ON SPOONFEEDING AND ITS IMPLICATIONS
LORETA R. JURADO
I believe that a barrier to complete learning is limiting the opportunities of the students to direct themselves to what they perceive to be an important facet of a topic. However, this is not to say that students are encouraged to tune out their teacher’s lessons as they are expected to listen first, and ask later. This is where the line between learning and memorizing is believed to inevitably blur.
Many suggest that teachers work too hard in lectures that it becomes teachercentered and the knowledge that is supposed to disperse within the classroom fail to be absorbed and understood by students. More often, teachers discuss what will and won’t be appearing on exams rather than foster a learning experience that saturates the students with long-term knowledge. In this manner, not only does a teacher fail to fulfill a mandated responsibility, but also foils education itself.
Perhaps the best way to explain this practice of “spoon-feeding” students is it provides a quicker and easier way to disseminate information across a room packed to the brim of doe-eyed students. Or perhaps it could be that the students themselves present the opportunity for a teacher to do so, say for example a time-consuming socratic line of questioning that students are unable to successfully wade through.
Either way, there is no denying that spoon-feeding inhibits and stunts the development of the students’capacity for critical and independent thinking and learning. Spoon-feeding says we give the students too much support that they do very little for their education.
The real danger to this continued practice is students becoming completely devoid of the ability to question things, and reinforces the notion that they should only be accepting whatever information is fed to them without allowing room for their own investigation. It does not satiate a student’s natural thirst for knowledge and discovery, rather it readily douses the burning desire before it even started.
It is understandable, however, that at the first few weeks of school, teachers set out to fulfill a crucial move in educating students which is to equip them with the needed ammunition to work with on the subsequent subject matters. How the learning activities are designed around the goal of making students learn is the determining factor of whether it is spoon-feeding or not.
Teachers must be able to identify core topics to spend more time on in order to prep students in future topics. Relevant learning resources are saviors in times when everything is being too bland and robotic. Help them realize that mere memorization and on-the-surface knowledge is not tantamount to learning and fully understanding. Through this, a deep understanding on the subject will keep the students afloat and never drown in their journey towards the completion of their course.
The author is Teacher III at Pampanga High School