Teach­ers, mind when you take chil­dren out

The Manica Post - - Education/entertainment - Mor­ris Mtisi Ed­u­ca­tion Cor­re­spon­dent

THE new cur­ricu­lum and gen­eral 21st cen­tury ed­u­ca­tion both en­cour­age out­door learn­ing and re­search vis­its. That is fan­tas­tic.

Chil­dren love ed­u­ca­tional trips and the idea of chang­ing their ev­ery­day learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment is both re­fresh­ing and highly mo­ti­vat­ing. We could go on un­til to­mor­row analysing and il­lus­trat­ing the ad­van­tages of out­door learn­ing.

But while we may be ex­cited by the fly­ing ma­chine, we must never for­get it can fall, and that is when we will learn to re­spect the para­chute in­ven­tor.

When we were trained to be­come teach­ers in those olden days, part of our stud­ies was dom­i­nated by Phi­los­o­phy and Psy­chol­ogy of Teach­ing and Learn­ing mired in fas­ci­nat­ing the­o­ries of ed­u­ca­tion.

We were thor­oughly trained, schooled and ed­u­cated on th­ese the­o­ries and psy­cholo­gies of teach­ing and learn­ing. We thor­oughly un­der­stood what we were do­ing or were sup­posed to do for the learner and in the learner. We were not con­di­tioned to be­hav­ing and per­form­ing like pro­grammed ma­chines that act ac­cord­ing to tech­no­log­i­cal com­mand.

We were guided by text­books .... only guided. We were the teach­ers, not text books.

We quickly be­came quick-think­ing teach­ers, ver­sa­tile and adapt­able class­room prac­ti­tion­ers.

We were there in col­lege and uni­ver­sity for years un­der rig­or­ous tu­ition and train­ing, un­like to­day when teach­ers visit the col­lege the first three months of teacher ed­u­ca­tion, then the rest of the two-year or three-year course the teacher is out in a ru­ral school ‘cheat­ing’ and not teach­ing.

This week’s in­stal­ment is for teach­ers and schools.

Do you ever think of the dan­gers of those im­por­tant re­search vis­its where you take your chil­dren to var­i­ous work­places and com­pa­nies to find out about ca­reers and gen­eral ex­po­sure of the real world?

Of course the new cur­ricu­lum de­mands it, but do you ever think first about the place or work­place or in­dus­try you want to visit and the type of peo­ple your chil­dren will meet? Or you are over­taken by the ex­cite­ment of go­ing out?

Let me ask you a few ques­tions:

1. Is it pos­si­ble that while your chil­dren (learn­ers) have fixed ques­tions to an­swer on the re­search visit, they also fix their eyes on more than their eyes must see?

For ex­am­ple, is it pos­si­ble that as they are learn­ing for the good of their aca­demic de­vel­op­ment, they are also learn­ing bad habits of lan­guage and dress and gen­eral pub­lic con­duct from those who are tak­ing them round the work place or com­pany?

2. Is it pos­si­ble that your chil­dren nat­u­rally think the peo­ple they meet at ev­ery work­place are the best ex­am­ples of ev­ery­thing when in ac­tual fact they have come in con­tact with peo­ple they should have avoided in life in the con­text of role modelling?

3. Is it pos­si­ble that school chil­dren in th­ese ran­dom and rou­tine work­place vis­its come into con­tact with ter­ri­ble adults they must try not to be like in life?

4. Is it pos­si­ble that when th­ese chil­dren, es­pe­cially the girl learn­ers, see adults dressed up like se­duc­tion-film ac­tresses or sex zom­bies, they de­spise their own teach­ers whom they see con­ser­va­tively dressed up ev­ery day at school? If big sis is rot­ten, the lit­tle sis in­stantly catches the rot. True or false?

5. Is it pos­si­ble that if they see com­pany work­ers who hug and kiss in pub­lic in the cor­ri­dors and cor­ners, al­ways on selfie-ad­dic­tion, they think this is what the world is pre­par­ing for them but the school is hid­ing from them?

6. Is it pos­si­ble that when th­ese chil­dren are out on th­ese re­search work­place vis­its, and they see free-birds in­ter­act­ing like Hol­ly­wood celebri­ties or some such fa­nat­ics liv­ing at the end of the rain­bow, they (the learn­ers) think school must be some back­ward in­sti­tu­tion keep­ing them out and away from an ex­cit­ing world with­out rules or reg­u­la­tions?

7. Is it pos­si­ble that when you bring your chil­dren to a work place or com­pany to learn, what they learn is much more than the scope of their as­sign­ment and syl­labus? Is it likely that they are learn­ing ev­ery bad habit this place may not be aware is not good for school chil­dren, es­pe­cially the ten­der-age learn­ers like ECD and Pri­mary school? Even the high school boys and girls may not be old enough to know what and what not to learn or em­u­late?

8. Do you ever care who re­ceives and talks to your chil­dren in this strange or new en­vi­ron­ment, even if it means for only one or two hours?

9. Do you ever think about the power of this work­place, com­pany or in­dus­try you have vis­ited to tor­pedo your chil­dren’s moral­ity or change the di­rec­tion of their moral com­pass?

10. Would you take your chil­dren to a thriv­ing brothel to do a school project re­search? If yes, please go back to a proper teacher ed­u­ca­tion train­ing col­lege and take an­other year or two to study Phi­los­o­phy and Psy­chol­ogy of teach­ing and learn­ing.

Thor­oughly re­vise the­o­ries of ed­u­ca­tion and per­haps when you come back to teach you will be more care­ful and less dan­ger­ous to peo­ple’s chil­dren. Par­tic­u­larly, re­mem­ber to study Il­lich’s School is Dead and other de-school­ers. If your an­swer is ‘No, I would never take my chil­dren to a brothel!’ then why?

I told you as we con­tinue to pray for writ­ing chil­dren’s peace of mind and se­ri­ous knowl­edge ap­pli­ca­tion in their ex­am­i­na­tions, I will keep away from them and al­low them to do what they must do.

Mean­while I swore that my en­gage­ment with you for now is go­ing to done through very deep and search­ing top­ics and ques­tions on both ra­dio and in The Man­ica Post. That is ex­actly what is go­ing on. Let us en­gage. Let us talk. Let us share wis­dom.

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