Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Barriers to Overcome

The way we learn is changing.  From the beginning of civilization, children learned from copying their parents, siblings, and friends. In time they began watching and listening to someone more knowledgeable, called a teacher.  Ultimately becoming more formal, “schools” were formed where students gathered around scholars to study and learn.  This is how it has been for the last 3 to 5 thousand years, depending on  what kind of civilization we are looking at.

Watching and listening to a teacher in a classroom live, was the way of education for my grandparents, my parents, and for me.  This means of learning is still  practiced today for the majority of pupils going to school in almost any place in the world.  This practise seemed to be the only way knowledge could be imparted, particularly to masses of students, especially if they want to have proof of completing their education, like a graduation certificate or a degree.

However, things are different now.  No longer is education taking place in a classroom with a live teacher. For some time now, the printed word is used to transmit knowledge, as are movies, and computers.  Thus, the classroom can be replaced with any location suitable for distance learning, such as your home, the library, or your friend’s study.  This allows the teacher to come to the house or to the shady spot under the apple tree where the student has opened his/her laptop.

THAT means education has now taken on a totally different way of learning.  No longer do you see live actors talking, singing, acting out the lesson, but a book presenting its pages and/or a computer giving the lectures.  Now there is no more  back and forth talking between pupil and teacher.  There is no more bell when the class begins and ends.  There is no more glancing at your neighbor to make sure you understand the lesson, or how you are keeping up with the rest of the crowd.

It’s a totally new experience, learning in a totally new way.  For once, it requires a lot more motivation to get involved now, and paying a lot more attention while actually participating.

A major barrier in many places and for many people, which needs to be overcome in order to participate in an advanced civilization’s education is motivation.  Motivation and persistent attention are the principal requirements that need to be met before any modern learning can take place.  But how?

Well, the first, and probably best, way is to have parents teach their children, from the earliest possible age on. The teaching needs to be all about motivation, concentration, and stick-to-it-iveness for whatever is ahead in the child's life. This is done, mostly by example and friendly guidance.  Unfortunately, there are large numbers of parents who may happen to parent all right, but have no idea and are totally unmotivated themselves. These parents are often ignorant, and couldn’t care less about sticking to any worthwhile pursuit at any time, or are striving toward entirely unrelated objectives.

If this scenario is the case, then the second best group of mentors and encouragers of the youngsters are other family members who do have the knowledge and are able to serve as good examples. Others, such as friends, church members and other organizational group members, official teachers, and eventually the local government can be mentors. I do feel very strongly that it is also the government’s responsibility (putting our tax dollar to work for the good of the constituents) to provide this urgently needed educational effort to help its younger citizens to become diligent learners. This mentality can assist with having a well educated society that will be healthier, happier, and contribute more to the world.

Other barriers to overcome are:

People not having computers, no access to computers, no knowledge of how to operate a computer.

No Wi-Fi or wire connection to the Internet.  It surprises me that there are many places still in the U.S.A., and countless places in third world countries, remote islands, and other less developed places that do not have this service.  Yet, paradoxically, these are precisely the locations which have far more need for modern means of learning than the rest of the civilized world.

In all these cases, I think it should be made a higher priority for their respective governments to fill this need, although, as my research shows, none of them do.  Maybe the charitable organizations from the wealthier part of the civilized world might be able to step in, at least in some situations, and help.  For example, The Straube Foundation, is doing this already, although it is on a very minuscule level.  However, if more organizations would do so, every little bit helps, plus it provides a good example for others to follow.

So, if you can, seek out and help a youngster (or oldster, if that’s the one who needs it) to become enabled, fit and proficient for learning via the Internet!

Thank you very much!

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