Jun 19, 2007

On Learning



My six year old daughter refused to go to school today. On asking her why, she said she was scared of school.

Well, my wife and I tried to reason with her. We went with her to her school. She came along but her eyes were downcast and she refused to stay if we moved from there. She missed her cousins whom she had met last week during her vacations and she missed her teacher who taught her last year.

Sometimes, I worry about schools too. Most schools anyway. As Jeff Hunter says, what schools teach by how they teach, is more important than actually what they teach.

Normal schooling is about fitting in. It's about coloring inside the lines. It about making life structured and orderly. Its about building intellect and not empathy. It teaches a fear of mistakes than learning from mistakes. It also scares children if they think they are different from others.

However the skills we need for tomorrow. For succeeding in life, is different. In more cases than not, being the exact opposite of what schools teach.

My daughter's discomfort even in familiar surroundings reminded me of another truth. If we have fun with friends, and have a mentor we look up too, most places are great to be in.