"Screens are harmful to children's education"
Education should focus on discovery and invention.
Scientific researcher and educator Catherine L'Ecuyer is concerned that children are being over-exposed to electronic devices.
No screens under the age of two
In 2017, the Canadian Pediatric Association recommended that children should not be exposed to screens at all before they are two years old and should have less than one hour of screen time a day between the ages of two and five. Furthermore, and as is logical, anything they do access should be suitable for their age. Not so much as regards content, but pace.
Children learn via interactions with humans, not screens. They connect with you by looking at you.
It's nonsense to think that letting children use new technologies at a younger age helps them to learn to use technology more responsibly. It's like telling a small child to pour themselves a glass of water from a fire hydrant without spilling any. The best preparation for the online world is the offline, or real, world.
Teachers transfer knowledge, but they do not generate truths. In order to have true authority, teachers must be able to forgive and ask for forgiveness. Pupils and children must see that the reason their teachers and parents do something is not always just so they can be right. Because, it's possible to make mistakes and still have a great deal of authority. In fact, authority is mainly based on trust rather than perfection. There are no perfect teachers, just those who hide behind their authority to pretend that they are. Children must view their teachers and parents as being there to help educate them rather than as disciplinarians whose purpose it is to implement a strict set of rules. We should question why we impose the rules we do in relation to the objectives we hope to achieve. Education becomes problematic when methods and objectives get mixed up.
The role of teaching is different today than it was in the past. Nowadays, children can use a tablet to access all the information they need. Does this mean that they question the concept of a teacher or their authority?
Teachers play a really important role in helping to make an education system successful. This is because they know about and love the material they teach and are consequently able to convey it sensitively and intuitively, which electronic devices will never be able to do.
It's important to be able to differentiate between what's fashionable and what's worthwhile. Our children's education must be based on evidence rather than fashion or events. We must try to remember that education is innovative because it is truthful, rather than the other way round.
Find out more about Catherine L'Ecuyer
- Educational researcher and teacher. Canadian-born Catherine L'Ecuyer is the author of the books "The wonder approach" and "Educar en la realidad” ("The reality approach"). She believes that children are currently over-exposed to electronic devices and that they should be spending more time inventing, discovering and learning about real life instead.
- Is there any way to combine classical education with new teaching methods? The idea that children are at the center of their own education is nothing new. However, new teaching methods remind us that they are and help us to move away from the behaviorism and mechanical approach that have characterized traditional education for a long time, which led us to view children as passive beings that can be programmed to receive knowledge.
"There are no perfect teachers, just those who hide behind their authority to pretend that they are. Children must view their teachers and parents as being there to help educate them rather than as disciplinarians whose purpose it is to implement a strict set of rules"
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