The Wheels On The Bus*

Dear Mrs Nice-Lady,
With the happy, smiling child,
Looking out the window
As the bus solemnly files
From stop to stop to stop to stop
Along the crowded city streets,
With more and more folk getting on
And fewer claiming seats,
If you paused for a moment,
I’m sure you would agree
Just how much he’s noticing
In all that he sees,
His constancy of questioning
Waiting wide-eyed for your words,
The simplest way of learning,
Imagination clearly stirred…
But instead of your partnership
In such a simple game,
He earns a substitution.
That’s really not the same!
The simplest acknowledgement
Of basic curiosity
Met with expensive
Computer technology,
Closing down expressed intention
To involve himself in a grown-up convention,
Talking, chatting, passing the journey
In linguistic exchange
And unwitting discovery
The moral of this missive’s as plain as your nose…
How on earth can anyone suppose
That children will construct their knowledge
If all we collectively acknowledge
Is pentadactyl capacity
To operate a board of keys??
Full five-sensory integration’s
Imperative human preparation:
Add to that a little conversation
Sharing questions, observations…
Navigational skills for life in the city
Requiring no electricity …
Far from ever killing a cat,
Curiosity’s where it’s at.


*an interminable children’s song…

See also Alfred Bandura’s classic research in social psychology and BF Skinner’s on behaviourism.


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