where trouble was needed

June 30, 2010

Violence in Schools (again)

Filed under: Uncategorized — Aravinda @ 1:25 pm

Let The Children Flower
Madhu Purnima Kishwar, Times of India, Jun 26, 2010, 12.00am IST

My Comment:

Physical / emotional violence does not teach discipline, it teaches abuse of power. It teaches the child that once s/he is more powerful than someone else, be it today in the class or playground, or later in life, someday, s/he will use force to make someone else inferior. Nonviolent conflict resolution upholds dignity of both parties, and fosters trust.

True discipline emerges when children learn to value themselves and others. Children have the chance to raise their own standards when those around them, esp adults model correct behaviour, and treat others, incl children, as they would like to be treated, speak to them as they would like to be spoken to.

There should be reciprocity in the learning relationship. Our schools teach students to answer the question. Where are students encouraged to question the answer? We should delight in the learning journey, allow knowledge to grow through enquiry and discovery. Yet today even in the "concept" schools that emphasize "projects" over memorization, we see that there is a fixed expectation on how the project should be done, how it should be cut and coloured. In the end we see little scope for a child to do much differently from the rest of the class, though perhaps cutting and designing engages the mind more than memorizing a paragraph to get the same concept "by heart."

Finally the key concept learned is to produce what the authority expects- and gain that authority sooner rather than later. And the cycle continues.


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