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鄒奇奇談大人能向小孩學到什麼

Adora Svitak: What adults can learn from kids

 

Photo of three lions hunting on the Serengeti.

講者:Adora Svitak

2010年2月演講,2010年4月在TED2010上線

 

翻譯:TED

編輯:朱學恆、洪曉慧

簡繁轉換:洪曉慧

後製:洪曉慧

字幕影片後制:謝旻均

 

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關於這場演講

神童鄒奇奇認為這個世界需要「幼稚」的思維,亦即小孩那些大膽的點子、奔放的創意,特別是他們樂觀的態度。她說,小孩的偉大夢想值得我們高度期待,首要之務便是大人除了願意教導小孩,還得放下身段從小孩身上學習。

 

關於Adora Svitak

從七歲開始即為一位多產的短篇小說作家和部落客的鄒奇奇(Adora Svitak,現年12歲),在美國各地向成人和兒童演講,倡導創作能力的重要性。

 

為什麼要聽她演講

鄒奇奇從三歲開始就是個求知若渴的書蟲,於五歲第一次正式涉足寫作-僅僅受限於她的書寫及拼字能力(她驚人的語言能力已與年齡大她兩倍的成人相當。)她的官方自傳描述,「藉著使用母親買給她的Dell筆電」,她很快就能有所突破。到了七歲時,她已可在一年內打出超過25萬字-包括詩作、短篇小說、對世界的觀察。

 

鄒奇奇將她超齡的文字功力,發展成一個鼓舞人心的創作運動-在全美各地向成人及兒童演講。她是《飛舞的手指》一書作者,這是一本談論學習的書。

 

「美國文壇小巨人。」

-Diane Sawyer於《早安美國》

 

Adora Svitak的英語網上資料

Website: Adora Svitak's homepage

 

[TED科技‧娛樂‧設計]

已有中譯字幕的TED影片目錄(繁體)(簡體)。請注意繁簡目錄是不一樣的。

 

鄒奇奇談大人能向小孩學到什麼

我想用一個問題來開場。你上次被人家說「幼稚」是什麼時候?像我這個年齡的孩子常被人說「幼稚」,每當我們提出不合理的要求,表現不負責任的行為,或不過做些一般美國人都會做的事,人們就會說我們幼稚,這實在讓我有點惱怒。畢竟,看看以下這些例子:帝國主義、殖民統治、世界大戰、小布希,大家捫心自問,這些該怪誰?大人!

 

現在來看看孩子做了什麼?Anne Frank寫下撼動人心的日記,呈現猶太人遭屠殺的歷史;Ruby Bridges協助打破了美國種族隔閡的藩籬;還有最近,Charlie Simpson靠騎著小腳踏車,幫海地募到十二萬英鎊。所以從這些例子可以看出,這跟年紀根本無關,「幼稚」這個字眼描述的行為模式太常在大人身上看到了,所以我們不該再使用這個歧視年齡的字眼,不該用它來批評那些不負責任和非理性思考的行為。

 

(掌聲)

 

謝謝

 

不僅如此,誰說某些類型的非理性思考必定不為世界所需?也許你們曾有過遠大的夢想,卻裹足不前,心想:「不可能啦!」,或是「這會花太多錢」,或是「這對我沒好處」。無論如何,我們小孩比較不會老是思考裹足不前的理由而被束縛住,小孩心中充滿鼓舞人心的志向和滿懷希望的想法。例如,我希望世上沒有人挨餓,或所有東西都免費,像烏托邦一樣。你們有多少人還抱有像這樣的夢想,認為這可能成真?有時對歷史的瞭解,及過去美好理想落空的經驗會成為你的束縛。因為你們知道,如果一切都免費,食物儲存量將會短缺,然後耗竭,最後造成社會失序。但另一方面,我們小孩還是夢想「完美」的存在。這樣很好,因為想讓一件事成真,必須先有夢想的藍圖。

 

在許多方面來說,小孩的大膽想像有助於將不可能變成可能。例如,華盛頓州Tacoma的玻璃博物館,我的家鄉-耶,華盛頓州!(掌聲)有一個叫「孩童玻璃設計」的計劃,小孩用自己的想法來做玻璃藝術。駐館的藝術家說,他們許多最棒的點子都來自這個計劃,因為孩子們不會為自己設限,不會去想將玻璃吹塑成某種形狀有多難,他們只會去想些好點子。說到玻璃,你們可能會想到藝術家Chihuly多彩的設計,或義大利花瓶,但小孩向玻璃藝術師下戰帖,做出了超乎想像的「心碎之蛇」還有「培根男孩」,注意他有「肉視」能力喔!(笑聲)

 

其實,我們固有的智慧不一定是學者專家的知識,小孩已經從大人身上學到很多了,我們也有很多東西想跟大人分享,我想大人應該開始跟小孩學習。我現在常在教育界人士面前演講,有老師、有學生,我很喜歡以下這個說法:不該只有老師站在教室前面告訴學生做這做那,學生也應該教導老師,大人和小孩之間應該彼此學習。但不幸的是,現實和理想有些差距,這和信不信任對方有關,或可說彼此缺乏信任。

