For quite some time now I’ve been thinking on the difference between education and maturity. The use of eFaqt, our notes system requires from a user (be it a high school pupil or a corporate engineer) a form of self-motivation. You need to want to participate in self-studying, and you must have the commitment required for it. And this is one of the biggest challenges when speaking of our younger users.
One of the problems in teenagers is that they lack empathy. It is harder for them, biologically speaking, to put themselves “in the shoes” of someone else. This someone, includes. unfortunately, their futures selves. You see, when discussing self-motivation, one must understand that a person choosing to devote an hour of his time to enhancing his summarizing skills using eFaqt, he gives up on doing more interesting stuff in the meantime.
For the adult mind, this is a fair assessment: “I give up on my free time now, in order to better myself, and hopefully, my future self will enjoy from the sacrifices I make now”. The deal is clear, and we allow ourselves to make the consideration required. But what about those who are not yet grown up, physically and -more importantly – mentally?
Teens and young adults might have problems making concessions for their future self. They may not be willing to give up on their own pleasures now for some dubious benefit in time to come, and this is why it’s important to provide them with the tools to comprehend this.
That was exactly what I fought when running into this post by Mike Rose. In a lengthy post he describes the difference (in modern education) between teaching and learning. He’s talking about focusing on performance evaluation of teachers, while neglecting their personal touch with the kids. I think that this are the kinds of traits that will lead to kids’ ongoing development as emotional people, which will aloww them in turn, to become better students.
“Harder” and “softer” things in education (as Valerie Strauss puts it) shouldn’t be a zero-sum game. One can educate and teach at the same time.