Recently I wrote about Indian experiments with minimally invasive education.
I’d like to share a story from my childhood.
When I was five years old, someone gave me an atlas of the world. It was a small book, nobody at my home was interested in it, so I played with it like with a toy. Soon I learned about countries, cities and oceans a lot although nobody taught me intentionally. I just asked everybody around about this or that country pointing to my atlas.
I drew ships and their paths across the seas and imagined myself a captain. I underlined cities and made up my adventure stories about them.
In a few months I knew by heart the capitals of all the countries, although I never made any effort to learn them. I just played with the atlas and the information stuck itself to my memory. I think I forgot some of them by now but, for example, I still remember that the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei is Bandar Seri Begawan and I remember that I’ve learned it from that atlas.
Another MIE example
Some time ago I read one blog (unfortunately I can’t find it now) where a guy wrote how his parents once renovated their house when he was a small kid. At that time he lived in the Soviet Union where people usually decorated the interior walls of their homes with wallpaper. Due to financial problems his parents stopped halfway through their renovation work for some time leaving the walls of his room wrapped with newspapers.
He played in that room, and soon inadvertently learned the information that the newspapers contained: the names and surnames of sportsmen and Government officials, the exact numbers from economic reports and scientific achievements. He also learned to read fast even if the text was sideways or upside down because the newspapers were put on the wall in different ways.
I think it would be a good idea to decorate our rooms and schools with newspapers, journals, scientific articles, pages from books, and then to update the content periodically. Not very stylish, yet so educational!