 

如果不信任某人,就會對那個人多加限制,對吧?如果我懷疑我姐姐沒有能力償還我上次借她錢時所訂下的10%利息,我就不會再借錢給她,除非她把錢還我。(笑聲)順便說一下,這件事完全屬實。大人似乎對孩子普遍採取約束的態度,學生手冊上盡是「不可做這」、「不可做那」這類用語,連學校上網也有限制。以歷史觀點來看,政權懼怕無法管控人民時就會變成高壓統治,雖然大人或許還沒做到相當「極權」的程度,但小孩對規定也幾乎無權過問,儘管態度應該是互相的。也就是說,大人應該學著把小孩的願望納入考量。

 

有一件比管束更糟的事,就是大人常常低估小孩的能力。我們喜歡挑戰,但如果大人對我們的期望不高,我保證,我們小孩就會爛給你們看。我爸媽從不會看輕我和我姊,好,所以他們沒有要我們將來成為醫生或律師之類的,但我爸確實會讀故事給我們聽,像是亞里斯多德和「抗菌先鋒」的故事。同齡小孩那時多半在聽兒歌之類的,好啦,其實我們也聽兒歌,但「抗菌先鋒」比較讚。(笑聲)

 

打從四歲起我就喜歡寫東西,我六歲時媽媽買了裝有微軟作業系統的筆電給我,謝謝比爾蓋茲,也謝謝老媽!我用那台筆電完成三百多則短篇故事,後來我想出書,我爸媽不但沒取笑小孩子想出書這個異想天開的想法,也沒要我長大再說,反而很支持我。但很多出版社都讓我碰壁,一家大規模的童書出版社竟說他們不跟小孩合作,童書出版社不跟孩童合作?不知道耶!他們算是失去我這棵搖錢樹了。(笑聲)有一家出版社,叫「行動出版社」,決定放手一搏,相信我,願意聽我的想法,他們出版了我第一本書《飛舞的手指》,就是這本。從那時起,我受邀到上百所學校演講,向數千個教育工作者發表演說,終於,今天在你們面前演講。

 

很感謝你們今天的聆聽,因為聆聽表示你們真正在乎。不過小孩比大人優秀得多這個樂觀想法有個問題:小孩還是會長大,成為像你們一樣的大人。(笑聲)就像你們一樣,真的嗎?目標不是讓小孩成為像你們這樣的大人,而是超越你們。或許這有點困難,畢竟你們的經歷都蠻了不起的,不過世界之所以會進步,就是因為新的世代、新的時代不斷成長發展,進而超越上個世代,這就是為什麼我們能脫離黑暗時代。不論你們現在的地位為何,一定要幫孩子們創造機會,好讓我們長大後能打敗你們。(笑聲)

 

所有大人和TED成員,請傾聽小孩的聲音,並向小孩學習,並相信我們,對我們期望高一點。你們今天得用心傾聽,因為我們是未來的領導者。也就是說,當你們老弱不堪時,是我們要照顧你們。好啦,開玩笑的。不過,說真的,我們將會成為會帶領世界前進的下一個世代,萬一你認為這對你來說並不重要,別忘了複製技術是可能的,這表示你們有機會重回童年,到時你們也會希望自己的聲音不被忽視,就像我們這一代一樣。現今世界各國都需要為未來主人翁及新想法創造機會,小孩需要學習領導和體驗成功的機會,你們準備好把機會交給我們了嗎?因為當今世界上各種問題,不該是人類留給子孫的遺產。

 

謝謝。(掌聲)。謝謝大家。

 

以下為系統擷取之英文原文

About this Talk

Child prodigy Adora Svitak says the world needs "childish" thinking: bold ideas, wild creativity and especially optimism. Kids' big dreams deserve high expectations, she says, starting with grownups' willingness to learn from children as much as to teach.

About this Speaker

A prolific short story writer and blogger since age seven, Adora Svitak (now 12) speaks around the United States to adults and children as an advocate for literacy. Full bio and more links

Transcript

Now, I want to start with a question: When was the last time you were called childish? For kids like me, being called childish can be a frequent occurrence. Every time we make irrational demands, exhibit irresponsible behavior, or display any other signs of being normal American citizens, we are called childish, which really bothers me. After all, take a look at these events: Imperialism and colonization, world wars, George W. Bush. Ask yourself: Who's responsible? Adults.

Now, what have kids done? Well, Anne Frank touched millions with her powerful account of the Holocaust, Ruby Bridges helped end segregation in the United States, and, most recently, Charlie Simpson helped to raise 120,000 pounds for Haiti on his little bike. So, as you can see evidenced by such examples, age has absolutely nothing to do with it. The traits the word childish addresses are seen so often in adults that we should abolish this age-discriminatory word when it comes to criticizing behavior associated with irresponsibility and irrational thinking.

