August 19, 2016

No more boys like Jack, please!

It is not hard to imagine why most children, if not all, hate to go to school although they might be too timid to admit so directly. This should not be taken as a small matter. Unfortunately, children are starting to feel that going to school is an unavoidable mandate from their parents and society. What is intimidating them? What so turns them off the idea of learning?
The sight of children carrying a lot of books in their backpacks has become commonplace these days. Whilst people might think that many books equals a lot of knowledge there is a lack of stimulation in heavy textbooks and a strong missing element of the master-student relationship. You can’t have an interesting conversation with a book, children know that much.
Forcing children to interact only with their books, having them write out times tables and mathematical sums endlessly to rope learn the basic principles is a heavy handed, dull way of teaching children. It sucks the joy out of education – it drains the passion from students. They no longer want to learn, which is a natural state of being for all children until they feel their curiosity blunted by bland, one sided teaching.
Naturally, children want their parents and teachers alike to satisfy their curiosity about the world and the materials and ideas that they are exposed to at school. The driving passion to learn about everything around us will naturally fade somewhat when we enter adulthood, but it doesn’t have to fall silent – familiarity breeds contempt. We ought to, as adults, challenge ourselves to seek knowledge from both the familiar and the unfamiliar. Our world is as interesting and as varied as we allow it to be.
It is important for caretakers to understand that curiosity is natural, whereas admonishment for that action is abnormal. Typically, children love to ask questions, solve problems in their own way and express ideas. Being stopped from doing so often enough will cause feelings of marginalisation and, in the worst cases, a slow slide into depression. It fosters the thought that our opinions and thoughts and feelings do not matter in the broader scheme — the text book stays silent on those sorts of questions.
It is therefore important for all of us to respect their right to play, explore and learn. The oft-quoted saying “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” perfectly encapsulates the problem we face.


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