“Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve.”- Roger Lewin
Often, phrases like ‘God’s greatest creations’ and ‘child is the father of man’ are connected to children. They are the most innocent and delicate-minded people on Earth. Their brain is just like molding clay; they increasingly are shaped into the man of tomorrow. Whatever we teach them, they ingrain it in their brains, but they don’t intake what is told to them as easily as merely telling them. Before setting their beliefs into something concrete, they question the information and keep doing so until they are satisfied with the explanation. They must be told before they do anything, just to keep them from harm’s way. Amongst all this, we feed in so much knowledge into their tiny little heads that they lose the ability to put in logic and reasoning into diverse predicaments. Roger Lewin rightly stated this in his world-famous quote.
Children cease to process problems in their heads and just put in the knowledge they have been fed with. They stop looking at things with a different perspective, all because their brains have turned to stone, not able to be molded with experiential learning. This has various negative aspects, regarding a child’s psyche. This leads to a stubborn nature and shapes the child into a person who doesn’t respect other’s views and believes that he or she is a know-it-all. Such an attitude harms the child’s behavior and turns them into opinionated selves.
To avoid such a situation from taking place, children should be taught from the beginning to see the world from diverse viewpoints and accept those things and people who can’t change as they are. Subjects like life-skills and math help tremendously in the development of the Frontal Lobe – the section of the brain which deals with logical reasoning. The enigmas provided by such subjects need a lot of thinking so that they can be solved. Through this, we can let the children figure out problems and find the solutions themselves. This practice would benefit them even in practical life to help them through strenuous situations and think logically before doing anything.
Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. We should help them in establishing their thoughts and voicing out their opinions over multiple perplexities and not spoon-feed them with all the solutions to help their brain in developing. Probably the most important skill that a child learns in his or her lifetime is how to learn, as said by Roger Lewin himself. Anyway, we indeed cannot guide children forever. Someday, they will have to start making their own decisions and lead the people around them. And they will be able to do this only by instilling the ability of problem-solving. This ability will help them a lot in real-life situations as the world is a fairly difficult place to live in; and to remain the sharp one in getting out of difficult situations easily, let children learn from their experiences and their surroundings as knowledge can be ingrained into one’s system from anywhere. Let them learn, let their minds grow and hope for them to become thriving cynosures someday. And someday, maybe, the child will thank you and love you more for what you did.