Spiritual Success in Modern Education
Education means the first step for the child into the world outside his home. Ideally, children should be enthusiastic to come to school, a place where they find the fun and joy of learning. They are entering a new world with abundant love and curiosity.
But in our country, what we emphasize in the early years is the skill
of reading, writing and simple arithmetic. In the class and for daily homework, repetitive
writing of the alphabet is being assigned for 3 1/2 year olds. How will a child express
her love, imagination and creativity in such a condition?
But in our country, what we emphasize in the early years is the skill of reading, writing and simple arithmetic. In the class and for daily homework, repetitive writing of the alphabet is being assigned for 3 1/2 year olds. How will a child express her love, imagination and creativity in such a condition?
Children by nature are very curious, which helps them learn many things on their own. They can express themselves very clearly through hearing and observing the world around them. They clear the doubts in their minds by asking questions which is the natural process of a child's education. A teacher should be ready and eager to answer their questions. If the teacher asks the child a question, the child should be rewarded with immediate approbation for her correct answer. If her answer is incorrect, it should be calmly explained to her what she did not understand. This should be done in such a way that the child does not feel humiliated or discouraged.
If we consider this from the angle of human psychology, the freedom to learn and make mistakes given to any child will lead to creative thinking and discovery. Restriction to a single topic or forcing a child to memorise passages will lead to a dull mind.
The child learns better and faster by observing. Observation leads to thinking. But it is imperative that the child is allowed to learn at her own speed, according to her own likes and interest. We may ask if this is possible to implement in Indian schools today. It is, of course. In our school we offer all of these opportunities to our children. In Primrose School we have taken up the methods evolved by Dr. Glenn Doman of the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential, USA. We practise his method of flash cards for early reading and general knowledge. This system awakens the curiosity of the child even as early as pre-KG or two years of age. There is a joy in constantly learning new information shown on the flash cards and pride in the new skill of reading.
By the second standard, we encourage children to write their own stories and essays. If a topic is given to thirty children in our class and they are asked to write about it, each child will have her own idea and will express her creativity in a different way. The original ideas of thirty different children create a new hybrid delicious fruit.
Besides giving children academic freedom and encouraging their curiosity, we would like to pass on certain values to them like truthfulness, punctuality, honesty, generosity, kindness, self-confidence, cleanliness, sincerity and simplicity.
Children are always watching and imitating each and every aspect of their teachers' behaviour. When you ask a child about her future ambition, often her wish would be to become a teacher, because she admires all the valuable qualities of her teacher.
If a child is undisciplined in class, instead of becoming irritated, the teachershould try to look into the matter calmly, to understand what caused the wrong behaviour by her own introspection. In our school punishment is forbidden. No teacher should even scold or threaten children. In due course, the teacher should discover her own faults and put that knowledge to use. Though it is very difficult to accept one's mistakes, we must try to change our own behaviour. Then the child will also automatically change her behaviour. We believe that if children are to be taught not to lie, the teacher must be the first to abolish lying in herself. A child will respect a teacher for what she is, not for what she says.
It is said that teachers are our second mothers, as they nourish the child with abundant love and affection.
Today's children have immense opportunities before them. They have the capacity to become famous personalities in future. In our school we are not only educating the children but simultaneously nourishing them with as much affection as we can give them. If teachers everywhere practice the above ideas, definitely children can achieve whatever they choose as a goal. As teachers, we can produce many truly successful and talented citizens for India.
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