We have interesting conversations in our coffee meets and at the end of it, I always bring back happy feelings and of course thoughts to ponder.
Why do we send our children to school? I know for sure and you know as well. Being highly educated and a Harvard drop out(Sigh! - long story), I do believe I go into school for knowledge, social interaction, and some fun time in learning. Yes, learning has to be fun.
To make it clear, I am talking about pre-primary, primary, middle and high school. Going to school has always been about studies, more studies and more studies and more competition and more competition. Well, thats how I spent my childhood days. But what did I learn at the end of school. All I rememered was I did memorize and mugged (studying without passion). That's my childhood, but of course as I grew up, studying things further of not my interest, I did do well etc.
But ask me about history, about my physics, about my chemistry, about my math. I would blink. Huh, i dont know,all I know is I remember studying that. Ya, ya, over time, doing a masters, dropping out of it, working, all fell in place, because I made a secondary effort to relearn many things with conceptualization. I was mature. But learning could have been fun! I realized this when I went to Harvard.
Now I feel, after pondering again, on school systems I am more mature, to understand, to give enough time to my child, to teach 1 or 2 or many more than what he does in school. I am not afraid to let my child go against, I am not afraid to teach my child something which is different. 1+2 = 3 always, but there is more that in life. Correct, I think you get my point, addition always gives you more.
Again, there is another phase which gets always passed on to me, too much knowledge is a dangerous thing. Well, I think it at the end of your life, it gives you immense fulfillment to know you experiment, innovative and learn.
Back to bras-trax. Does dictation tests tell you how bright you are. Yes of course, it tell you the knowledge you have. (what rubbish!!!) Child you HAVE to show the knowledge you have. If you know it, answer it. Day 1: 10/10, DAy2: 10/10, Day 3: 8/10, Day 4: 7/10, Day 5: 10/10, Day6: 10/10. Child, you knew the answer " WHY DID YPU NOT WRITE IT" THAT'S NOT DONE". (what rubbish).
You see patterns in scoring change. Let me tell you an analysis. My son is probably crazy about numbers and he loves reading, can read huge words with much ease. But really, that is his skill, he learned the "techniques" from school and home. Fantastic. But he scores 10/10 some days, he scores 7/10 some days, he scores, 9/10 some days and even 6/10 some days. But he knows his stuff? Yes he does, read further.
So those marks really matter to knowledge? Marks matter yes as you grow, helps you analyse yourself and focus on weaker and get to admission and fame and name. All that is fine, but he is a day dreamer. When asked, how come you forgot and missed a word. He tells me " Mummy, i was thinking". By the way, I believe he started to day dream on the depth of the word. The word was "come", which he missed, but he said, he was trying to make sentences on that word and was telling me all those little details of his little dream. So much fun, right?
Now hold on, he was thinking something, he was dreaming of making sentences. Such a beautiful phenomenon, isn't it. I am convinced children are the innovators or tomorrow!
Now, he is a child and all children are, really :). They dream, they think, they conquer their own minds. I stopped then, to not say further. Sid, you shine!. You knew the word, but was dreaming about it :). And we laughed. But I guess he knew about the 7/10. I did not tell him 10/10 is the best. Why? Because he was fine, happy and he was dreaming and conquered something more. I call this giving my children incentive to grow on their own. I was also happy to hear one of the teachers telling a parent, we are not worried about the marks the children get, as long as they are learning.
Yes I do see some change in the Indian education system, but the system has to grow more, parents, teachers, children all have to work together to enhance and nurture the child to innovate, think, motivate themselves, not forced motivation (Which means more stress on all and more on the child, which reduced the absorption capacity). I hope as my children grow older, and get more time I can be one among many to bring positive changes to the education and knowledge base.