Babies and young children seem to make no real distinction between play and learning. In other words, learning is a joyous experience for them. They should be teaching us about this vital insight!
There are some interesting points here about using thought-provoking questions to engage students early. Unfortunately, most of this discussion is about memorizing facts or performing low-level procedural activities. If you want to help students memorize, there are far better ways to do it. But is memorizing something in any way real "learning"? No. And that's the problem with most of U.S. education. Lots of memorizing, very little learning.
Exactly the paragraph that jumped out at me as well. What every teacher knows is that real solutions require investing in teachers, students, and their families. Standards have their place, but too much testing replaces creative, open-ended and inspiring lessons with test prep drills. As a child's development is seldom linear and consistent, it is impossible to measure a teacher's performance adequately using only test scores. Inspiring a love of learning and encouraging curiosity may not translate into immediate gains in test scores, but it eventually over the course of many years produces confident, curious, and productive people.
I don't believe social-emotional learning is what's going on here. Part of social-emotional learning is being able to accomplish tasks whether we feel like it or not! These children are using excuses to avoid necessary work and that will do them no good in the future when they wake up in the real world. It's wonderful to recognize one's feelings but that doesn't excuse shirking the necessary work.
I've been around e-learning as a student, as an administrator and now as and advocate. In my own experience I think blended learning environments are so far the best solution to the problem, E-learning I see it as the instrumental capital of the Learning as a whole.
There have ever been people who want to make places of learning "contented grazing" without the sometimes difficult identification of antisocial and psychopathic habits in oneself and others. Banning, or not banning, will not have much of an impact. The education is not in the book, nor is the learning. The education is in the learning experience takes place all of one's life and the experience is guaranteed. At times you are a student, at times you are a teacher (rarely in an organized education facility). The real problem is the purpose that education is perceived to play. Many people simply do not pay attention to their experiences as teaching moments. Exposure to experiences is a powerful teacher and to choose less exposure seems to be rather short-sighted. Some actively resist this exposure, maybe the book banners are in this group.While some people get on well enough by their connections, ambition, parentage, inheritances, or just plain old narcissism or psychopathy, the real test of learning in life (not talking about 'business' here) is critical thinking abilities, the ability to solve problems, collaborate on solutions with others, and development of a substantial personal integrity.
I think being outside your comfort zone (and being willing to constantly put yourself in that position) is a good learning experience. The moment you are comfortable, you know you're not learning as much as you could be. It's like what I was once told about skiing---if you're not falling, you're not learning.
There's no difference in what's happening when any kid learns to read, when an autistic kid learns social skills, or when a stroke victim relearns how to talk. All of these things are learning by practicing a lot; sometimes called "changing our elastic and malleable brain" :-)All learning and cognition changes the brain. That's what learning is. Learning is a powerful thing.A similar weird idea is when people say autism is "biological"; as if some other kinds of brains are not. "Normal" thinking and learning are also biological, folks! Unless some of you are secretly robots?