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No Parroting Allowed!

Learning Emergence by Asking Questions



Emergence Group Babies

"Acclimating Babies to Water"

Questions for the Week of July 24, 2006



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When asked, "how do you best learn?" most people usually respond with either a technique, like, "in a classroom," or by naming their favorite sense, like, "I learn best visually." Unfortunately, this implies most people define "learning" as the ability to parrot the correct answer.

What is wrong with this? We believe that "parroting the correct answer" creates parrots, not students; dullards, not Einsteins. So how can we create more Einsteins? By asking questions which are intended to provoke the student's own questions. More important, we see this as the best way with which to reawaken in students the love of learning.

This week's topic is, "Acclimating Babies to Water." Would you like to actually awaken your love of learning about this topic? You can, simply by reading the teacher's questions and then, by asking yourself, "what questions did these words just provoke in me?"

"Acclimating Babies to Water"


4 character type babies

Teacher's Questions (asked by John)

I cannot consider myself an expert in the following, although I feel I have developed a technique that helps babies fall in love with the water. Not only loving the water itself but in love with going under the water. I used the technique with my son very successfully.

When Aidan is born I will attempt to use the same technique. In order to truly determine the effectiveness over a larger population of babies, my wife, Jennifer, agreed to have another 10 babies with me in order to accomplish this study.

Babies have a primitive reflex that causes them to hold their breath when you blow on their face. I used this reflex in conjunction with diving for a favorite toy. After demonstrating for Jack I chose a moment when we were connected to bring him under water with me. I did this only after I minimized his surprise by acclimating jack to submersing his face at a predictable moment. While we were under water we made eye contact and smiled/laughed at each other underwater it was a truly amazing moment for the two of us.

  • What is the criteria one needs in order to be considered to be an expert?
  • How could this technique be given credence?
  • I learned about the reflex from a conversation with a truly wretched parent who threw their baby into the water after triggering the response. I have strong reservations about teaching the technique due to the possibility that if used incorrectly or without the knowledge of emergence a person could inflict an injury rather than a love of water. Who would I teach the technique to?
  • What criteria would I require before they were taught?
  • If the parent or teacher had an injury about water what kind of an affect would this have on the baby?

Possible Student Response Questions (asked by Inetta)

John, I am pretty fascinated with your experience and discovery of this primitive reflex that we all share. Also, you are an expert in your discovery and experience. Remember, you are the one sharing; therefore, you are the Teacher.

[1] Who would you teach this technique to? What would qualify them as a safe instructor? Would the teacher/parent have to be "fully" conscious? How would you test their ability to stay conscious?

[2] Is this reflex necessary to understand in order to have a love for the water? How would you teach the baby to love water? The parent? How do you measure the degree of love for the water? How does the baby’s age affect this reflex?

[3] When the wind blows, how would the baby respond? What is a predictable moment? How would you define it? Does the baby need to be submerged in water to use this reflex to teach babies to love water? Is the response similar to when a baby is being bathed? Is this the same reflex we use when we drink water from a glass?


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