Discovered vs. Taught

As I write this, my son is trying to sound out “Shave and a Haircut” at the piano.

He’s six, and has a fine ear, so it won’t take him too long. But listening to all the wrong attempts isn’t easy.

I could show him. It would take me twenty seconds.

But the brain works differently when something is discovered and when something is taught.

Every false try: when he compares the notes he plays to his concept of the tune, and then tries again, is a synapse strengthened. An understanding solidified. Growth.

As hard as it can be for educators to watch, five minutes of discovery is worth much, much more than five minutes of teaching.