Making learning lovable
Life loathes learning as it sees toddlers lumbering along the road with heavy sacks of black and white material on their tiny backs that could easily develop lifelong scoliosis in them at this tender age.
They are pushed away from the affectionate atmosphere of the family and whipped in line to the strange environment of a classroom where a stranger called a teacher dictates them to lower the gaze and bury the heads in the grave yard of the dead words, phrases and proverbs which cannot move or talk. They are made to parrot the meaningless lines of an unknown rhyme. They are asked to spell out the words like ‘dark’ and ‘horse’ without knowing what a dark horse is.
And the child is thrown into flutter due to this sudden fall from pleasant but practical experience into the world of abstraction. The child is unaware of the fact that they are clipping his wings to their own size.
The natural innocence is prepared for the unyielding examination of rote memory and depriving the child of his sensory experience of the real world. Our senses are the gateways of our knowledge but we try to manipulate the nature of the children and bring them up by hand mounting guard on all their senses by framing curriculum and courses of study of our own choice and force them to think nothing beyond the pages of the book.
The kids are unaware of the fact that they are part of a merchandise and of course their parents are a contributing party. The parents, teachers and the system is in league, each of them unaware of other’s designs, but the unfortunate children are the scapegoat.
Parents are of course well wishers of their children and they are conscious of the inevitable death and it is a biological truth so they cannot always flow like a Tennysonian brook and claim that ‘Men may come and men may go but I go on forever.’ They try to live through next generation at least intellectually. One cannot realise all his/her dreams in life so why not rise from one’s ashes like a phoenix.
Man is a hedonist by nature and it is his right to enjoy his life. But our parents want to drink life to its lease and the offspring are forced to live within the world of the pages. This makes their lives very painful.
Our society of the children begins at parents and terminates at the teacher and both the terminals toss the child to each other without giving prominence to his ‘why’ and ‘how’ making his life monotonous and dull.
Our school system tethers the child to the peg of syllabus and the pupils are supposed to stuff their brains with the material, as discussed earlier, and puke it on the paper to hand it in. This is the test of one’s memory power but not that of ability and intelligence.
However, a seasonal teacher may expect an award for his performance and an appreciation from the parents who lay their children at the altar of the social kudos. The teacher and the parent have a material axe to grind because both of them live in a competition and the child is used as a camel jockey or it sounds like the ancient Roman colesium when man was thrown into an arena to fight a lion for the King’s sport.
The statement may sound like Rousseau’s De-schooling philosophy but it is not so. According to the naturalistic school of thought, nature is a great educator. The fact cannot be denied but the school provides an environment in which the fostering of the personality and the development of the innate qualities of the human beings and awakening of the dormant intelligence takes place in an organised way. The school is an institution where the rhythm of the individual life is adjusted to that of the society. That is how we have been able to civilise the savage.
That said, schooling needs some remedial measures and all these measures need to be pupil centric. Child should be the central character and all policies and plans made should be aimed at catering to the child’s needs.
Schools should be made a pleasant place for the children so that they will not miss the home. Let the children spend much time in the school and games and sports, cultural activities, work experience be included in the syllabus and given a weightage. We cannot change the whole environment into the school why not change the school into the whole environment. Of course it needs elaborate arrangements in all the dimensions of education. That is how the prevailing unidimensional approach to education can be discouraged.
It is better to create scientific temperament among children rather than teaching them science. Well equipped labs are the dire need of every school.
For younger children, schooling is to be made fun and entertaining. Besides the teachers need to make efforts that the child doesn’t feel as if it has landed into some alien land. To that end and to inculcate creativity among the learners, teachers have to adopt mother tongue of the child as medium of instruction. It will ensure effortless learning and instill confidence among the learners. If these steps are taken life will no longer loath the learning but love it.