Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Education is something that happens in your head.....not in the classroom

Save me from my hormones
Anyone who felt that they never achieved their academic potential at school may be heartened to finally understand why they just didn’t match up.

I have alot of thoughts running around in my head
What was your 15 year old brain like? Was it under attack by hormonal gremlins who were pushing your buttons and driving you crazy? Were you a perpetual cause for concern to your parents and teachers? Did you feel that you just couldn’t learn as fast as others ? Had a member of the opposite sex caught your eye? Were you engrossed in sports or art classes? Did you have a stable home life? Were there quiet places to study? Did you feel emotionally safe? Were you surrounded by strong role models? Did you understand what healthy eating was? Were your care-givers inspirational people? Were you just indulging in the irresponsibility of youth? Was the kidult in you in rebellion?

These are questions that no one asks or quite knows the answers to. Although in extreme cases, the onus is on schools and teachers to be aware of the specific reasons for under-achievement. Some students are invisible to their teachers. Some are struggling with a number of issues at home that prevent them from learning. All of us have had obstacles and whilst this is a negative factor, no obstacle is ever insurmountable.

The jigsaw in my mind
Diligent students who attend school regularly aren’t always able to achieve academically. There’s something about being a teenager that prevents you from sitting for long periods in isolation. When the sun’s shining and there are friends to hang out with it’s torture to stay with your books. Sometimes the words of a song  will crowd out all the intellectual thoughts or you’ll be mooning over an actor/singer/writer/artist/boy-next-door as well as the latest fashion and frippery of the day.  Social media has provided endless diversions for the teenage mind.

Schools force students to learn in the same way. There’s no individualised programme and that’s the heart of the matter. What if you can’t learn the in the way that the teacher teaches?  Perhaps your brain is wired a different way. What if you’d rather enjoy being carefree before the responsibilities of adulthood bear down on you?

I remember this from my Geography book

School, in the early part of your life, seems like a conduit for stuffing your head with a lot of useless facts…..most of them you’ll never use or remember! Exam success is the commercial aspect of education and one that seems more important to other people than yourself. Parents get bragging rights when you pass with flying colours and who wouldn’t feel proud of top grades that will open more than a few doors in later life. 

The true purpose of education, however, is for the refinement of your mind and spirit. Too often spirits are crushed under the heavy weight of academic expectation and that can be demoralising. Schools place an academic structure in a young mind to avert the damage that may be caused if left empty. There’s nothing worse than an empty mind….ask the devil; he knows!

When you’re young education is like a complex, jigsaw puzzle that you feel you’ll never complete. As you mature you’ll have many “aha” moments when it finally dawns on you how it fits into your world. A little learning is sometimes considered a dangerous thing but a lot of learning can do you the world of good. 

It's in my head and it got me a top job!
When you’re reminiscing on your school days you won’t recall a thing (except your friends and best teachers) but you know that without it you’d never be as educated as you are. 

The jigsaw in your head may never get finished and if there’s pieces missing perhaps that’s how it should be. 

What you learn in the class room stays in the classroom and if it manages to penetrate your mind it stays with you forever. 

Education is a life long process so always keep your mind and head in a constructive and productive state of motion.



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