Children see themselves as a part of their families and their communities. When children are able to contribute to their families by helping them to be safer and healthier, children feel empowered and capable. This is truly what provides children with a strong base upon which their sense of self and purpose are based.
Competence in the real world is the most powerful motivator of learning for children-just watch the joy and excitement as a child learns to walk. They are excited about learning to read, when that medium provides real value to them and their families.
Belonging is first. Feeling a sense of purpose comes from experiencing yourself as a valuable, contributing member of your family, classroom and community. We need to give children an opportunity to be capable, contributing members of our community.
I am constantly amazed by the empathy, insight and caring that children show to others, when their thoughts, feelings and ideas are listened to and acknowledged.
Let's give children the information and tools that they need to be safe, healthy and contributing members of our society, so that they are better prepared for the world in which they live and have, not only the desire, but the tools and knowledge to make that world a better place.