As teachers we want our students to be curious, to discover things and to investigate. If we want children to be excited about the world around them, they need the freedom to be fully immersed in the learning and to be engaged in following their own unique style they need to be engaged in the joy of doing rather than the final product.
There is a wonderful quote by Lev Vygotsky who was a seminal Russian psychologist best known for his sociocultural theory. Vygotsky states:
"It must not be forgotten that the basic law of children's creativity is that its value lies not in its results, not in the product of creation, but in the process itself. It is not important what children create, but that they create, that they exercise and implement their creative imagination."
For many years I worked as a theatre director for young people often working towards a final piece for performance. In this situation the final result is very important especially with a paying audience! Nonetheless the process of producing a piece of theatre brought so much more than a final piece. When a group of people work together, children or adults, they begin to bond, they begin to collaborate and they begin to learn so much about themselves and their personal interactions. In the theatre your cast are faced with a script which is nothing more than words on the paper, slowly, through the interpretation of the director and the actors the words begin to take life, the story begins to be told. Other stories are also forming, as the actors discover the motivations and feelings of the character they represent, they learn about the deeper emotions inside themselves.
When children in school are working together to solve a problem or to participate in a joint project they have to learn how to collaborate and how to communicate. The most successful problem solvers are the ones who tried and tried again, each ‘failure’ creates an opportunity to start again and to learn how to adapt and improve. Children do this naturally; they only begin to focus on the end product when that is all that is celebrated.
The British College of Brazil promotes all learning through the growth mindset approach. This is the belief that intelligence improves through study and practice. The concept was developed by Psychologist *Carol Dweck and has been adopted in many educational philosophies in many educational institutions because children with a growth mindset are encouraged to see challenges as opportunities to grow because they understand that they can improve their abilities by pushing themselves.
Simple activities like baking a cake are the perfect exploration of the process over the product. In school, you might see our children baking a cake but there are really learning about measuring, maths, science, following directions, listening, reading, collaborating and problem solving. The cake at the end is a delicious treat but the process of the making is where true learning is taking place.