Why do kids hate school?

  • By Team TDO

I posed this question to a kid in the neighbourhood and his reply had me in splits. He was fast to quip “Dude, how would you feel if someone stuck a knife in you without fail at 7 am in the morning, everyday? That’s exactly what I feel about going to school.” This kid sure knows his mind, I muttered to myself not wanting to suffer any pearls he might choose to cast before me about the educational system in general.

They even have a book by the same title: Why don't students like school? Authored by cognitive scientist Daniel T. Willingham, which takes the stance that students detest school because of the teachers’, inability to teach according to cognitive principles. This deficiency in teachers worldwide is probably what inspired Pink Floyd’s “We don’t need no education “with school children quite competently handling the chorus - “Hey teacher, leave the kids alone!”

Maybe there is some grain of truth in the cognitive teaching theory but on the whole if one were to trace a kid’s journey from learning all the basics from momma (a child’s first teacher and she probably doesn’t even know what cognitive teaching is all about) and then suddenly the warmth is shattered when the kid realizes that he will soon at age 3 have to go to some abomination known as preschool where he supposedly will learn skills like social adjustments, group behaviour (sure, when he is through tearing out the kid next door’s hair, maybe just then!!!)

So from a very secure perch in momma’s lap the child is thrust in to an overwhelmingly new and thoroughly infuriating world of preschool- kindergarten-junior school-high school! Well, it’s bad enough having to leave home for school but just imagine until they figure out what skill sets the student possesses he has to go through piles of homework and assignments, while even digesting proverbs like “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy!”

Ultimately it all depends on the quality of experiences that a child accumulates that will decide whether school is good or terrible. Yes schooling is essential to form a knowledge base for youth but at the same time schools should have teachers who are really teachers and not just purveyors of conventional syllabus driven education that we see mostly.

Some of the most eminent people in all fields have had very little formal education or even none in some cases. Albert Einstein would be a classic example of his teacher’s constricted world view when he said to Mr. Einstein that he would never amount to anything at all. Famous last words!

Finally if an individual is recognized and appreciated for his individuality and if his/her talents are nurtured carefully then learning can be an absolute delight. There would be no sense of being imprisoned in school as there is no other choice but to obey or perish.

This does not mean that schools should be closed down but should improve upon the things and make changes to various things including syllabus to make it interesting and a place where kids would love to go!