Sunday, October 2, 2016

Finland Phenomenon - A Necessity of Edworld

Finnish schools have received a lot of attention these days. What is the element of greatness in it, which makes it the No. 1. Why are the educationists looking at it with tremendous
curiosity.                                              #Age of admission

In Finland, a child is eligible for a school only when he enters the age of 7. When we talk about any eligibility in India to get admission in a school, we find nothing as fixed norms, we find a number of practices concerned with it. Some schools take 4+ children in their Montessori section. Others are ready to take any child between 2.5-3.5. 
What my experience says, the child until he/she reaches the age of 5, is not prepared physically or psychologically to face the challenges outside the home or in the absence of parents. He/She is not able to build relationships with others out of her family. They need emotional support whenever they are in need of it. But I don’t think schools are capable of doing that. A teacher can play a mother, but can’t be a mother. There is a great difference. 

I have observed that the children of 6 years age are the most creative, energetic, full of charm, ready to learn, ready to connect, ready to initiate and ready to compete. They are actually walking through the realm of their time. Their mindfulness is at their extremes. Hence, I believe that 6 to 7 years is the perfect time to enter a school.
I have experienced some students who joined school at 6 or 7 they start and finish very fast all those tasks which took 3 years to finish for those who joined earlier. The reason behind it is that  all his senses have grown up to react and respond in a better way. His fingers and eyes have developed to recognize and learn to coordinate. His memory has developed enough to keep the records of things and behaviors, he comes in contact with the school. They have built a strong foundation. If children can achieve all what is expected from them at 7 then why there is a need to have school before it. 

The children who join so early really miss a very beautiful part of his childhood. They are deprived of the first school (Home) and the first teacher (Mother). The time is full of love and affection. Everywhere they find a gentle touch of love. Children become more skilled in those things which are given time and they love to do. At home, they learn to adapt to the new environment gradually, when they visit their relatives or the neighbors, these visits are either accompanied by their parents or are of very short periods. Gradually they learn to recognize and adapt to the new hands. In those 3-4 years they build some eating habits, learn to follow the instructions, and understand the culture of  the surroundings; learn to differentiate a little bit between harmful and safe.  Their innocence, the real wealth, remains conserved till they enter the school.

When a child enters the school before 5-7, then he/she spends a number of hours crying to get rid of the school and those unknown people. After 15 or 20 days they leave the hope, admit their defeat and starts building a negative belief system that they have to go against their desires. But they learn to manipulate or excuse fulfilling those unsatisfied desires.  Steadily, they become clever enough to deceive their parents and teachers. The behavior patterns developed in that early age, remains for the years. They are settled pathetically there and undoubtedly it may be the worst beginning; we can’t say now,’ Good beginning is half done’. 

The modern RESEARCH has shown that the children's brains are wired for learning from birth. But, the age before 7 is too early for them to enter the Factory model of schooling that is actually designed to train future workers to foster dependence, conformity and obedience and not creativity, self direction, collaboration, problem solving, love of learning. We have learned things in schools, but we have practiced those skills in our free time outside of the school and enjoyed it, it mattered a lot. We should start giving importance to the world of kids before schooling, assuming it's a foundation for the next 15 or more years of schooling. Hence it must be strong enough to bear the pressures of education methods and high stakes testing approaches that ignore their wisdom.

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