easier.
From the dilation chart to learning muscles in Spanish, encouraging science-based learning has become more important than ever. Encouraging children to learn in the way that their brains function best is so very crucial, and visual learners make up the vast majority of children in the United States and in many other places around the world.