Educating the Mind without Educating the Heart is no education at all. — Aristotle
Planning a responsible Italy family travel itinerary can contribute to cultivating a growth mindset in impressionable and curious children and teens as they view the world around them from a place of open-mindedness and self-awareness. Lisa Tucci of Quantum Learning Italy provides tips for parents on how to make your family holiday to Italy even more meaningful.
A Growth Mindset for an Ever-Shrinking World
Travel is one of the greatest ways to open minds, widen horizons, and teach kids about cultures different from one’s own…not to mention exchange rates, and…as that train pulls out of the station…just as you step up to the platform …the essentials of flexibility are fundamental. We never know where the experiences of our journeys as children will lead us as adults — a trip I took to Italy at 6 years old assured my place as a 25-year resident and becoming a dual citizen as an adult.
Today, in our ever-increasing globalized society, kids seem to be connected more digitally, but are actually more disconnected to the real events going on around them. The secret, of course, is travel; but really, it’s more than that. It’s paying attention, getting involved, looking around, and making decisions; from perhaps ordering a gelato, or trying strange new foods. It’s about getting out of one’s comfort zone and seeing the magic that takes place.
It seems that we don’t have a digital divide — we have an experiential divide. I see daily the difference between kids observing their world with an unbridled curiosity of what surrounds them, or…those whose noses are pressed into some sort of digital device while the landscape passes them by out the window or at the dinner table. So what strategies can we employ to help kids “up their game” of life?
Strategies for Meaningful Italy Teen Travel
We can try to raise kids to make the right choices, learn from their mistakes, and go for it – no matter the odds…We now know that it’s not enough to focus on delivering the lesson plans—there are decidedly many more essential life skills that kids need to learn to truly thrive. Bobbi DePorter, founder of Quantum Learning Network, has identified these skills into 8 Keys of Excellence. Inspiring families, schools and students to take them on and make them a habit is her own key to success.
What it comes down to is teaching kids in a social/emotional way. When we touch the heart, we leave a permanent mark on the mind. At SuperCampItaly, an Italy summer camp for teens, we integrate a program that for 35 years has shown kids how to step into their excellence through explorations of music, improv, storytelling, and a whole lotta movement and celebration. These methods ensure that one’s brain is stimulated, yes, but is at the same time busy archiving important messages for retrieval later in life or just before that exam. In short, each and every activity comes down to nurturing a child’s Growth Mindset vis-a-vis hanging on for dear life to a Fixed one.
How Can Family Travel Create Growth Mindsets?
So, what is the difference? This picture from @BelievePHQ sums it up quite well.
While the image uses an athlete, substitute the traits for students or parents or coworkers…and you’ll soon see why Growth Mindset is the way to harvest a bright and successful future. To foster these traits, certainly sports and scouts work well, as does volunteering or arts and music education.
But now more than ever, it’s important that parents step in and run interference — making sure their kids are getting off the couch and out of passive schooltime learning and into a place where they’re creating, freely expressing themselves, figuring stuff out or just plain having fun forging relationships with others. It’s then we truly set our minds and the world on fire!
Nurturing a growth mindset doesn’t have to take place only in summer at fun camps. My fourth-grade teacher made learning so much fun I never wanted to leave her class. We had baby chicks, reading contests, guest speakers in saris, and humongous chocolate bars for getting answers right. It was a joy to learn. What a shame when my next two teachers took the fun right out of learning, making us hit the books without first forming a connection to the materials nor to each other.
So what can parents do to help foster a growth mindset? Celebrate successes and celebrate failures…. When kids no longer fear their setbacks, they’ll try more new things. And that might include everything from skiing, to socializing, to ordering food in a foreign language on their next trip. Or simply setting down their device and opting for amazing learning experiences just by seeing the world around them and forming rich connections that will likely last a lifetime.
Author Lisa R Tucci is the Director of SuperCamp Italy and the Arte al Sole Italy summer camps and year-round art and cultural programs for international children.
Families can sign up for the 8 Keys of Excellence program
or purchase books on using them in their lives at the online store.
MORE RESPONSIBLE ITALY FAMILY TRAVEL SUGGESTIONSAdd to favorites