Stimulating the intellect


Although our intellect always longs for clarity and certainty, our nature often finds uncertainty fascinating.  Karl Von Clausewitz

Partly because of our education system, partly due to our upbringing but mainly because we like the comfort of order, system and conformity we associate our intellect with excellence displayed in academics and the knowledge gleaned out of texts and reflected in exam results. However it is the practical applicability of all this learning in day to day completely unstructured life, that allows one to creatively explore one’s intellect. Unfortunately, most times we grapple with such uncertainties rather reluctantly and with apprehension, never fully savoring the exhilarating joy of stretching ones imagination and making new discoveries in the process.

How many school children have enjoyed the beauty of literature, the flow of poetry and the quirks of language? How many have been fascinated by the hum of a bee, the chirping of the birds or the gurgle of the waters on the pebbles in the stream? Subjects that invoke fear in tender minds unequivocal are math’s and science and it would be a rare student who gravitated with fascination to the appreciation of these subjects. The flaw chiefly responsible for the arduous route to education is the mistaken emphasis of teachers, parents and peers that intellect is all about solving the problems instead of allowing one to explore make mistakes, attempt again and enjoy the process without the fear of retribution.

I recollect reading a fascinating theory that stated ‘schooling teaches non-sense’. Just like you, I was intrigued by this absolutely sacrilegious observation and bold assertion and on reading further was jolted by the arguments that supported this hypothesis. The writer, puts for the the argument that long before schooling as a discipline emerged, the human race used intellect to progress and prosper. What propelled this intellect was the use of the 5 senses that we are blessed with, sight, smell, touch, smell and hearing. Unfortunately in modern day education the importance of senses has been marginalized and nothing about it is taught, thereby making schooling non-sense figuratively and to a very large extent realistically too. Here is a quick reality check – what is the standard numbering pattern in a dice or which King in a pack of cards has only one eye? The challenge for educators and all those influencing education is make the process more fascinating, the progress more enthralling and the senses more stimulated if one were to truly engage the intellect.

The mantra of learning should be inquiry, discovery, experimentation, application and creative liberation.

Remember: The only means of strengthening one’s intellect is to make up one’s mind about nothing, to let the mind be a thoroughfare for all thoughts. John Keats

Try this:

  1. Check out the website http://www.arvindguptatoys.com/  to find inputs on creatively teaching science and making the process engaging, experiential and cost effective.
  2. Can you list out various ideas get children to fear mathematics less and possible make them a wee bit more interested in it?

Here are couple of suggestions to get you going…

  • To get students interested in the concept of angles try this PPT The_numbers
  • Ask students to multiply 37037 by any single digit and then by 3. What do they observe?

This post is courtesy www.actspot.com

You are also invited to visit our Inspirational and Motivational Blog

www.poweract.blogspot.com

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