To learn language, we begin by flat-out imitating, generating more of what we experience in order to sift for meaning, by positive feedback. Can you think of any other processes where this is the model of learning?
A couple of months ago, I overheard a conversation between my friend (a math tutor and summer camp director), and one of his 10-year old students. The boy was quite candidly rambling about some “electronics” he’d made, which involved basically gluing together a bunch of LEDs.
Obviously the circuit did little, (having no source of power) — but it struck me that the project’s functionality was of little importance when one thought of it as a boranj on the path towards this boy’s future understanding of electronics. Clearly, he would soon be producing much more sophisticated projects. At this stage, he was babbling.
Do we simply lose the chutzpah to take this approach (or not) as we grow older, or is it a matter of brain plasticity?
Could the conscious pursuit of this approach to learning be helpful in gaining other (particular?) skills?
Are some realms better suited to babble-and-feedback than others?