It is a shame that as we get older, we seem to have little time to learn new things. Somehow, our childlike curiosity for the world around us, gets forgotten and pushed into the back seat. Our careers, our families, our responsibilities, these other seemingly important things fill up our every available time. We are left with no time to ponder the universe, to learn new areas of knowledge, or even pick up that book we’ve been meaning to read. Even sadder are those people that no longer find joy in finding things out. Aside from closing our minds to new experiences, once we feel that learning is a chore, we don’t allow ourselves to grow as human beings. We stop wanting to make sense of everything, we accept half-truths as facts, and we stop creating.
This part of our brain, which as children helped us understand our surroundings is what makes us truly human. It becomes more of a tragedy when the process begins to slow down rapidly at a young age. For most children going into school, the education system has systematically put a halt to the joy of learning. Every subject is treated as a to-do list. Something to be studied for an A and not for its own sake. It’s no wonder that so many of our children are not sure of what they’re passionate about.
When the mantra “Get those As” are drilled into them 24/7, it is no surprise that they begin to resent the things they are learning. Consequently they stop exploring. When they stop exploring they stop finding out what they are interested in. They are not able to figure out what they want to do with their life. Ultimately, most of them will choose careers based on nothing more than what society deems as safe options. For some this may not be an issue but for many this leads to a miserable university life. Where they struggle to understand or even find meaning in the subjects they are studying, it is indeed such a waste of effort and time. Imagine what wonderful things that can be accomplished if they are able to devote all that time and effort to something they are truly passionate about.
I believe it is time we stop making learning in school a chore and start showing them that there is fun to be had when we learn new things. The things they learn in school are part of a wider group effort of humanity to understand the world around us. No branch of knowledge is useless, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, from the stars to the smallest of insects. Knowing how any of it works increases not only our understanding but also our appreciation of the world around us. There is beauty in learning, there is so much to be gained from reading and exploring, there is a fountain of ideas to be discovered and nurtured, and ultimately, there is joy in learning.
Written By: Teacher Rasyad