In my youth, I remember a conversation with my sister. She was a straight A student, and except for a couple of years, my favorite subjects was P.E., Art, and Recess. I was always more interested in what the other kids were doing or talking about, drawing, than I was what the teacher discussed. I guess, among our friends, this was par for the course. However, because we were always curious, reading books and magazines, inventing things, we seemed to learn when no one was looking. We learned to think for ourselves (Not in rebellions, but of curiosity.). Which, I guess, explains always testing several grades above though our grades didn’t show.
One day, I realized something, then told my sister. I was always inquisitive. Interestingly, she asked me where did I read that? That caught me by surprise. Why would I need a magazine or book to support something is true? Something is true whether it is written or not. I wondered later, years later, how I realized something so simple. However, at the same time, I also realized more and more that many people believe what they think simply because they think it. Or because it’s popular. Or they will get favorable attention. There’s a fine line of difference between realization and simple think.
Understanding, often based upon experiences, observation, but also self-reflection, “sees” to the core without knowing how it knows. It’s those “ah haa” moments where suddenly, we get it. Now, I see why the bicycle handlebars keep moving. The bolt is loose. Now, I see why the horse won’t move forward. She’s using communication that tells it to stop.
What we often see with our youth, today, is a complete separation between intellectual information and understanding. They’re learning a lot, but whether the information is useful needs discussion. Information is good. The ability to reason and think for one’s self, to understand, is better. And this requires parental guidance, experience, and time to learn. This requires checks and balances by the parents.
As a teacher, my goal was always academic excellence, but also for the students to realize, understand things for themselves, and ask questions so the class could discuss. Cause and effect. Reasoning. Supporting information. Life experiences. But always thinking for yourself.
If we are to truly educate, we need parents to be the first guardians of their children. From that, quality teachers who also think for themselves, but always considering the parents and the children. I’ve never wanted children to believe any opinions of mine without consideration. A student says, I agree with you. I ask: “Why?” Well, my friends believe so? “You, mean, you don’t see it for yourself? So, why do you think so?”