Heather Gold Show: Learning rundown

Last night’s show on Learning had a great full house which participated more than ever. Is it getting cliche that I keep writing first lines in these rundown’s full of exultation? If it’s not such a great night, I will definitely say so. My general inclination is to be inclusive and listen to everyone, but the show does need to watch for interruptions whether its from audience members or myself as one audience member kindly pointed out to me after the show. I’m not being ironic. She gave me some good feedback. One of the threads that had the most traction throughout the night was gender. Do we learn better in sex segregated environments as one audience member Don suggested? Does the reported increased sexual activity of gay people affect the kids they raise? That question prompted a heavy number of guest and audience comments.Early childhood education expert Tracy Burt said that the research neither supports that LGBT parents with kids have increased sexual behaviour or kids who turn out much different that any other, except that they’re slightly more sensitized to inequality. I commented that I don’t know any gay or queer people who are in out relationships that have had any children accidentally. An early childhood educator in the audience and guest Tracy said that the said that the elements that matter most for learning and growing as a child are: responsiveness, dependability, stability and a few more things that I can post after I hear all the tape 🙂 A woman of East Indian origin told a hilarious story about how she learned about sex when her mother was chastising her brother for making so much noise with his wife the night before: “Can’t you be a considerate like your father? He did his business and turned over and went right to sleep.”Our first guest, comedian Bill Santiago talked about his obsession with tango and what a difference it makes to be exposed to music early in life. He also said there are 3 year old kids who can tango. Exposure came up again many times as something that enables us to learn things. Bill told us the story of the first time he tangoed and was led by another man who was constantly disappointed in him. “He wasn’t gentle,” but Bill overcame the trauma to come back to the dance two years later. He also had a hard time learning learning swing because there was no syncopation. Tango has obsessed him because “the only men who are really pretty good at it are all over 70. So I got time.”Bill also spoke up about the importance of fun in learning. “I was home recently and looked through my old report cards. I thought I’d done well, but I had a paper with an F+. That’s really an insult…”we know you tried and you still failed.” He said that kids aren’t going to bother learning something unless it’s fun.Singer Michelle Citrin showed how easily we learn cues with her song Who I Am. Michelle spoke a lot about the need to survive as a driver of learning. If you need to know something you’ll learn it. For example, even though she grew up in a two-language household, her Hebrew got rapidly better when a recent trip to Israel forced her to speak the language in order to eat and navigate each day. She also spoke of the value of a means of self-expression in teenage years, like a guitar.The value of sensory-motor and musical techniques for teaching was discussed. Apparently music and dance are extremely valuable ways to teach kids who have difficulty in school. Unfortunately, if you want to making a living at them, as Bill pointed out, they’re less valued.Tracy Burt had an awful lot to teach us. There was so much chunky goodness, I’ll put most of it in the highlights below.

Highlights and Links

  • Tango Video Project
  • “We are always learning. Kids in school are always learning. The question is what is it they are learning?” Tracy Burt
  • You need to have a nurturing, reponsive person in your life as a young child in order to lay the foundation to be able to learn almost anything the rest of your life. There’s another opportunity as an adolescent to get this, but then after 25 in because extremely difficult.”
  • We remember 10% of what we hear, 20% of what we see and hear, 50% of what we see, hear and do and 80% of what we teach another person.
  • There are 9 temperments that are set biologically
  • Our brains are “plastic,” meaning they are able to change our entire lives. But the most important tendencies are set by 3.
  • Audience member Samuel said that,as hard as he’s tried, he can’t seem to learn a foreign language. One of our regulars, Beverly, was sitting near Samual and also turns out to be a linguistic therapist. Evidently we learn language by chunking. To encourage both necessity and desire, Michelle, Bill and the audience suggested he find a French lover who does not speak English at all.
  • We all learned the word rhythmicity, which describes an aspect of temperment. Do you like life to be steady or for the pace to vary?