Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Educators to explore the element

Some people gave their feedback on the topic stress destined or designed. One of them asked me if it was wrong for the parents to remain with the children appearing in the board or school based examination. My response to them is that the children should not be forced or driven to unnecessary stress during the time when they should be encouraged to relax so that they revise what they learnt during the term/session as this revision is to be done by the children and not by the parents. I want to know for how long and how much we would keep our children pushing without understanding their areas of strength in which they love to get involved with all their zeal and enthusiasm. Some parents want their children to be known as more intelligent for the simple reason because  intelligence has been defined based on the marks/grades secured by the children in the examination. Only marks syndrome keep troubling me and many more people because this takes away the focus from the real intelligence.  Howard Gardner tried to give a more comprehensive concept of intelligence when he wrote about the concept of multiple intelligence. A lot work has been done and many books have also been written by educationist and the researchers since then. The concept of multiple intelligence has made the life of many school going children comfortable than what it was before. To say that the school examination and the performance of the children in such examination is of no use, is not correct. These standardized tests give a pencil sketch about the potential of the child which then needs to be filled in myriad colours by discovering the latent talent of the child. I think we cannot do away with such test/examination but these cannot be considered to be the sole criterion for someone to be judged to be intelligent or otherwise. The book by Ken Robinson, the element gives a  beautiful description of the ways a person can perform much better in life. Before reading this book, I used to tell children that they should discover their interest and then pursue the same. I also used to caution them that though they should know what is of their interest but at the same time should be sure about whether that is in their interest or not. If there is something of their interest and is also in their interest they might perform exceptionally well. Robinson says that if you love doing something then make sure that you are good at that. One might do well if he does a thing of his liking but the result would be much better if the same person is good also at doing it. For example, somebody might love football but if he is not good at it, then he may not be reach it’s zenith.
Another important aspect of the child`s doing well in life is the creativity. This is a proven fact that all the newly born kids are intelligent in some or the other area and they are creative also. You can observe the activities of the children and realize that the children up to the age of 10-11 years are very creative and they respond to all your questions. When they grow they tend to hesitate in trying something new or responding to questions. Those people who do not worry about the quality of the answer (right or wrong) tend to answer and respond as they feel good. They do not bother whether they would be appreciated or not. The exposure to the environment in which one grows is very important. The schools need to give that freedom to the children to express themselves freely. Moreover, the tests are to be designed in a manner which gives an opportunity to the child to think all by himself/herself and come out with an appropriate answer and not the one necessarily expected by someone. They must be encouraged to believe what has been taught in the class but at the same time should have a freedom to challenge the same. Further discussion can take place as a result and the child will better understand the answer better than before. Ken Robinson writes about the real story of a little girl who was advised by the school to be admitted to a special school because she was not able to learn in the class room and kept moving and not sit in the chair as the teacher expected her to do and also did not listen to her instructions. She was measured to be a hyperactive child. The mother took her to a psychologist who studied the child keenly and told her to learn dance because she was found to have a natural instinct for the same. The psychologist found that this girl would love to learn with body movements and not sit redundantly at a place. The mother took her to the dance classes, she found a fulfillment of her passion and thereafter she showed a lot of improvement in the class of academics also. This little girl found her element and loved that. She worked hard and was ultimately known as a great choreographer by the name Gillian Lynne. Had the psychologist put her on medication, the world would have missed on a great person. We have many such children in the classrooms, whose real potential and area of intelligence go unnoticed and that  labels them as redundant children. This is the reason people in the field of education have coined a saying that one size does not fit all. All children are different from each other and are unique, then how can one type of teaching and test judge their intelligence? The children should be allowed to think differently. Though this is a difficult task for the educators but, that is what will enhance and expose the creative skills of the children. To let them imagine is one very important exercise which shall allow them to think differently and explore their creative horizons. This does not mean that they question everything but at the same time why to accept all the things as it is. If the steam engine invented by James Watt was accepted to be ultimate and people did not think critically about it and improved upon the same, we would not have had the highly efficient engines as we have today.  The education system should be such that it develops the critical thinking, imagination power and the creativity of the children because that will sustain the progress and every individual will love what he/she does. The parents and the teachers should be careful while they force certain ideas on their kids knowingly or unknowingly. We have to understand that the world is changing and evolving very fast and we cannot be hindrance in that. The teachers particularly have to play a significant role in this and try to know the element in every child and encourage him/her to do what they are good at doing. The children do keep changing their areas of interest because of the influence of the people around them but this is the major responsibility of the educators and the schools to recognize their potential and motivate them in that direction. Though, this may seem to be a difficult task but if taken seriously would become very easy as well provided the educators love what they do and be good at doing that.

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