I cannot imagine a world where people do not value education. Everywhere you go and whoever you come across, a person’s education or lack thereof (due to lack of funds or opportunities) will always be used for initial small talk and eventually may become a topic of a conversation.
The concept of education has diversified throughout time. Science, Math, and English were the beacons of intelligence. If you have high grades for these subjects then it is a given that you are going to succeed in life. This was and may still be the perception for most people. But this way of thinking is slowly being altered since different kinds of research claim the opposite. Of course these subjects play a crucial role in our lives and have provided people with millions of jobs. We also need to know the basics in order to function well in society. But people have been very preoccupied with the importance of IQ that it is usually too late to realise that we have also been neglecting our EQ.
The first time I heard of the terms multiple intelligence, Montessori, and home schooling, is one of the days I am most grateful for. Learning about these has made me become the parent that I am today. I am more concerned about my child’s over-all development than badgering him about the grades he receives in school. I feel that there should be a balance and a concern for the holistic development of a child and making sure that they have the right attitude to face the challenges in school and in the future. Whether we like it or not, we cannot shield our kids from the world. As much as we want to be there to protect and save them, they have to learn how to do it on their own. Our children’s ability to persevere, to be resilient, and to work hard is the very foundation they need in order to reach their goals in life, whether it is becoming a Scientist, a Musician, an Educator, or an Artist.
Here are some videos to further elaborate on what I have been talking about and how EQ is equally important as IQ or probably even MORE important.
Do schools kill creativity? | Sir Ken Robinson
Sir Ken Robinson’s humour is a delight to behold. His talks are always interesting and this talk in particular will make you think about how we should be educating our children if we want to assure them of a future that simply does not see the world as a commodity. I mentioned earlier that there should be a holistic balance and Sir Robinson states in the video that “creativity is as important as literacy and should be treated with the same status. “ It is as important to study math as it is to study dance. Children have different talents and strengths and there shouldn’t be a universal way of comparing how they can succeed.
Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth
Again, one’s IQ should not be the sole basis in determining how we can succeed in life. This video featuring Angela Lee Duckworth talks about a person’s emotional capability to do well in school and in their future, not by being the most intelligent, but by having GRIT. “Grit is passion and perseverance day in and day out [and for a number of years.]” She also talks about having the growth mindset which is the belief that the ability to learn is not fixed and may change with your effort and how you respond to challenges. We must be willing to fail and to be wrong because it is through our failures that we learn what we need to do in order to succeed. As Angela puts it, “we need to be gritty about getting our kids grittier.”
What do top students do differently? | Douglas Barton | TEDxYouth@Tallinn
Douglas Barton reiterates what the two previous speakers have been saying, it is not about having high IQ or being smart enough that determines how we do well in life. The one thing that top students do differently is PRACTICE. It is important that we know how to use and analyse what we remember or what we have read and not merely memorizing. Students who know how to self-motivate, have the self-discipline to cut out distractions, are resilient, and who work hard doing the right things, are the ones who do well. It is also important to note that we should not forget to do the things we love to do. This is how we can keep ourselves happy and balanced and here lies the foundation on being productive.
So how should we approach education, nowadays? Do we stick to the old ways of prioritizing the hierarchy of subjects indicated by Sir Ken Robinson or should we also value the arts, music, dance, and the essential grit, perseverance, and resilience, necessary for a person to develop as a whole? Let us remember that in educating our children, we are not preparing them for competitions or spelling bees, but we are preparing them for the world.
“Since the jobs that our preschoolers will do probably don’t exist yet, our priority is to teach them the skills to adapt and inquire and question and cooperate…life skills. So much more useful than rigid concepts such as the alphabet.” ~ Caroline Bellouse
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Marija is part of The Makers Co admin team, she has a Bachelors Degree in Arts (Comparative Literature) and is currently studying law in the Phillipines. She is passionate about gender equality, human rights, social justice, and environmental issues.
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