I find the dichotomy between what we teach our children and what we tell our children to do interesting. I could talk about multiple subjects but today I’m going to talk about what I saw on the back of a box of Dory Crackers (yes, when I say children, I may be one of them based alone on that I eat children’s food).
There were a couple of games on the back of the box and one of them was a ‘spot the difference’. I use to love those games and I must admit I still love them.
The purpose of these games are beneficial to develop observation and attention to detail skills. Of course, I’m a writer and I look for deeper meanings, so let’s look at the social implications of this game. 🙂
Spot the Difference games teach us to find the differences in situations and so it is a reasonable assumption to carry those skills over into real life and spot the differences in people. That girl has two different colored eyes; that boy is shorter than all the rest; that boy is the dumbest in the class; that girl has squinty eyes. We tell our children to spot the difference in pictures then tell them that it is not nice to stare or point fingers.
However, the existence of differences is not bad, how we treat differences is what matters. Spot the Difference games are neutral: neither side of the image is considered ‘right’, they are just not the same.
This neutrality on difference, on diversity, enables independent thinking and allow students the ability to decide what difference is good and what difference is just a sign of individuality. God created our world to be full of differences, but it is our choice if we celebrate or condemn those differences.
The puzzles that I do not think are as beneficial for social implementations are the ones ‘Which one doesn’t belong’
These puzzles compare the group to the individual and outcast that individual. This may be a little deep for kindergarten worksheets, but let’s continue with the thought. The title of ‘Which one doesn’t belong’ celebrates the group while condemning the individual. The ability to decide what is good or bad is absent from these puzzles.
From the above picture, what if I said the cake, pool, and pizza belonged because they are circular but the carrot doesn’t. Or what if I said the cake, pizza, and carrot belong because they are food but the pool isn’t.
Conformity should not be synonymous with superiority, yet rebellion should not either. Comparison can do a lot of damage and yet at some time you have to compare apples to oranges. The key is the ability to see a situation from multiple perspectives; only then can we not only celebrate or condemn diversity, we can coexist with it.
Yep, I just debated the social implications of kindergarten worksheets and made a philosophical conclusion. Can you tell that I am going to be a social studies teacher?