Monday, June 18, 2012

The Push

The best way for human beings to learn is to leave their comfort zone. Even animals know that. Take the example of the bald eagle that builds its nest sometimes 200 feet in the air, on the tallest of trees. Its nests are usually huge and can weigh more than a ton. The first layer is full of prickly thorns and hard, uncomfortable twigs. This is cushioned by leaves and grass to make it more comfortable for the young ones. But as they grow in size and complacency, mum decides it's time to give them the push. This is in fact the kindest deed she will be doing for them. She slowly starts getting rid of the soft layers. She then stops bringing them food. Finally, in a clinical attempt to get them out of the nest once and for all, she exposes the prickly thorns! The young one are forced to take the plunge.
After a few akward flaps, they soon become graceful gliders of the sky.

That is how we need to teach the students. We need to make them feel comfortable within the confines of the classroom. However, ever so slowly we need to start preparing them for independent learning. By constantly keeping them slighlty out of their comfort zone, we can ensure meaningful learning takes place. Yes,  that requires planning!

Later on down the year, what a thrill it is to watch them glide!

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