Wisdom of Life

Children learn more playing than in classrooms

By Jacob David

Children live to play. Fond memories and friendships are formed by playing. Rules apply to games and structure through teams are formed. Team work is learned through the act of playing and learning to share amongst others. This is far more the most creative way for a child to engage his or her brain. Classrooms are far too structured, restricted and confining, stuffy is the word a child would use. There are books to be pored over and learning takes place individually. Far worse is the punishment meted out if a child fails to meet the expectations of the teacher in the classroom, the tutor in the tutoring center and his / her parents at home.

My earliest memory of learning Math was one of horror. I used to dread Math classes as the teacher was an arrogant young man of 27 or thereabouts. Recently married, he had an easy flare up personality, given to anger quickly. When I got Math problems wrong he used to put big X’s on my notebook and on one occasion he flung the notebook out of the classroom. I had to go out of the classroom to pick it up while the other 50 students watched. I am sure most of the other students dreaded that teacher as well.

What’s evident in the above example¬† is the TEACHER was the FAILURE, not me. Let me explain: the teacher had not succeeded in teaching the concept fully to each and every student on an individual level. True, he scribbled the math problem on the board and ASSUMED that all children understood. Human beings, especially children in the learning stages are unsure individuals. The teacher has to identify children by their personalities and learning capabilities and teach each child differently. True in the real world, this would take a lifetime for the teacher to go teach each kid separately. It is humanly impossible. The best a teacher can do is group children according to their abilities without making it too obvious and find different teaching methods to apply to each group of children to make sure they understand what is being taught.

Why children fear classrooms or dread going to them is because the teaching methods being employed in over 90% of classrooms are the most dull and boring methods. But now due to research and understanding the cognitive functions of the brain, learning has become an interactive process and teaching has found better avenues and methods to engage a child’s brain that motivates him / her to learn.

Playing demands the best out of a child. He has to excel to win. And in the process learn not everything is about winning. It is the act of playing the game, it is the process of enjoying the game, it is the way you learn to engage and disengage, the process of interacting with other children and the referee if one is present, to obey the rules of the game or get disqualified, there is a whole slew of aspects a child learns out in the open than in confined, classroom spaces.

I hope this article helps people understand that a child needs to be outdoors more than be confined in a classroom. Less learning takes place in a classroom, as the child’s brain is not willing to sit confined for long periods of time.

I remember as a teenager playing badminton and tennis for 4 hours straight. Never have I sat and studied that long. I hope that proves my point.

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