In Chapter 15 ("Let Him Do it His Way"), Zaidenberg writes that the three ingredients for creative growth are:
"If a child insists on making a horse green, let him; your function as a teacher would be solely to show him that green may be made with yellow and blue pigment" (93).
I love this quote. Reading it makes me teary-eyed. Before I began teaching full-time, I worked as a substitute teacher. (That was over a decade ago!) One of my assignments was in a preschool classroom, and the lesson plan called for me to sit at a kidney shaped table during centers-rotation and supervise four-year-olds paint pumpkins orange and cats black. (It was October.) I hated having to tell little ones who wanted to paint their cats orange that they couldn't. (There ARE orange cats! Chagall painted a cat GREEN!) But I was a rule-follower and I made sure all of those four-year-olds painted their cats black.
I can add this example to the list of reasons why I'm happy to be homeschooling. This lesson taught nothing of value. I'm sure the purpose was to teach colors, but these children already knew the names of the colors, and even if they didn't, they would have learned them eventually.
"Encourage fearless exploration. Teach him to see cause and effect but let him find the Q.E.D.* himself and it will not necessarily be the same solution as yours. Do not force your mental heirlooms on him. Let him do it his way" (93).
I'll let her do it her way.
*Q.E.D.: an abbreviation for the Latin quod erat demonstrandum which means "which was to be demonstrated." Synonym for solution.