Rohan is having some problems in writing his cursive ABCs, look how helpful his teacher is, she just came up to his seat and did his work for him!
Priya doesn’t feel like doing her homework of practicing number names, wait a minute she can ask mom to do it. See how helpful her mom is, she simply can’t say no to that puppy face, mommy will do Priya’s homework for her!
While both Rohan and Priya seem immensely blessed with helpful teachers and parents, what happens when they get into similar situations after 5 years down the road? Who’s going to come and solve their problems for them – I’m afraid NO ONE! And for the teachers and parents who believe that they are being helpful by doing a child’s work for him or her, let me tell you, you are actually damaging their abilities in the entire learning process.
Everyone is looking for a shortcut these days, if a child wants to learn something either the child or his parents will go to Google, or better yet watch a video on YouTube because god forbid if they read a few lines it might waste their precious time which can be better spent behind the screen of some useless gadget.
How is this hampering their abilities you ask? Well. To start off their problem-solving ability is going down the drain when they constantly seek out solutions to their problems on the internet, the same thing happens to their ability to think and respond.
I being a picky and concerned mother, found one the best preschools for my child accredited by QualityKG preschool accreditation. Their preschool development programs are well researched and designed to train teachers so that parents like me can get the finest preschool experience of our child. When one of the teachers at my son’s preschool said that the ultimate secret to quality Early Childhood Education was ‘doing nothing’ to help children foster, I became intrigued. This is what the teacher had to say:
“Recently, I arranged a treasure hunt for our little learners in the preschool’s garden area. This was a new, intricate, yet stimulating experience. Before the treasure hunt, I made all the arrangements; the stage was set for the little pirates. The idea was to put them in charge, I was only going to get involved in case of a safety issue, other than that every step of the treasure hunt was left up to the children. I gave them directions, made groups and gave them their little pirate hats and maps.”
She further added:
“Instantly they started asking a lot of question – Where do we start? Who’s going to lead the troops? What will we eat? What are the rules? I told them that I have already provided all the information, it’s now their turn to work it out themselves!”
Being the naïve players that they were they expected much more from the adult in the room (that would be the teacher in this case). Instead of getting challenged by this new experience, they wanted their teacher to help them find the treasure. Now in most cases the teacher or parent would cave in, thinking that their interruption will help the child out. A word to the wise – stay away from the easy way out, this doesn’t mean that we want you to force the little learners or push them in anyway. However, if you make them passive attendees in their own learning experience, they’ll never step out of their comfort zone. And later in life they won’t be able to take responsibility.
No matter how long it takes, once the little learners are engrossed in figuring out the rules and regulation of their treasure hunt the teacher should wait for them to work it out, they may go off track or get confused but you still need to be patient.
According to my son’s teacher – “When I am doing activities like a self-directed treasure hunt with my preschoolers, it usually takes double the time. But I think it’s worth the effort because the educational value of such activities is inestimable. If we spoon-fed our students during activities, we will inadvertently teach them that anything can be answered without any efforts from the young learners. From an educational viewpoint, this is a completely futile practice which doesn’t allow for improvement of resilience or ingenuity in children. This may cause them problems when they are faced with challenges later in life.”
All things considered, no one ever learned how to drive just by sitting in the passenger seat, it’s high time that we gave the current generation a lesson in responsibility and duties and let them and run the activities that’s the ultimate secret to quality Early Childhood Education. This may be tough on the children and the teachers as well, but eventually it’ll help in improving their problem-solving skills while teaching them some important life lessons – isn’t that the main objective of every teacher and parent?