For the latest in education-related news , click the Advocacy & News tab on psba . org bulletin board
When You Wonder , You ’ re Learning : Mister Rogers ’ Enduring Lessons for Raising Creative , Curious , Caring Kids
by Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski , forward by Joanne Rogers ; published by Hachette Book Group , 2021
Mister Rogers was a learning scientist , and his approach with children was certainly ahead of his time . Today ’ s learning scientists are focusing on the same things Mister Rogers taught children through the lens of Mister Rogers ’ Neighborhood — things such as developing curiosity , finding creative solutions , communication skills , collaboration , self-acceptance and how to be a good friend .
These are the tools now scientifically proven to be essential to children ’ s success and wellbeing , and they are up to 10 times more accurate at predicting a child ’ s success than a test score or grades .
In a new book highlighting these findings , Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski , authors of When You Wonder , You ’ re Learning , are reintroducing Mister Rogers and his teachings to today ’ s children , parents and educators , sharing with a new generation the power of curiosity through creativity .
Below is an excerpt from a recent interview between Keystone Education Radio podcast host , Annette Stevenson and the authors .
Q : What prompted you to write a book based on Mister Rogers ? Why Fred Rogers ?
A ( Gregg Behr ): It ’ s a book about learning and it ’ s a book that stems from nearly 15 years of work here in southwestern Pennsylvania . For 15 years , schools , museums , libraries and all of the educators who work in these and other learning spaces have been coming together under something called Remake Learning , which is this amazing network of educators in and out of school , pre-K through higher ed , thinking about what is relevant , what is engaging , what is equitable in support of young people and the learning experiences that we ’ re trying to create for them . We can think about Fred ’ s work in a simple formula : whole child plus learning sciences equals the Fred method . That is , like Fred Rogers , these educators are grounded in child development theory and practice , and understand what ’ s developmentally appropriate for children and youth .
Gregg Behr and Ryan Rydzewski were keynotes at the 2021 PASA-PSBA Virtual School Leadership Conference in October . To hear more of the interview excerpted here , tune into Keystone Education
Radio at KeyEdRadio . org or your favorite podcast streaming service .
Q : Can curiosity be incited in oneself or others , or is it something that ’ s already built into each of us ?
A ( Ryan Rydzewski ): In 1968 , Dr . George Land tested the creativity of 1,000 5-year-olds using a test that he had developed for NASA . What he found was that 98 % of those 5-yearolds scored so high on Dr . Land ’ s tests , they qualified as creative geniuses . He tested that same group of 5-year-olds every five years . And what he found was that at 10 years old , the share of creative geniuses fell from 98 % to 30 %. And when they turned 15 , it fell from 30 % to 12 %. And by the time they were adults , the share of creative geniuses had fallen from 98 % to 2 %. And what Land and his team concluded was that noncreative behavior is learned ; as we get older , we learn to become less expressive , less open to new ways of thinking . Rogers in Mister Rogers ’ Neighborhood really tried to counteract those learned noncreative behaviors .