In yesterday’s post I wrote on various educational philosophies and the certain aspects of which I like about these philosophies, was the summary of what my children learn at their school, the research I have done to learn what I can provide them better as well as things I came across due to selective attention.
As I wrote yesterday, I think it is pointless to whine about someone else or some other school not providing what the best education should be for our children. May be somewhere over the rainbow, at some school, a education system exists where children reach their utmost potential and where the concept of going to school for kids is actually so fun that you cannot call this establishment a school.
Regardless of how much each education system or philosophy is better than the others, we cannot say that they are suitable for everyone. No matter where we go on the globe, it is very hard to go beyond the limits of conventional systems where everything is similar, where things that are different are constantly feared, where controlling people like herds with whistle is dominant. Wherever we turn, as told in fables, we see systems that is trying to teach birds how to swim, snakes how to fly and dolphins how to climb on a tree.
Educational philosophies or the methods someone else use to teach our kids aside, what really bothers me, is that we tend to forget that we are our children’s first teachers. This is the reason why we put the responsibility of educating our offsprings on the government and/or the private sector, and are dissatisfied with the result. The biggest culprit is our desire to live in certain life standards, requiring both parents to work very hard.
As a working mother, even though I know that my hard work is an investment into my child’s education, it bothers me to spend valuable early childhood days on something else. On the other hand, I am happy to be creative and productive and that I am a financially independent woman. There should be balance and people should have equal opportunities. Opportunities should not be just offered to handful of privileged people.
This opportunity should not be just offered to mothers but also to fathers as well. It is equally important for kids to spend time with their fathers when growing up. I am sure there are fathers out there like many mothers who thought about not going back to work after they had a child.
Just like children need their fathers to be there for them, mothers need their spouse’s support as well. At least I feel that way. In the consulting world I live in, the very reason why men hold high level executive positions is because these positions require long hours of work. Men accept these responsibilities and leave their wives behind at home to take care of kids during the week. They spend time with kids only during the weekend. I don’t know whether it is the paternal tendency that society imposes or because men do not carry their babies in their bellies and are not exposed to the hormonal changes – of course this is a subject open to discussion – men are able to sacrifice their family life to business life easier than women.
As a mother, I would rather utilize my education -not necessarily my college education since it was on a completely different subject – and my brain, my capabilities and desire to learn to educate my own child.
This might not be a desired objective for every parent. I wrote that I am a teacher-parent in a previous post. I wish I had time to observe my children closely to discover their interests and talents, and help them excel in those areas or find out their weak areas and train myself to help them with those areas. I wish there were continuous education classes offered to parents on teaching skills and educational philosophies. I wish I knew about “Tools of Mind” or how baby’s learn languages earlier. I wish I could have prepared a better environment for my children to play and learn. Along with the help of the teachers who study “teaching” for years, wouldn’t, we parents, then create a brand new generation, indigo or platinum or whatever.
There is also a spiritual side to education as well. Education is not just A, B, Cs or 1,2,3. Providing the children the basic education of strong virtues and good morals in the first 6 years of their life as much as academics. Integrity, honesty, compassion, respect, remorse, etiquette, loyalty is learned by example and best given by parents. Of course, I am not saying working mothers can’t provide this. My mother and father were both working parents and I can say that they were pretty successful parents. But more and more, life conditions force children’s education be dependent on the outside world. The interesting point is there are many families who home school their kids in order to provide religious education at home.
If we were on the other side of the rainbow, the education system would be like this. Both men and women would have equal rights to education. Finding a job and earning money would not be the only reason why people go to school. With a proper preschool, grade and middle school system, children’s individual skills and talents would be discovered and supported; they could excel in the areas of their particular interests and talents. Children would be able choose their own path, whether it is arts, trade, academic or skill related. We need all of these. Everyone could choose their own path. People who studied agriculture would do organic agriculture, engineer would build green structures, people who receive their doctorate’s degree would become scientists, they would research and became professors, and people inclined to music would become artists. Everyone would do the right thing for the right reason. Making virtual money on virtual platforms would not be regarded as big of an accomplishment as it is now. Producing, manufacturing tangible goods would hold more value.
Bringing up a child would be the most important task of humanity. It would be a social norm for mothers and fathers to stop working for a while and spend their time in bringing up their baby. Bigger families and close knit neighborhoods and communities would come back to raise the children in a united effort. Babies would be brought up by mothers; children would be brought up by elder sisters and brothers, cousins, aunts, grandmothers like in the old days, instead of strangers.
Being the first teachers of children, parents would be provided with all necessary basic tools and education for parenting. Like they do in the corporate world, the ongoing educational opportunities would be provided to the parents based on the changing needs of the society. Some of this would be real education and some of it would be the knowledge we inherit from our grannies. Then this generation who is brought up in this environment would research and take this education system to one step higher.
This is a brief explanation of my utopia. It is ironic that I am an outcome of this system which I am criticizing and am able to think like this. However, maybe as a result of the fear to change, my actions do not match my thoughts yet.