On Facilitating Interests

A parent posted this question on a Montessori Facebook group recently (used with permission):

"Hello! What does "follow the Child" mean for you during second plane? I confess I am a little confused with my son (7 years old), because he is so independent now that I can't see what he needs. For example, when he was younger I observed his interests and needs and prepared his shelf for them. But now I can't see what he needs/wants to because he is faster! Now he takes what he needs. For example, some days ago I was feeling sick and he said "I want to do a volcano". So he grabbed all the things he needed to do one. It was wonderful but I thought "jeez, It should to be my work to facilitate his activities". I don't know if I am clear."

I’m not a big fan of the trend towards “gamifying” learning, especially the trend towards creating computer games for learning. There are a number of common and well-known concerns about such games: they largely promote shallow learning, there are concerns about data privacy, and they increase screen time. These are real concerns and I worry about them, but my bigger concern is about the whole concept of gamification: these games assume that children have to be tricked into learning.