A teacher, if he is indeed wise, does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but rather leads you to the threshold of your own mind.
~ Kahlil Gibran ~
Children have a natural curiosity and creativity- and express it freely when young. They are able to learn new things rapidly, becoming proficient at communicating in their native language in their first five years.
For a child the way of learning seems more akin to play then study. They are able to master many things on their own, supported and guided by adults but also highly self directed.
Then formal schooling begins, and we put our children into classrooms. One adult is given the task of teaching a wide range of subjects. There is a lot of information they are asked to remember, often with little explanation about how these various subjects fit together.
For too many children, this new way of learning seems duller, abstract, rigid and very confusing. The world that up until then had been experienced as a whole starts to look more fractured and compartmentalized in their minds. Social relationships which had previously been free and dynamic are now more formalized and controlled.
When a heavy emphasis is put on memorization, testing and grades many children start to feel suffocated with classroom learning, especially if lessons seem meaningless and boring or they are assessed as being less than average in their learning potential.
By the teen years millions around the world have lost interest in the subjects taught by schools. Their natural curiosity and creativity goes underground, they start to escape and rebel in various ways.
To change this situation we need to move toward educational systems that are more creative, cooperative and learner-centered, less competitive, mechanistic and test-centered. Provide environments that encourage mastery, curiosity and enjoyment in learning.
Honor and respect the more playful and flexible ways of learning that our children were naturally gifted with.
~ Christopher - The Art of Learning