Welcome to the Era of damned Irreverence!
Seriously, I cannot think of a better word to describe this era, where a bold new voice has arisen out of the woods, questioning not just those cherished beliefs of the yore but also the very word used to describe those, and curiously exploring new horizons to make sense of this chaotic, dynamic reality we are now living in. Wait, didn’t I use the word “Education”? Internet tells me that the etymological meaning of the word "education", is " to draw out that which is within " (from the Latin "educere") So the obvious question is this: Is education really all about “education”?
To answer this question, let us go back to our school days when most of us were taken to government museum along with teachers, walking around with a whistle dangling in their necks, housing several memorable fossils and other remnants of a bygone Era. Yes! I can see that smug look in your face. Let’s admit it. They were so boring, except for few history enthusiasts. However, even those kids were often left disappointed, wanting for more, as they weren’t allowed to touch and explore those artifacts! A huge bill board villainously stood in between history and its devout devotees, shouting “Don’t touch the monuments!”
If you care to look deep into this, everything that’s wrong with our educational system becomes apparent in front of our eyes! For years, educational institutions have simply fossilized information in glass boxes and forced us to consume without letting us feel its texture, shape, relevance and above all its taste. This obviously led to indigestion and especially constipation during examination. This wasn’t acceptable to the parents who insisted, nay, ordered that their children paid their dues and interest incurred in spending exorbitantly for their education by getting not any rank, but First Rank in the class. To overcome this crisis, children found an easy alternative; by taking learn -by- rot pill, to facilitate digestion easily. Needless to say, information, injected via such pills, simply left the mind after the exam, without a modicum of nutrient wisdom that would be useful in the future
As we can see, the problem lies in teaching subjects, embalmed since ages, through staid, one -dimensional perspective. Such purview of information cannot but remain a dead fact, without any power to evoke an iota of curiosity in the mind of the learner. No wonder, we create intellectual zombies, with a gluttonous appetite for dead facts!
If we really care about education in its original sense, we have to break these artificial glasses that alienate children from the information and simply let them savor it? How do we do it? Well, simply let them play with it!
Want proof how this works? Look at the amazing ways a child plays with his toys in his play room, building fascinating worlds of imagination, thoroughly enjoying himself. Imagine what he can do, armed with basic knowledge of science, when he is let to play with fascinating phenomena of this planet Earth! Geography will then cease to be a dull study with long winding maps and data! Geography will come alive, allowing him to master it, while he is thoroughly enjoying it.
It’s indeed our moral responsibility in breaking the veils of delusion that obscures the dynamic, chaotic, wondrous, phenomenon that lies behind every scintilla of this world! This is only possible through play, as it would let the children ask “What if” and “Why not”, two vital questions that has the potential to change the world
Not convinced? Few years back, few scientists took up an interesting task of studying travel patterns of ants, which led them to amazing breakthroughs in network communications and even complex NASA systems. This phenomenon is popularly called as Medici Effect. Recent years have seen several striking examples of such Medici Effects across various fields. Those scientists could not have achieved this without playing around!
The best part was this: they were paid well while they thoroughly enjoyed playing around.
What more could you ask for? A big, warm smile from the cockles of heart effusing from doing what one loves.