When we arrived into this world we had no innate rational understanding of what we are or what this experience is, our instincts guided curiosity and reality was entangled in an efflorescing original mind. Along with our infantile propensity for testing ideas, our earliest lessons came from those closest to us, shepherding our development and helping us gain familiarity with life. As we age the time comes for our primary educators to shift from our parents to teachers, the school environment providing a plethora of novelty and a distinct moment of transition.
During the early years of academic education there is a degree of freedom for students to express themselves, however, as they grow older the structure of education becomes more rigid and rather than learning about how to become an adult, tests scores and regurgitation become salient. Whilst schooling may provide a base for individuals to grow their intellect it persistently misses the original purpose of education, to provide a child the best opportunity to evolve into a competent happy human.
Structure Of The Wall
As mentioned above, from early sovereignty to discover our interests we are prodded into results based regimentation where one’s competence is reflected in scores. It cannot be said those putting in the extra hours of study do not deserve their marks, but how much information is actually sinking in and how much is rope learning without genuine comprehension?
Plato wrote “Knowledge which is acquired under compulsion has no hold on the mind”, there are innumerable human temperaments and taste varies from person to person, although the mind is very plastic in youth, to think everyone mind can fit snugly into a box is disingenuous. The theory complements the intention of the establishment perfectly, to dispense of individuality with intention of obedience. With a results based system there is less dialogue and more “do your work”; when students become driven by the rewards begotten from the right response they are less inclined to think independently, searching one-dimensionally to find the question for the answer they’re provided.
One of the most valuable assets spawning in the mind is critical thought; the impulse to query whatever is presented to test its legitimacy. The faith brewed in one’s own opinion when it’s based on knowledge and intuition is stark, yet grows stronger when they critique themselves and their estimations to the best use of their current intellect.
If youths are taught to re-orientate their original thoughts to the status quo it becomes habit to follow popular opinion and to doubt oneself when an innovative thought arises. By giving students a reason to strive and opportunity to accept inadequacies competition is of much benefit, yet, are they learning to contest their former selves or strictly comparing to those around them? A lesson often neglected in school but essential to internal harmony is not to compare your wins to that of others, to take pride in one’s performance out of self-efficacy not vanity.
Our younger generations need to be engaged with learning through interests they already hold; by developing an affinity with the process of learning it becomes a recurrent intellectual pursuit.
The Dragon Of Erotic Craving
One of the most salient aspects in the human experience is romantic entanglement, yet, by the time we’re in high school the emotional side of relationships are neglected in favour of a biological view of procreation. Sex in school is taught from a rudimentary standpoint where focus centres merely on the act of intercourse, a concept already understood by the time the class is in session. Instead of trying to extend knowledge of this fundamental domain further, new words and diagrams take place of actual cognizance.
The societal taboo surrounding sexual activity creates an environment with no conversation about what makes sex pleasurable or even how to appreciate one’s partner, leading many to blindly follow their hormones in the quest of sensual release. A prime example of the failure to properly educate students on sex is the American education system where the abstinence only method is preached from a high castle of sexual illiteracy. Telling kids their only option is to subdue the dragon of erotic craving leads to increases in unplanned pregnancy, STD’s and irritation invoked by unnatural repression.
What’s seldom discussed is the variant thought process between male and females, creating settings destined for conflict. When adversity arises a typical male response is to scramble to find a solution, conversely, women don’t instinctively want to know to fix the problem, but desire first to have their feelings heard. This correlates with the attachment bestowed onto sexual partners, females typically yearning more for romance whilst males habitually seek fulfilment of their raging lust. As education is scant on the way the opposite sex thinks we discover repetitive cases of individuals intentionally deceiving others for their own sensual benefit; e.g. saying I love you not out of affection but to get laid/using sex as a weapon of control.
With divorce rates still steadily climbing it’s clear the current information given to students to build meaningful loving relationships is flawed and needs revamping. Educating adolescences on how manipulation can occur and the many forms of abuse can spark deeper contemplation on theirs and their partner’s actions and how it influences the passion-filled connection.
Importantly, education on how to deal with break-ups will allow an easier transition between the end of a relationship and beginning of a new chapter, using the pent up energy for constructive not destructive means.
In Quest Of Contentment
A parent wants the best for their child, and although what that best is may vary from parent to parent, a main objective is to have their offspring live a satisfied existence. School is meant to prepare a student for life, but when are they taught how to find contentment in the human experience?
Children are repeatedly not given enough credit to be able to understand big concepts, but nearly anything can be learnt if the method of application is applicable to the individual. A philosophical theory can be easily taught if one uses stories or games to relay them, engaging the mind and inciting greater rumination on life; e.g. teaching the acceptance of different ethnicities through a narrative about animals.
Rather than teaching children to try find happiness in what they are doing, the education system is set up to engrain students with the attitude of the establishment where one’s occupation signifies their importance. In a capitalistic society it is those hoarding the most who are held in high regard, wealth superseding morality. You must go to school to get a good job and become a valued member of the community, this is the message delivered to students which leads many souls into life of quiet desperation as they monotonously do what they believe is required of them. To find peace in oneself children need to be taught to seek the truth and not conformity, to place value on their own curiosities whilst honouring the right for others to do the same.
Adversity is ensured in the human experience and an assortment of tools is required to deal with and overcome unfortunate circumstances. By presenting these instances as necessary pain required for growth students can view hardship as a challenge not a problem, activating bravado to catalyse action. During our adolescence the body is changing and hormones often rein supreme, a bi-product of this is anger and frustration at external events. When are students ever taught to vent their rage through alternate means or to use breathing to calm the storm inside?
At school the intellect is trained but that isn’t the entirety of the mind, the consciousness too needs instruction. Meditative techniques, most prominently mindfulness, can help create a relationship between the mind and body to enable students to examine their behaviour and implement change when necessary. By learning at a developing age to become observant of the thoughts coming into one’s mind an individual has the best chance to cultivate independent and rational thinking. These tools are essential to finding harmony in the mind, a necessary requirement for a content disposition.
The education system is a coming-of-age experience for a child becoming aware of their place in society, whilst it is vital to the provide a base understanding of life, there are areas of weakness in it’s current formation which can be turned into strengths.
Although results based learning is beneficial to the establishment it is not suitable to test the intellect of every individual, and a student’s uniqueness should be celebrated not dictated. In order to engender better relationships students need to become privy to the difference in the sexes and be guided towards moral behaviour, to not think merely of the benefit of one’s desires but to the beauty of romantic connection. We want our children to be content and becoming mindful is the first step in allowing them to see their actions objectively, to think and change oneself when necessary breeds a generation of innovators who are interested in the essence of life and not the superficial signs of happiness.
Image Source: Pink Floyd, The Wall