Instilling the love of learning at young age
By Mary Flor F. De Lima
Elementary School Head Teacher I
Nacacale Elementary School
Why do we have drop outs, failures, non-readers and non-computers?
The cause is that somewhere in the school age stage, the home and the school have not aroused the emotional side of learning. It is the feeling aspect that influences the cognitive part of our humanness to learn things that must be learned, to choose what to learn and focus on, and to continue learning every moment of the wakened state.
According to Science an average of thirty thousand (30,000) thoughts enter our mind-brain cognitive function. This capacity of the brain-mind tandem is an indicator that there is every reason for a child to learn and for an adult person to continue learning. But first parents and teachers must cultivate the love of learning in the formative years and adults to love learning new things, revisit old concepts and relate these to the present knowledge as an expression of relearning.
Young parents from the 1990s to the present generation have been so lucky than their grandparents because they somehow with the Free Education Act for elementary and secondary grade levels attended schools. They should have the rudiments of functional literacy as well as their children too. But the dilemma in education still continues and is even become complex by the absence of real physical schooling.
How do we hone the love of learning? Young parents do this every day in the formative years of their children. From things in their home or surroundings, they teach their children. That is why they have to let their children know why there is a need for doing small things like washing hands, or personal hygiene to more complex matters like why they have to go to work as parents and they to attend school as children. They daily must teach the practical matters of living. The more complicated ones are an accountability of the school to teach to the learners.
Whether real physical schooling or virtual school or modular distance learning does not matter if the love of learning has been instilled among the young people because lovers of learning pay attention to every written text on a scratch paper, on a label in food items and specially on a gadget of any ICT media. People who love learning listen to every word uttered by anyone at home, in school, in the streets and highways, in the radio and in the TV. Much more so they immediately respond to the social media. Why? Because they are after the experience of knowing which is the first step of learning.
Not everything flashed on the social media should be given focus, it is again the emotional side of the valuing process which is a part of learning. Learning is selective. Children and adults choose what they like to focus on or attend to. Examples are the learners which when given the opportunity to attend a school program and the subject teacher or class advisers gave them an assignment to take down notes particularly the message of the resource speaker or guest speaker. Then when these learners are asked by the teacher after the program or the day after (in the pre-COVID years) they will either give similar answers or differing ones. They certainly have notes but selected notes or points of view. This is because they pick up what is of value to them. This is also true among adult learners. They only choose those lines from the message that are important to them, or impress them.
Putting this principle along screening of topics in the social media that should be given attention and preference is an important skill among our young people. They should know what is right, morally enhancing and that furthers learning and build their skills for livelihood. They should know how to make value judgment of what they read, see, or hear.
Nowadays learning is always possible. Young and old love the social media. They learn a lot from the social media almost everything under the sun. from spiritually enlightening topics to entertainment to news to trends and business. All are in the social media which is a great delivery of the informal learning process. What one has to do to have quality learning is to screen the contents and the motive of the publisher or blogger. Because there are those posts with evil intents-with malice and evil motives in the form of exploitation, hacking or fishing to get your assets. One must be selective again.
How can one become a selective learner? It all rely on your set of values. Values and teaching of values and its integration in the curriculum is a trend where we as students in the 1990s were exposed to steps of the valuing process. Do you value learning time? Then have a schedule for it? Do you value practical matters in business, environmental preservation, moral development? Then pursue it. Yes, it is a great matter to learn every waking moments of the day.
This is what we have to inculcate among our young learners: the love of learning so that instead of becoming involve in drugs they will become active learners. Instead of joining questionable organizations, they choose civics or become a social entrepreneur. Or learn to become a hobbyist. There are numerous hobbies from an inexpensive one to more capricious kind. Again, use your values and value judgment. Choose a hobby that will later on become a form of a vocation or avocation, a first job or a part time job which is a source of income in difficult times like when one is out of work, or in state of financial crisis. A hobby can be a stepping stone to financial freedom because instead of borrowing we use our other talents to create money and resources.
My concluding words. Love learning and have time for it. Pursue learning of everything that can be learned and of great values. Make it your passion to learn every moment because living is learning.