(Applause)

Thank you.

Then again, who's to say that certain types of irrational thinking aren't exactly what the world needs? Maybe you've had grand plans before, but stopped yourself, thinking: That's impossible or that costs too much or that won't benefit me. For better or worse, we kids aren't hampered as much when it comes to thinking about reasons why not to do things. Kids can be full of inspiring aspirations and hopeful thinking, like my wish that no one went hungry or that everything were free kind of utopia. How many of you still dream like that and believe in the possibilities? Sometimes a knowledge of history and the past failures of utopian ideals can be a burden because you know that if everything were free, that the food stocks would become depleted, and scarce and lead to chaos. On the other hand, we kids still dream about perfection. And that's a good thing because in order to make anything a reality, you have to dream about it first.

In many ways, our audacity to imagine helps push the boundaries of possibility. For instance, the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington, my home state -- yoohoo Washington -- (Applause) has a program called Kids Design Glass, and kids draw their own ideas for glass art. Now, the resident artist said they got some of their best ideas through the program because kids don't think about the limitations of how hard it can be to blow glass into certain shapes. They just think of good ideas. Now, when you think of glass, you might think of colorful Chihuly designs or maybe Italian vases, but kids challenge glass artists to go beyond that into the realm of broken-hearted snakes and bacon boys, who you can see has meat vision. (Laughter)

Now, our inherent wisdom doesn't have to be insiders' knowledge. Kids already do a lot of learning from adults, and we have a lot to share. I think that adults should start learning from kids. Now, I do most of my speaking in front of an education crowd, teachers and students, and I like this analogy. It shouldn't just be a teacher at the head of the classroom telling students do this, do that. The students should teach their teachers. Learning between grown ups and kids should be reciprocal. The reality, unfortunately, is a little different, and it has a lot to do with trust, or a lack of it.

Now, if you don't trust someone, you place restrictions on them, right. If I doubt my older sister's ability to pay back the 10 percent interest I established on her last loan, I'm going to withhold her ability to get more money from me until she pays it back. (Laughter) True story, by the way. Now, adults seem to have a prevalently restrictive attitude towards kids from every "don't do that," "don't do this" in the school handbook, to restrictions on school internet use. As history points out, regimes become oppressive when they're fearful about keeping control. And, although adults may not be quite at the level of totalitarian regimes, kids have no, or very little, say in making the rules, when really the attitude should be reciprocal, meaning that the adult population should learn and take into account the wishes of the younger population.

Now, what's even worse than restriction is that adults often underestimate kids abilities. We love challenges, but when expectations are low, trust me, we will sink to them. My own parents had anything but low expectations for me and my sister. Okay, so they didn't tell us to become doctors or lawyers or anything like that, but my dad did read to us about Aristotle and pioneer germ fighters when lots of other kids were hearing "The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round." Well, we heard that one too, but "Pioneer Germ Fighters" totally rules. (Laughter)

I loved to write from the age of four, and when I was six my mom bought me my own laptop equipped with Microsoft Word. Thank you Bill Gates and thank you Ma. I wrote over 300 short stories on that little laptop, and I wanted to get published. Instead of just scoffing at this heresy that a kid wanted to get published, or saying wait until you're older, my parents were really supportive. Many publishers were not quite so encouraging. One large children's publisher ironically saying that they didn't work with children. Children's publisher not working with children? I don't know, you're kind of alienating a large client there. (Laughter) Now, one publisher, Action Publishing, was willing to take that leap and trust me, and to listen to what I had to say. They published my first book, "Flying Fingers," -- you see it here -- and from there on, it's gone to speaking at hundreds of schools, keynoting to thousands of educators, and finally, today, speaking to you.

I appreciate your attention today, because to show that you truly care, you listen. But there's a problem with this rosy picture of kids being so much better than adults. Kids grow up and become adults just like you. (Laughter) Or just like you, really? The goal is not to turn kids into your kind of adult, but rather better adults than you have been, which may be a little challenging considering your guys credentials, but the way progress happens is because new generations and new eras grow and develop and become better than the previous ones. It's the reason we're not in the Dark Ages anymore. No matter your position of place in life, it is imperative to create opportunities for children so that we can grow up to blow you away. (Laughter)

Adults and fellow TEDsters, you need to listen and learn from kids and trust us and expect more from us. You must lend an ear today, because we are the leaders of tomorrow, which means we're going to be taking care of you when you're old and senile. No, just kidding. No, really, we are going to be the next generation, the ones who will bring this world forward. And, in case you don't think that this really has meaning for you, remember that cloning is possible, and that involves going through childhood again, in which case, you'll want to be heard just like my generation. Now, the world needs opportunities for new leaders and new ideas. Kids need opportunities to lead and succeed. Are you ready to make the match? Because the world's problems shouldn't be the human family's heirloom.

Thank you. (Applause) Thank you. Thank you.


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