Monday, December 16, 2013

8 obsolete ideas in education.

I bet you can think of a tonne more but here are my eight ideas on 'unhelpful education.' Thanks be, these beliefs are starting to fall by the wayside.

1. The idea that the earlier you 'teach' kids skills like reading, the smarter they will become.

This is not true at all. If a kid shows interest in learning how to read, for instance or doing math then by all means, don't stop them. (My 3 year old nephew is keen to do addition and is always asking about numbers and what they add up to. My own daughter taught herself how to read at 4, after showing a natural inclination towards letters). But to believe that hammering their heads full with your agenda to get them 'smart' is likely to have the opposite effect--and worse, it might even cause undue stress and lack of self-confidence in children whose work is after all, to play.

2. Learning that is dolled out in bite sizes.

This is a pet peeve. If you think about the way you approach something you are keen on, it is with a wholeheartedness that doesn't stop just because the clock says it's 10.30. That interest is alive within you--you reflect a lot on  it, you see connections and synergies evolving because you are primed to learn more about it; your radar is up and at the ready. When a kid is learning naturally, you will notice much the same: they want to learn in gulps!

3. Constantly interrupting the learning process.
We all do it. We especially interrupt ourselves! But when children are in the midst of exploring, examining, playing, we would do well to try to avoid worrying the process. Just watch a little kids' face when they are concentrating--it's a joy to behold.
4. Learning has to be evident and measurable--by a certain standard. Our standard.

Hence homework and testing because if you can't prove it, you don't know it.

5. Learning anything without context.
Without real life, tangible context, how can education be meaningful?

6. Well roundedness.
The danger is that you are likely to end up with mediocrity in everything and mastery in nothing.

7. The school day.
The school day, we all know is based around the 9 to 5 schedule but as work evolves and changes, school will have to keep up as well.

8. The school itself. The classroom setting. The bell ringing.
Break it open, let the family and the community be part of educating our children.

Let's hear it from our readers now!


Anonymous said...

Too true but how do we change the school system? The bureaucracy is overwhelming and nobody can seem to get out of it-once you're in it.

Courtney Gauthier-Cooper said...

Number six really spoke to me. People always question me about how my kids will learn everything they would I'm school. I don't want them to! I want them to learn what is relevant to them!

beatrice ekoko said...

@Courtney: Exactly! We are not in the business of 'making people' but rather helping people make themselves.

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