“Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another lifetime.”
Every child is different. And as the child grows, her abilities that make her different begin to develop. Rabindranath Tagore was one such different child. Never happy with the conventional modes of study, he would always find himself lost in the world of dreams, only to be thrashed back to reality by his teachers. Tagore never liked the rote learning system of the schools and longed to escape it. He always believed that classes should be held in the open rather than the confines of a classroom. He had his own idea about education from a young age and this idea later resulted in the establishment of Shantiniketan, a place where young minds are allowed to develop without being forced to learn in a conventional manner. No one really supported Tagore in his endeavour, but he went ahead with his idea alone and today Visva Bharati University (as it was renamed later) attracts students from India and abroad.
Dull classroom learning and force-feeding facts into a child’s mind will make her literate but not necessarily educated. Famous poet W. B Yeats once said, “Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.” What conventional formal education does is “fill the pail” but the fire in a child’s mind is rarely given a chance to grow. The pressure is on good grades often and not the overall development of the child. Parents these days are forcing their children to take up various hobby classes for their so called “overall development”. What the parents are failing to see is their child’s interest. A child who likes to play football will be instead sent to dance classes because “that is what everyone is doing”. Parents these days are pulling out all stops to provide “quality education” but more often than not they are getting it wrong by succumbing to the raging competition of the current world. In a bid to secure the best for their children, parents end up making their children’s lives even more hectic than it already is. And this in turn affects the creativity of the child, benumbing her ability to think out of the box.
If the curriculum is eased up and modified to suit the tender minds of growing children creativity can be boosted and encouraged in them. Easing up their schedule will enable children to think on their own. Children will learn how to think instead of what to think.