Fostering your Child’s Inner DaVinci

It is our responsibility to create the learning environments in everyday moments which stimulate our children and/or students in ways which spurs them on to learn. When learning becomes something a learner desires, they are headed in a direction which will give them many advantages to living a meaningful life.

Why DaVinci?

DaVinci was both artist and engineer. He used his whole brain to explore possibilities related to our scientific and creative prowess as human beings.  My experience with thousands of children and olders students has shown me that this “DaVincism” is something we all posses in different ways… if empowered and ignited. We are quite often more than we realize. How much more and in what ways will vary greatly, but for certain… more there is.

Here are five specific approaches you can take with the learners in your care. This may be with students in your classroom as you are learning groups, or at home with your own children.

Who? (Artistic Approach)

Those who identify “Who”, before “What” often find themselves with people with whom they synergize. This creates a big list of “What’s” which they can create.  When working with learners of any age, especially young learners, the quality of questions matter greatly.  For example:

  • Who made that?

  • Who do you play with?

  • With whom do you want to work?

  • With whom do you want to team up?

  • Who wants to work with you?

  • Who do you want to invite to become part of your team?

  • Who will play which needed roles?

What? (Engineer Approach)

Ideally, once “Who” is identified, the brainstorming of “What” is ready to happen naturally.  Here are some questions you can use as a starting point:

  • What different things do we have a passion for?

  • What do we all believe is most important to create?

  • What are some areas of life we are curious about?

Why? (Artistic Approach)

Once “What” is discussed, “Why” is something which will add depth to whatever is created. “Why” may even change “What” you create.  Sometimes our “Why” even happens before “What”, although for some that is a too abstract.  Here are some potential “Why” questions:

  • Why are we excited about what we’re going to create?

  • Why would others be interested?

  • Why do we think what we make will matter in some way?

How? (Engineer Approach)

The nuts and bolts is in the “How.” Assuming all the previous questions have had time devoted to them authentically, the “How” usually reveals itself.  Basic questions could include:

  • How will we plan to make this happen?

  • How will we each contribute to make our workflow effective?

  • How will we each contribute to make our workflow inspiring?

  • How will we share our expertise in ways to make the production of our idea work smoothly?

What Else? (Artistic Approach)

No matter what level of learning and collaboration takes place, it is important to introduce the idea of “building on our ideas” to our next generations.  Here are some fundamental questions you can use:

  • Where do we go from here?

  • How do we duplicate our efforts?

  • How do we market our idea?

  • What else can we create that supports what we just made?

  • What else can we invent?

This is of course more of a conceptual design for learning in teams. Feel free to adjust it as needed. The key is that we take the time to ask great questions, and allow even more time for authentic responses.  Enjoy co-creating with your children and students!

Luke Hewlett