Sunday, March 8, 2009
When learning should be an absolute joy.
March...graduation time. Students are once again in the limelight. Especially those graduating with honors and or with special academic awards.
Now, before anybody goes off thinking that academics don't matter to me, let me say, that as a parent that isn't exactly the case. It isn't that I saw no reason for my boys to study because I knew an education is important.
What I never get, is the point of all this hullabaloo about getting THE grade.
I'm of that school of thought that knowledge can't really be graded. Well, knowledge of certain objective truths like in Math - those can be measured. But how to measure with a number the use of a simile, or making a pasta, or a creative design?
For one thing, I am also taken aback by how seriously some parents take this whole notion of education as a competition.
Of course, I see that the world is all competition. And even if we try not to compete, we cannot entirely avoid it. Sure, I can make sense of competition for a job, for a promotion, for client in business. But competition in education? I guess part of me is still in some fantasy world where education means learning and not getting the grade.
However some parent are so intent on having their kids do well in school they get tutors even while the kid is in the first grade and should instead be enjoying this thing once known as a childhood.
I even hear so many parents lament now that their kids spend so much time in front of a television watching cartoons. A complaint that's been around since they themselves were kids! I suppose they would be happier if their children spend their free time memorizing encyclopedia. Maybe they feel that would be normal.
Unfortunately, not all kids are created equal. In other words, there are some kids that even if you strap them to a chair and flash mathematical equation in front of them the whole day, they still won't get it.
And it's not because they are dumb. It's because each child has a special way of learning.