An old adage but talking about the news with children at home and in the classroom boosts awareness and ability. Reading and rationalisation is extended leading to an overall improvement in educational standards in other subjects.
Discussion around the meal table can be a little terse with teenagers. Where do you start the conversation? By turning this impasse into an educational game can start the ball rolling to open a topic which the rest of the family or classroom can join in. Breaking the ice is always the difficulty but the PSHE games such as Discussion Cards and Fink cards have been developed by learning specialists to open the flow and stimulate the conversation.
In November 2011 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) released the statistics from a study of 15 years old children living in the principle industrial countries. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) revealed that children whose parents and teachers discuss the news, social and political affairs on a weekly or daily basis scored 28 points higher in reading than those who do not. Spending time together develops social skills as well as reasoning powers which is the bedrock of practically all learning.
There is a further hidden advantage to the art of debate and awareness of a subject. Not only does it give you a sporting chance in quiz shows, by participating in the discussion keys facts are retained and opinions formed.The skill of putting an argument across developed. This can be enhanced by a new educational game called Thinking Dice which presents students with question which develop a higher order of thinking by asking key questions to stimulate a structured answer.
The couch potato or child who spends hours on computer games can be transformed socially and educationally. The skills learnt early on can format the reasoning ability that can change a child’s option s for the rest of their lives. And it all begins with talking about the news.