Thursday, September 2, 2010

Brisbane Writers Festival contd. and Why teens think bigger than adults

The Festival was buzzing today, as a steady stream of both adults and kids flowed through the various venues. My sessions went well. The online session was a first for me. What a great way of involving kids from regional schools!

Simone Howell posted a link to an article by Jason Steiger about the session at the MWF on why teens think bigger than adults. Apparently, the writers featured spoke of the sense of wonder kids have, and how important it is to maintain that sense of wonder in order to view the world with the fresh eyes of a curious child.

I think another reason teens think bigger than adults is that their prejudices have not yet set in. Where some adults' opinions are so firmly set that nothing can possibly change their minds, teens are more open to to other viewpoints. And unlike younger kids who tend to buy into whatever it is their parents are selling, teens are at a time in their lives when they're ready to challenge previously unexamined ideas and beliefs.

Books help them to do that. They also help keep alive that sense of wonder Lia Hills and Jostein Gaardner spoke of, and give them (albeit vicariously) experiences they might not otherwise have.

Can you think of any other reasons teens think bigger than adults? Please let me know.


  1. Ooh. As a teen, I feel sort of strange talking about this. I don't feel like I think that much bigger than other adults, but I've always been mature for my age. I feel as though I thought much "bigger" as a middle-schooler (so like, 12, 13, 14 years old). In my opinion, once high school sets in, the social pressures become too large for the truly creative and imaginative to follow their dreams.

    Of course, many teens do follow their dreams, but I'd be willing to bet that there are NUMEROUS teens who have artistic and creative goals, and they aren't doing anything to achieve them at the moment - simply because it's not the cool thing to do.

    In middle school, I think you're old enough to have the right frame of mind and to approach problems and goals seriously, while still possessing the creativity and wonder that only children have. And lastly, they're still innocent enough to where they simply do what they want, not what others think of them.

    But that's just my opinion. :)

  2. Hey, Lila, I agree that peer pressure is a problem, but luckily it ceases to be so for the time you spend alone with a book. When reading, you're alone with your thoughts, and you're able to open up to the ideas on the page in a way you might not be able to in a group situation.