March 20, 2018

The Memorise-Regurgitate Exercise

Ever since I had seen activity sheets or puzzles that claim to teach opposites to children, I used to wonder if they are really needed? It is all a part of our daily conversations, right? Why does a child have to sit and recognise/read the opposites and point to the right answer/puzzle piece? Whose interest was it?

The one who marketed and sold the product has achieved his aim(making money) while the parent enjoys the short 2 min span of time where she floats on cloud 9 when the activity looks 'COMPLETE' to her and the child never understands why she was made to do it, in the first place. The child had better things to do in her to-do list. Her agenda has just been disturbed. And, not to forget the parents who seem to be thinking that they fail in keeping their child rooted to ground even for 10 mins by not making her complete such worksheets/puzzles. Their children actually stuck to their agenda in life and did not succumb to these sit-down and memorise activities

Oh and those puzzles/books/memorise-regurgitate exercises that are done at home/school like: Animals and their homes, Animals and their baby animals, opposites, Greeting phrases, feelings, etc. etc. Of what use are they? Whose intention was it to introduce in that way? I am sure most of the adults would still google to look for an animal's/bird's home. So,what is an eagle's home/nest called?

I wonder how much time of early childhood goes into doing such activities where the intention is mainly to memorise and regurgitate in front of guests at home or the exam in school in order to score good grades and make the teachers and parents happy. Did you notice the amount of time, energy that the child puts in and the money the parent puts in for schools/buying those puzzles?

What could the child do if he had all the time for his own? How well could the same time be spent? I can easily think of 20 different ways and I am sure a child could think of 50 different ways to spend his childhood. Why do we press the child to learn certain things a certain way?

A 1 year/ 1.5 year child easily understands the words/phrases like 'Come here', 'go there', 'after', 'before', big/small glass, hot/cold/warm and many more(so-called opposites). All this is learnt just by her intuition. Once speech starts and the child is loaded with activities/puzzles/worksheets/classwork/homework, she is demanded to memorise all the above mentioned names/opposites/terms in a specific manner. But Why?

Real life experiences would make a child encounter with sufficient terms and the language to be used to communicate will any ways be learnt. Imagine when the child starts to think about necessity of home and wonder how the animals manage to live and find out for himself that the animals also build(or man-made) certain kinds of homes/nest and starts to learn about the names himself? How does it feel? Learning all by himself feels so much satisfying than the memorise-regurgitate exercises that are designed by parents/teachers, right?

Those feelings/emotions puzzles/worksheets - a child is intended to look at various pictures and recognise the feeling/emotion. There would be dots below the eye and it is supposed to be seen as crying. 3 year olds are expected to practice these. Why can't we let the child experience life by living where she would any way encounter people who would be happy, sad, excited, disappointed etc. at a moment. And, if you say, it is about learning to draw such emotions. A child, who has enough seen real people changing the face expressions according to their emotions, would easily be in a position to draw such expression on paper. A child who is given time, would understand that tears could be drawn as drops/dotted lines on paper. Where is the question of teaching or making the child practice?

What does it mean when you say, you/the school is educating your child?

Is the child receiving 'Education' in its true meaning?




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