Why are we still celebrating fear?

exam fear

Why are we still celebrating fear?

Design Thinking essentially emphasises the importance of making mistakes and being able to learn from them through a cyclic approach. Such a system can be extremely beneficial for early childhood education as it will allow for children to learn from mistakes and embrace the joys of learning.

The reason I gave that introduction is that children these days are so worried about grades and academic achievements that they fail to learn and develop as individuals. I recently visited my nephew who I hadn’t seen for the past year; he was in grade 6 when I last met him. My nephew wasn’t the quickest of learners, but if he understood a particular topic, he can apply it in real life and see the results. But when I did meet him after a year, he was so afraid to learn new things and experience new concepts because it was driven into him that being perfect is more important than having fun at school. That fear he is holding on to now is actually being celebrated by his teachers because they believe that fear is an important asset to have when it comes to getting good grades.

nervous child

But experts believe that such a system is actually defeating the purpose of education. What sort of society are we building if fear is going to become the prime motivator? Competitiveness is an important aspect, but not in a setting that promotes curriculum excellence. Curriculum excellence is a concept wherein we are forced into a box and shackled by fear. What the world and my nephew need right now is a large dose of creative confidence. Creative confidence emphasises the need to have fun when you learn. Creative confidence takes that box and kicks it open; old-school administrators will believe that that box can become like a Pandora’s box without confines, but a lot of experts and innovators believe that creativity is going to ooze out when the box is pried open.


So the question that arises is, how are we supposed to get from point A to point Z without having to go through 25 other rungs. The answer is quite simple; we give students the one thing that they have been deprived of since the beginning of time; the ability to choose. Some children love how the present system works while some children hate that they have to go through a system that doesn’t entice them to learn. The question that I am going to leave you with is as follows: How long are we going to judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree?

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