What is education? So, basically education is nothing but an enlightening experience. And when a child goes through the process of education system and schooling he/she is full of brilliant ideas, new thoughts and various creative ways to solve any problem and create new things. The parents and teachers only have to act as a facilitator in order to nurture their creativity, by giving them exposure and bringing them a new way to process their thoughts and polish the thoughts.
If we look at the current schooling system, more or less the system has became passive in providing education and learning experiences to children and the real meaning of learning has disappeared somewhere in this process of education. So the question arises how to make education or study interesting for the children? So that “they want to study” not because “they need to study”. Now the question arises what can be done to make children “want to study” the answer is simple (but not easy)!
We normally associate a child not wanting to study – to their concentration levels, their attitude, their obedience etc. however the issue is mostly that we are not ‘engaging’ the child in studies. By engagement we mean that the child is emotionally and mentally challenged, thinking, trying out and learning during the process i.e. his mental and emotional faculties are being challenged –which builds the interest. Unfortunately we have made studies to be a very passive method of gaining knowledge for the sake of some examinations and results.
How do we do this differently and engage the child?
(Answer to this depends on the age / class of the child – not because its age specific but to what level the child has gone through the drudgery of passive learning so that the process of stimulating their minds can be ascertained). For a young mind, age up to 7/8 , we can follow the following ideas –
Provide them a nurturing environment where we can give them lots of exposure and facilitate them to learn and acquire new things and also discover their environment. Then they will be able to learn and connect to their earlier learning.
Children are constantly observing whatever is happening around them so we can use this ability in their learning. Give them some time and schedule the extra and free time in the school curriculum when they have to only observe their surroundings and form questions on it. In this way the child’s natural inquisitiveness gets nurtured. Also, when their questions are researched and discussed in the class it will encourage them to enquire and learn more.
Children are naturally curious and they love to experiment. If we look at the NCERT textbooks, we will find that they are full of activities and experiments in each topic/subject. A teacher can encourage children to practically do the activities and also add more to it if needed instead of just reading through the chapters and answering some pre-formulated questions.