A year back in Dubai I met a person who is a well known name in the field of education in India. As discussion went on I asked her about the one thing that hinders growth in children in academics. I was bit surprised with the answer she gave me. She said “it is the shyness in children to raise questions”. I was under the impression that present generation is more extrovert and don’t hesitate like we did. As discussion continued further I asked her whether the system also is contributing to this problem which is not stimulative at all, she replied positively. So it is both way, children keep quiet in the classroom and system also doesn’t help them to be active.
How can we fix this problem? It may be done at home by parents itself by conditioning the child to raise questions. Try to make the children to feel curious about the environment around them and help them raise questions. Present day parents are at least graduates and are capable of understanding their children’s need. Use your leisure time to think little beyond limits. Look around for cues to raise questions. You will get plenty while doing your daily work itself provided you look it with curiosity, about what we are doing instead of robotic approach. Curiosity is the key for IQ; IQ is not constant and can be modified. IQ is directly proportional to ones ability to raise question and satisfy the hunger for knowledge. It is not an integral property of some intellectual people but it belongs to every one who raises questions.
So where and how to get these cues? Let us explain a few. You may be driving with your children. Ask and explain them what mechanism happens when we shift the gear from 1st 2nd 3rd and 4th? You may be over speeding in front of traffic camera, ask them what the principle behind the traffic camera is .How it strikes exactly at set speed limit? Give the task to find the answer. You may be walking with your kids on the beach. Ask them how tides are formed? Why there are high and low tides? Why some things float on the water and some sink? You may be looking at the sky. Question your children how clouds are formed? How rain falls? Why some clouds are white, some grey and some are black? Why there are so many colors in the evening? You may be spraying perfume to go to some function. Question your kids how the liquid is sprayed!! What happens when you press the knob of the perfume bottle?! You may be enjoying a cool full moon night at a family / friends gathering during week end. Above you is the full bright spherical moon. Look at those bright round stars shining. Mornings and evenings you may see beautiful spherical shaped Sun. Immediately a question should strike you why all the planets, moon, sun, stars etc round in shape? Why they are not diagonal or square? When sitting inside air conditioned rooms ask how an air conditioner pumps cool air into the room. When you open the fridge ask how fridge makes things cool? A long list of questions from the things we do on daily basis. Our eyes may be wide open but the curiosity is dead. Kindly ignite the spark of curiosity in you. Develop a habit of seeing things with curiosity so that your children can model you.
This above exercise may sound silly initially. But it can revolutionize your Childs future .Each and every scientific achievement began with silly questioning .Let me tell you a few examples (1).A simple kite flying in the sky brought us electricity because person flying it took a electric shock and he became curious about it (2).An ordinary person throwing stones to the pool revolutionalised physics and our understanding of the universe and became extraordinary. He noticed that the wavelength of the waves at the point of impact was shorter than at the far. He questioned it, why it is so? Why the wavelength was not uniform across the pool? (Traffic camera is built on this principle for which our people in Gulf are paying heavily!!).The end result of that simple curiosity and questioning was enormous. The simple unknown person became a part of history then on.
There is no such thing as stupid question. Every question is valid. We are expert in shutting the mouth. Encourage children to raise as many as questions. Knowledge is flowing freely. Just tap it for your kids. Have a resource for every topic to find the answer if you don’t know. Remember you can be a mechanical engineer to your children while driving and a doctor in the kitchen room when kitchen knife is in hand. Model the children below 2 years, how innocently they raise their finger pointed at some thing that ignites curiosity in them and ask questions their own way even when they cant talk.
What is this curiosity? The simple definition is, it is the missing link between two pieces of information. We come to know that there is some information is missing to complete the chain, but we let it go without questioning for some reason and remain in dark. Let us light the candle of curiosity and brighten our mind. Don’t ask why we need all this!? What I will do with this?! We have this tendency with us. One of the main aims of education is to increase the power of reasoning and rationalism. How the great inventions were made? Because those inventors could notice unusual things in usual, and raised questions and went after it to find the answer. An additional knowledge in anything at any stage of our life is going to boost the self confidence to higher altitude. If anyone finds a subject difficult to study, one of the primary reason is that they don’t question when they are struck and falsely satisfy their conscious of knowing it (pretend to be solving because they feel uneasy to raise questions, in fact to ask repeatedly when they are struck). Don’t proceed until and unless you resolve the step that is not understood properly. You have every right to ask repeatedly until you are satisfied.
Friends, success has a structured process. It is not by chance If success has come to you by chance, it is not going to last for long, unless you go through the process. Once you teach and condition your child to raise questions, your worries should be over with regarding academic success. A 35% scoring student enters into 80% club in a short time span. As we all know that everyone has the same brain anatomy and potential, the only thing that differentiates is the environment, which is our responcibity to provide it to the child.
Have we ever thought how much sacrifice those inventors / scientists would have been made to invent those new things which we are enjoying today? If not, think about it; think about our life without those things just for a day. The only way we can say thanks or pay tribute to those great inventors/scientists is by trying to understand a little about what they did and to learn raise questions to understand their work and improve it further to help mankind by expanding our mental boundaries. May be your child is just one question away from becoming a great scientist. As a parent it is your responsibility to make it happen.
The best way to condition your kid is to give them the task to raise at least one question per day or week and you may help them find the answer. Reward the process, reward your kid when they do this and you can see the tremendous changes in them academically. Influence your child now, instead insisting for better result at the end .You might know the “flight simulator”, an instrument / equipment designed to give the pilot actual flying experience through artificial means. This is what you need to do at home, create an artificial environment that propels your children to do well in academics. If anyone needs help in this direction you may write me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This article / situation is also applicable in every walk of life including professional life as well as personal life too. We fail to communicate at the right time and land in all sorts of unpleasant situations.
Remember, we are the product of our environment.