wrong Seeds

बोलन्या थली | ५ पुष २०८०, बिहीबार
wrong Seeds

Education is the process of promoting learning, acquiring knowledge, and developing skills through various forms of teaching, training, research, or experience, especially in schools or universities. However, it can take place in formal or informal settings, at any stage of life. Education fosters the development of intellectual, emotional, social, and physical aptitudes that enable individuals to engage in constructive and creative activities in the society. Ideal education should not be justthe transmission of information, rather it must encourage critical thinking, creativity, and innovation to shape an individual’s character and worldview. Education is not only for the personal growth of an individual but also for the developmentof ethical and moral behaviors. Moreover, it inspiresan individual to be involved in positive activities for the welfare of the society and the whole world.

Academic institutions (schools, colleges, universities) are increasing worldwide. Similarly, the global literacy rate is also showing an increasing trend every year.It simply reflects that the number of educated people in the world is rising. In contrast, social problems including murder, rape, suicide, racial discrimination, political corruption, and human trafficking are also increasing day by day. It is highly unexpected and indicates some serious problems in our education system and way of teaching, especially at the school level. Education and teaching should always aim to develop a healthy and happysociety.Societies become destructive, corrupted, and brutal because of our mindset irrespective ofour educational qualifications.Therefore, it is crucial to analyze and reconstruct different aspects of the existing education systemthat will ultimately help students developa constructive and creative mindset. Seeds are planted in students in their elementary and middle school period, which are expected to blossom when they become an adult. Plantation of the right kind of seeds leads to beautiful flowers with pleasant fragrances. However, these days people plant the wrong seeds and expect them to blossom and spread a nice aroma. Therefore, there is an urgent call to modify the ways of teaching and planting the correct seeds.

The first and critical wrong seed is teaching students to be competitive, not creative. Our overall evaluation systems are based on competition, not on creativity. All the exams, assignments, and tests force students to compete with each other. Every student wants to top the class regardless of real interest and curiosity. It is imposed by our society and teaching methods that they should be competitive to get some rewards for an acceptable life. This competitive mindset can never generate love, compassion, and gratitude. It creates unnecessary pressure, leads to negative feelings, and destroys self-esteem. Gradually, this competitive mindset works as a slow poison and leads to the development of criminal behavior in individuals. The competitive mindset is a limiting mindset that focuseson someone or something else. It usually narrows down the creativity of students. Onthe other hand, a creative mindset gives innovative solutions to problems and the ability to look at situations from different perspectives. Moreover, creativity is a natural order of life and a creative mind is always in harmony with nature, as life is also a pure creative energy. The creative mind has always gratitude, love, and compassion. Every novel invention in this world is the result of creativity not of the competition. However, it is difficult to neglect the fact that, healthy competition is needed to some extent in preparingstudents/kids for future real-life situations. Therefore, teachers and parents should precisely explain that competition is not just about winning or losing. The learning process should be prioritized rather than winning, which helps to look at losing constructively. Even though we cannot completely ignore the evaluation systems like exams or assignments, we should emphasize and praise the efforts, not the results. We should look for alternativeevaluation systems that canhelp an individual cultivate a creative mindset but not a competitive mindset.

The second wrong seed is teaching to celebrate success but not to accept and embrace failure. We have been taught that failure is the worst thing that can happen to us and it can never lead to success. We always teach to celebrate success but we forget to teach how to handle our failures. People are praised for their success, but they are cursed and neglected when they fail and hit the rock. Especially for small kids in schools and at home, it is very crucial to teach them how to cope with failure. It has a tremendous negative impact on their delicate and sensitive mindset when we celebrate others’ success in front of them without taking care of their failure. It breakstheir self-confidence and self-respect, which gradually leads to the development of revenge-like behavior with a destructive and criminal mindset. Therefore, we should teach them that success is neither the opposite of failure nor an end destination. Indeed, both success and failure are part of our life.

The third wrong seed is an imposed discipline. It is very important to have a certain level of discipline at home and school. A positive, creative, and conscious discipline might help students in several ways. It may help them be focused on life, perform better in academics, achieve goals, and so on. However, an imposed and strict discipline may have adverse outcomes too. Unnecessarily imposed discipline creates pressure and a burden on them. It limits their natural capacity and creativity. It can deprive them of the opportunity to internalize self-discipline and responsibility. They might learn that power is always right. Imposed discipline increases tendencies towards rebellion and antisocial behavioral problems such as anger, depression, and delinquency. They only learn to obey, but they don’t learn to think for themselves. This simply kills their curiosity and makes them dull. Such forced discipline reduces their self-confidence and self-esteem. Gradually, they are habituated to follow the rules and protocols, which makes them like machines or robots.To avoid this, we can be role models for them and create such an environment that self-discipline will be developed naturally. This self-discipline lasts longer and will make individuals responsible for real situations in life.

Take-home message–Lastly,I would like to suggest teachers/parents encourage their students/children to be creative, not competitive. Nourish them in such an environment that they will be enriched with love and compassion. Cope with their failures and help them to find their real talents. Guide their walk with close observation, but don’t force them to follow your footprints. Everyone is unique and special and born to make his/her own footprints. Let them grow into humans, not machines.

Uttam Ojha, PhD

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Kyungpook National University, Daegu, South Korea

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