Friday, 23 January 2015

The Wonder duo talks : Does school take the joy out of the learning process?

Friday, 23 January 2015

Hello blog !

Since Rachid and I are both students , we decided that the first wonder duo talk should be about the following question  "Does school take the joy out of the learning process ?".

Here is the talk :

Rachid : A Chinese proverb says that learning is a treasure that will follow it's owner everywhere. Such wise words! But to continue down the path of learning, there is one road companion that every one of us has to bring along if he wants to go far in this particular trip: it's Mr Happiness ( Joy for the most intimate ). Why ? because if you ever want to continue doing something for a long time, you must be enjoying it otherwise you'll just quit ! So that bought us to think we the wonder duo about the joy we feel in the learning process. And since most learning process is done in schools. we are wondering:Is joy really a parameter of the learning of our schools nowadays ? I think it's not ! what about you Khaoula ?

Khaoula : You are right Rachid. Happiness is something very precious .Hard to find but worth the trouble. I firmly believe that living life ,in general, without being happy is a nightmare. Let alone studying or working. I think that schools nowadays focus so much on giving information to students in order to make the knowledgeable , that they suck the joy out of the educational process. Hapiness and even mental health issues are not even taken into considiration by schools. That is terrefying if you concider how much stress school causes to students and the fact that student today have more anxiety than child phsychiatric patients in the 1950's.

“Don’t push students farther than their limit. All my teachers say, "I’m treating you like this because that’s how you’ll be treated in college." Guess what? I’m not in college; I’m 15 and in high school for a reason.”

—  Anonymous student-“Schools Need to Reduce Academic Pressure on Students”

Rachid : So you are with me in the fact that the process of learning in our schools doesn't take into account the happiness of the students. Since I am from scientific background, a mathematics student to be more precise I know that very well ! mathematics, are probably the best example of the lack of the joy criteria in our education. almost everyone hated math classes, aside from the naturally gifted in it ! and that brings up the first issue of how things are handled in our schools: Less joy means less interest in the lessons and that eventually leads to a lesser study of lessons which means that more students are going to fail to learn what is needed. That is not good !! especially for young students, and it impacts on their learning process for their whole life !

Khaoula : Yes definitely. In high school the only people who loved math are the ones who were good at it . the same goes for all the subjects. If you love something and you are gifted in it, you love it. No credit given to the educational system. I think that what contributes the most in students not liking to attend certain classes is the fact that they are forced on them . I read about a school in the UK that gives its students the choice to either attend class or sit around and play all day. Eventually all the students attended class.
Humans have a natural sense of curiosity , they want to learn. Forcing classes on them isn't going to make them excellent. If anything it is going to kill their love of education. I'm not saying that school should be canceled( not at all ), but fact of the matter is that school is making students physically and mentally ill. It’s actually limiting their creative capacity, and it’s making them resent studying rather than fall in love with it. I’ve seen people brought to their worst and darkest places at the hands of the education system and I think it’s about time people started talking about that. and try to change it.

Rachid : And this is exactly what we are hoping to trigger with this article ! I do agree about the fact that students once they reach a certain age, should be given choice in what they want to study ! it is done partially in schools around Europe, but I find that even their experience is not enough ! Giving student more freedom is going to have a good impact on their overall studies. Especially for teenager who are hitting their rebellious years.......sorry teenagers, no offense meant, we all have been there ! Anyways, the fact is that giving more freedom to students also teach them a valuable lesson of taking decisions, assuming responsibility and taking the initiative ! another thing to take into account is that the actual generation of students who grew up with computers, mass media ...etc are still learning the same way as the students 60 years ago with a backboard and chalk ! So it's normal that they find classes boring and don't feel any happiness in attending classes when they are taught with a system that don't give them the same experience as in their usual lives : especially interacting and experiencing by themselves instead of being passive in a class listening to a lecture .

Khaoula : Exactly ! based on my own experience as a literature and arts' student this is completely true. Some teachers , with respect to them and what they teach, haven't updated their teaching strategies since they began teaching ,probably. and are still following the "the teacher is the only one with the information" method. So how are student that live in the "everything is one click away" world supposed to react. 
Education has become increasing boring unless you have a great teacher who makes the curriculum interesting and relevant to you and that's rare. 
On another note school should be a place where youth get to explore, learn and grow as humans . they should have the right to choose what to study . so they won't feel like they're in a jail and that they'll never be good enough .Education, nowadays, is used to shape sudents' brains and oblige them to conform to certain social and intellectual standards. Classes become less about learning and more about retention . No creativity no imagination ,nothing. And that is not what we want to teach our youth. the people who are going to run the world tomorrow. 

Rachid : Exactly, but one would argue by saying : " Okay, you do make a point, but what are the alternatives ?". There are plenty of alternative that can be proposed, I will list two ones that I find are the most important. 
First, schools were built for children and teenagers and what do they find enjoyable ? Games are the first that comes to your minds right ? gaming can be put to use in different ways into a learning process. mathematic teachers might teach their students the basics of calculus using a game of dices or Monopoly for example, they might put solving hard mathematical riddles that will make students do research and learn notions that are supposed to know by themselves instead of teaching it the traditional way. Maybe including a prize, will also help encourage them to solve it ! I personally learned a lot while playing games, especially video games ! things like playing an RPG in English for example will help you a lot with learning the language. Mind games teach you logic and calculus .... 
The second thing that can make learning more enjoyable is giving the students more space to take initiatives. For example, in literature classes, Instead of imposing a novel to be read by all ! we could let students form groups and choose a novel to read ans study that has to be approved by the teacher of course. and every now and then every group can expose what they learned for the whole class to see !

Khaoula : True ! other ways we can improve education is to value teachers more. They are the ones in charge in the classroom , they do a lot of work and they should be payed more . We can also -as you already said- try and make the learning experience fun but including things like movies ,games... 
I think that the proverb that describes education the most currently  is “curiosity killed the cat ,education killed curiosity" we should work on making education fuel students' curiosity by having more debates and discussion on things that actually matter . we should let student be in charge sometimes and guide them on other times. we should work on making the student - teacher realtionship better and make the school environment more joyful and energetic. Fixing educational systems is not easy at all. but everything has a starting point. Students , teacher and authorities should work hand in hand to make a powerful system that can raise a good generation.

Conclusion : Yes school takes the joy out of the learning process and sometimes of students' lives and YES that should change.

The Wonder Duo

Khaoula & Rachid


 Social media links :   twitter , facebook  , bloglovin

    No comments:

    Post a Comment

    The life of an introvert. © 2014