Although I was never a star athlete, the chance to learn how to perform skills that had once seemed impossible to me—to move about freely on a trampoline or soccer field, or challenge myself on a skateboard—contributed hugely to my sense of self-worth. When I look back and consider the elements that built my own confidence as I was growing up, athletic opportunities figure prominently.
At age three, 98 percent of children are creative geniuses. By age 25, just 2 percent of people still possess their powerful childhood ingenuity. What happened?
By the time they’re eight or nine, young students are rule-bound, self-conscious, and view tough tasks as threats to be avoided, rather than challenges to be mastered (or as opportunities to learn new skills). In other words, creative behavior is unlearned.
“We’re trying to change education in a positive way, that’s the overarching goal,” said Jan von Meppen. “Basically, we’re trying to achieve that by using storytelling to put learning content into context with the real world.”
Professor S., a university professor in Berlin, has invented the world’s first functioning time machine. Unfortunately, it has malfunctioned and he’s stuck in the past with his Ph.D. research assistant, Jeanette. It’s up to students in seven elementary schools in Germany to help bring the pair home.
Photo courtesy of Tanoker - Ledokombo, a learning project in Indonesia that offers lessons in reading, writing, and mathematics, as well as sports, cooking, dancing, art, and music at the request of children.