As a kid, there were times I loathed school. I gave all kinds of explanations for not liking it: “The teacher’s mean.” “The test is stupid.” “The school bus smells.”
But I had no idea my complaints were simply symptoms of an educational blunder that has gone on for centuries.
Why do kids hate school? They hate it because they are punished for talking.
The answer was in an article on communication by educator L. Ron Hubbard:
“Here are these little kids in class and the teacher is trying to teach them something and she punishes them every time they talk. Interesting isn’t it? Why do kids start hating school? People are interrupting their communication lines continually in school.”
In most schools, it doesn’t matter how important a communication is to a child,
after the bell rings, “mum’s the word.” Indeed, after my first detention for “talking in class” I felt like I had to put a cork in my mouth every time I wanted to say something to a classmate. This also lowered my willingness to participate in class or answer teacher questions.
Shouldn’t school build children’s communication lines? Wouldn’t it be better to teach students the definition of communication and create opportunities for them to communicate to each other?
What teachers and school administrators must understand is that communication is both the taking in of another’s ideas (inflow) and the relaying of one’s own ideas (outflow). If a student is inhibited from the outflow part of communication, his ability to originate (initiate, start, create) new ideas will begin to diminish.
When little Billy is in kindergarten, for example, Mom asks, “What did you do in school today?” Billy talks like gangbusters, giving a blow-by-blow description of his day. But by the time he’s in high school, the question elicits the answer “nothing” or “whatever.” Too many years of taking in data from teachers and books can leave children unable to converse fluently.
That is precisely why ignoring the outflow part of communication is such a blunder. Look it over carefully. Can you see how it might squelch a child’s desire to communicate and suppress his imagination?
When people are no longer capable of starting and carrying on interesting and lively conversations, they become dependent on outside influences to give them something to talk about – movies, video games, newspaper headlines, the weather, accidents, etc. Perhaps this is why shallow gossip so readily abounds.
To set this right, schools must offer a friendly environment where students are encouraged to balance inflow with equal amounts of outflow. Emphasis should be on increasing their ability to communicate effectively and showing them the relationship between this skill and their survival.
What a difference it would make if school were a forum for expressing creative ideas on bettering our existence; if it were a refuge for scholarly discussions on handling life’s many problems.
In such a setting, there would be no more hating school.
By Carlynn McCormick
Applied Scholastics Online Academy prepares educational programs
exceeding state requirements based on the educational philosophy of L. Ron
Articles courtesy of Applied Scholastics Online Academy: