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Education – Then and now

by 高莫娜 Mona

When I started to teach, the pedagogy and methodology was already changing. “Learning through play” had come into practice in Asian countries as well. Still it was hard for some mainstream parents to understand the importance of “play” in learning.
There was one of my students who was always reluctant to play. We had some learning toys and we asked our students to engage with them after their small group activity. That student of mine always used to take out his workbooks and completed his written tasks. He occasionally told me that his father discourages games and says that play is not good for him and we should be studying more! I felt for that young boy who had taken a lot of pressure and was trying his hardest to meet his father’s expectations.
I don’t blame the parents as the time they were raised up, study was the only priority. Extra-curricular activities were usually discouraged as it was thought that play cannot lead you to a successful life. Over the years this concept has been changed, thanks to the researchers and dedicated educators.
Especially in early years “learning through play” plays a vital role. Their concentration span is limited so active learning does not work for them. They learn and pick things from passive learning and this is the reason that when we are singing the numbers or alphabets, they learn in a flash. It is my habit that whenever I tell them any story, I usually sing the sentences. It is quite enchanting for them and they grasp the content faster.
If I look back now, early years education has improved a lot in a way that parents are more understanding and better educated. They are acknowledging the importance of preschool and the long lasting effect of extracurricular activities on the kids. Now, I am meeting parents who encourage their children to learn different skills, enroll them in life skills training programs and appreciate teachers for grooming their child’s mind in an aesthetic way.
It is an impressive trend and I believe that these young kids who are grooming with all the necessary ingredients will definitely be an excellent addition to the society in general. These are the kids who will be our future global citizens!

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