ChildCareExchange.com about George Forman. George Forman is the emeritus professor at University of Massachusetts. As a researcher he would video kids playing to determine how they learn (rather than study them in a laboratory setting). The short article linked to a monologue of Dr. Forman talking about how kids learn. (You can listen here.)
The most fascinating thing he said, the thing that has me really thinking - kids take a verb approach to the world. Their learning consists of acts and events; they see the world as how things change or don't change as opposed to what things are. Many times teachers focus on "what do we name this thing" (noun approach) but they should stress how to change something from one state to another, to help the kids understand how to change things (verb approach).
My mind has been reflecting and dissecting this thought since I heard it. I think I agree. The kids I know are always asking "What do we do here?" I've always advocated process (the doing) over the end product (the result)...in art and in other activities. Kids enjoy figuring out how to use the brushes to create colors or effects rather than creating a specific representational picture. They draw pictures of things they cannot identify. They ask me, "How did you do that?" rather than "What is that?"
I also noticed in the past months that I've been asking a different question when I look at a painting or a structure or other creation. I now ask: "Did you paint something or did you just create a design? Did you build a kind of building or did you just build?" I'm now going to add: "Tell me how you did that" as a statement to instigate discussion. Talk about process...doing...verbs. Avoid naming...nouns.
I'm going to do some more reading about Dr. Forman's ideas. This concept has really energized my thinking.