Do not get me wrong! This is not another article aimed at spitting at the state, the Ministry of Education and the entire education system. There have been many such criticisms and they have not led to any results. The article is not about the Bulgarian practice in education, but about world education in general. With it, I want to show how carelessly we treat children's needs and how we unwittingly ruin human destinies.
Not all children are alike. Not everyone likes the same things. The education system, unfortunately, tries to equate all children by forcing them to perform the same activities, forming in them the same interests, knowledge and skills. This is practically impossible! Each child is a separate universe, filled with a variety of features and personalities.
We will talk about the givens in this material, because many of them go unnoticed by parents and teachers. Children themselves are forcibly trapped in a compulsory education system that stresses them, prevents them from developing their strengths and forces them to do things they do not know how to do and have no interest in doing. Yes, everything that is studied in school is useful for the mass student! But what happens when the child is a little "different" from the others? And this is not about children with SEN (Special Educational Needs), and for children with undiscovered talents who are easily classified as "lagging behind" or even "mentally ill" due to incompetence or cultural limitations.
Gillian Lynn's story is an excellent example of how dependent children are on our decisions, ambitions, illiteracy, and inability to hear and see what they carry. Too often we have a "pearl" next to us that we don't even notice.
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Jillian is an ordinary girl from Great Britain, born in 1926, who grows up quite normally until she encounters the school environment. Teachers felt that she had difficulty learning because she was unable to stand still or concentrate. She was constantly spinning on the desk, obstructing the learning process and being late with the homework. The problem became so serious that her mother was forced to take her to a doctor.
photo: Gillian Lynn and her mother
Today, Gillian would be immediately diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, a condition that occupies a special place in International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) and even "sticks" as a label by ordinary people in society, sometimes jokingly, sometimes not exactly. Fortunately, this term did not yet exist in the 30s, and the doctor was observant enough to find in the child not a diagnosis but a talent.
What did he do?
He invited Gillian to sit in a chair at the other end of the room, with her hands under her feet, and to stand still for 20 minutes while talking to her mother. After calmly listening to her explanations of the condition described by the teachers, he asked the woman to leave the office to talk without the girl's presence. Before that, however, he turned on the radio, where beautiful music was playing. They stood for a short time in the corridor, after which the doctor told the woman to peek through the door to see what the girl was doing. It danced in sync with the music, with beautiful, swirling movements. Then he turned to the mother and said, "It's all right with your child, she's just a born dancer!"
After this incident, Jillian was enrolled in a dance school, where she could finally admit: "Everyone there was like me, they needed to dance to be able to think. It was great! ”He followed a brilliant dance career at the Royal Ballet, met Andrew Lloyd Webber, and worked together on the famous musicals The Cats and The Phantom of the Opera. Thanks to this competent and insightful doctor, Gillian's talent is preserved and developed, and her work, her vocation brings joy to millions of people around the world, bringing her fame, money and worldwide recognition.
photo: The New York Times
We can only imagine what would have happened if Gillian had continued to study in a regular school or worse, to be treated in a psychiatric clinic ?! Her life would be ruined, and there would be no trace of her talent. It wouldn't even be found. It is clear to everyone that even today, humanity has not invented the perfect education system to cover the needs of all children and work with them individually, despite the existence of hundreds of forms of education and upbringing.
Even the reformist pedagogy of Maria Montessori, which has become very popular in our country in recent years, is not well developed, although it puts the child at the center of the learning process, encouraging him to actively participate in the process, unlike our familiar system of "pouring". of knowledge ”. In the Montessori method, the child is seen as an individual with its own personalities and personal needs for development and expression.
Yes, nature is strongly involved in the learning process! Children spend a lot of time in the fresh air and have various activities, but there is hardly a school in the world in which the teacher works entirely individually with each student and emphasizes the development of his strengths. However, gaps remain.
However, the pursuit of a near-perfect education system is necessary. And if we can't achieve that, then at least we can watch the children from the side more often and listen to their needs and innate instincts. Because, as Janusz Korczak, another reformer in pedagogy, says, children know best what they want, when they are well and when they are not. The problem is not in them, but in us who are not open enough to hear them.
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