Hope you are all taking time to listen to this TED talk by Alison Gopnik suggested in the last blog. Here are some more reasons to listen to her if you are not yet convinced!
This video also has an ‘Interactive transcript’,this means you can click on any part of this transcript and the video will start playing at that point! Here is a little of the transcript below. Go on to the TED.com site and try this out!
What is going on in this baby's mind? If you'd asked people this 30 years ago, most people, including psychologists, would have said that this baby was irrational, illogical, egocentric -- that he couldn't take the perspective of another person or understand cause and effect. In the last 20 years, developmental science has completely overturned that picture. So in some ways, we think that this baby's thinking is like the thinking of the most brilliant scientists.
Let me give you just one example of this. One thing that this baby could be thinking about, that could be going on in his mind, is trying to figure out what's going on in the mind of that other baby. After all, one of the things that's hardest for all of us to do is to figure out what other people are thinking and feeling.
And maybe the hardest thing of all is to figure out that what other people think and feel isn't actually exactly like what we think and feel. Anyone who's followed politics can testify to how hard that is for some people to get. We wanted to know if babies and young children could understand this really profound thing about other people. Now the question is: How could we ask them? Babies, after all, can't talk, and if you ask a three year-old to tell you what he thinks, what you'll get is a beautiful stream of consciousness monologue about ponies and birthdays and things like that. So how do we actually ask them the question?
You will also find fabulous comments from others about the blog, here is one from Robert Johnson
The idea that we should teach more (and babysit less) in very early childhood is, IMHO, totally correct. I have observed and believe that nearly all children are born "geniuses" and we teach them to be "dumb". Dumb in the manner of parroting and repeating, often by rote, what is taught. We grade children on what they regurgitate rather then their ability to observe and think. I totally agree that teachers of early age should have more training and more money. Children are brilliant individuals and it is a shame to waste (for the most part) that potential."
Also have a look at Alison Gopnik's website http://www.alisongopnik.com/
On this website are a number of interesting links to her books, papers, research and a range of other videos to listen to.