Children should be taught how to think, not what to think
By: Priyanka Saurabh
Children’s day is about to come, it brings happy memories of your childhood. From junk books, colors, and crafts to reading story books and discussing the same with classmates and friends. Or perhaps playing a game or two with friends in the evening at the playground and returning to school to complete homework and studies to cover the curriculum. But now these things have changed a lot. From school, tuition, and extra classes to busy schedules for kids and mobile in hand are completely taking away their innocence with the simple things in life.
Today’s children are going to become the future generation, so this should be kept in mind while teaching them. The famous saying by Margaret Mead “Children should be taught how to think, not what to think” needs to be put into practice to form children with innovative minds. Teachers, educators, and parents must encourage children to think for themselves, follow their interests and explore ideas that inspire their curiosities.
Benjamin Green says, “The biggest tyranny is involving our children in a system that does not value their creative expression or encourage their unique abilities.” The education system that is prevalent now wants children to think the way others think and make education more industrialized. This will only work in the case of robots that have been programmed about the actions to be performed. It has to change first to bring out the unique talents of children. Children’s creative expression has to be valued and their unique abilities have to be encouraged.
A child should be taught to learn, forget and re-learn on their own. Memorizing and uncovering the concept will not destroy the thinking ability of the children, but understanding the concept and creating meaningful content will enhance their thinking ability. Logical thinking, critical thinking, and reasoning are skills that need to be developed in children at an early age. Making children realize their strengths and weaknesses is one of the important steps parents and teachers take. To awaken the curiosity of children and enable them to think for themselves from different dimensions. This will enable them to face and handle any situation in their life.
Children’s mind is as fresh as a newborn’s air. Anything held in their mind becomes a matter of long-lasting wisdom. A knowledge that seeks further to prosper. By the use of such given material or beliefs or we can say any form of values and qualities we enable them to distinguish between wrong and right. Here comes the importance. Socialization of children during childhood. This socialization can take place through any social agency like family, school, etc.
There is a need to reflect on the “how” and “why” instead of filling the “what” in the blank space of the child’s mind, as it is very important to give a rational thought and an honest view of any kind of action in their future life. . Will enable them to correct their mistakes and improve others as well. For example, a child can recite the poem on moral values well but how to apply those values in his life will be a difficult task for him. Don’t learn all your life.
In today’s Indian context, when the changing equations of relationships, falling values towards each other, lack of respect for each other, crimes like violence and juvenile rape are at their peak, in such a way, to tell the way of thinking, in the minds of children. Perception has become imperative. It will nurture their holistic personality with the basic human values of love, empathy, care, gratitude, and morality. They will think not only of themselves but also of others. Surely he will have a selfless attitude towards a society which helps to make a person worthy to live in this society.
Child-rearing practices have a great impact on the personality, and attitude of the child in later life as a newborn child is a blank page that gradually learns from experience and socialization with family, society, and school. Emphasizes democratic child upbringing where the child is given the freedom to form his/her own opinion based on facts and conjectures and is not forced upon the beliefs, views, and attitudes of his/her parents, or society. He is given the freedom to choose his views, to decide his own goals, and to develop his position on matters of importance. Encouraging a child in this way will enable him to reach his ultimate potential, decide the best course of action, discover his individuality and develop a unique personality.
On the other hand, if this freedom is suppressed and he learns only what is taught by parents, teachers, etc., he will become a passive member. He will have the same beliefs, superstitions, and regressive thinking and will not question the relevance of any of them in the present society or his life. Maybe, he will pass on the same undemocratic values to his children, and thus a cycle of unquestionable attitude will develop which will surely hinder the progress and development of society. Such a society would be plagued with impractical dogma and regressive thinking. Thus, children must be given as much freedom of thought as possible, so that they can become progressive individuals and contribute well to society.
The writer is Research Scholar in Political Science, Poet, freelance journalist and columnist.