Learning is spontaneous and is most effective when it is done willingly with a Happy Heart. To me, learning cannot be forced, it has to be done at your own free will to achieve the desired results!
When I chanced upon my son’s facebook posts and What’s App messages, I was very disturbed to realise that all this while, he had the misconception that he was being ‘forced to learn for the sake of passing examinations in school’! This perception is definitely incorrect.
Learning is an essential and compulsory skill required for survival. Education is important as it moulds our character and offers us the skills which are applicable throughout our lives. Knowledge gained in Maths and Science can be applied in real life and an excellent command of languages enables us to communicate effectively with people from all walks of life. Hence, knowing that what is learned in school now will be useful to us for life is surely an important factor that can motivate one to learn happily and willingly not only in school but throughout his life.
In order to achieve the optimal results of effective learning, one must be made to realise or enjoy the benefits of learning from time to time. For example, if one starts to learn fishing, the first fish he caught will be his first achievement in this learning process. To make him further cherish this achievement, he can be given an opportunity to barbeque this ‘first achievement’ and then share it with his family and friends. This unique experience will definitely make the learner realise that for the effort he made to learn fishing which is a new skill to him, he will in turn gain a new experience (The experience of sampling his own catch). This new experience would have been non-existent if the learning of that new skill did not happen in the first place!
However, how then can we create an activity to allow students in our schools to realise the difference that their academic learning can make to them or their everyday lives to motivate them to continue learning? This portion can prove to be challenge to educators and parents alike.
To achieve this target, we can start a project in school for the brighter students to offer assistance to the weaker ones. When these students are given a chance to try out ”the teaching role” on their peers, it not only reinforces what they have already learned but also enables them to take pride in themselves and boost their self confidence. At the same time, the weaker students can easily catch up with them in the learning process and continue with the learning journey together.
As different students are strong in different subjects, they can exchange their knowledge in their strong areas and brush up on their weaker areas from others. This system is typically a small replica of society at large. People who are strong in their sciences may become doctors and scientists who contribute to society in these areas while others who are skilful in art and craft can make contributions in other ways within their own niche areas.
In short, in order for everyone to embrace learning as a life-long skill from a young age, we have to realise the benefits of learning and do it happily and willingly to achieve the optimal results.