It amazes and shocks me how often I read or hear this comment from young people today.
It is all over Facebook.
I often read, “I’m bored”…. “Inbox me.”
I have heard it once said that if you are bored you must be boring.
I have been musing the reason for so much boredom with young people.
Especially when I also read or hear of it in my own class…where students get to find, explore and follow their interests/passion.
The world is their oyster. There is so much they can be doing. How could they possibly be bored?
What I am finding is that they often don’t know how to take the first step. To get started takes risk. With risk there can be failure…or success.
But with many of my students they have been conditioned by a school system and society that does not reward or encourage initiative or risk, rather it rewards and expects compliance to do what you are told. Or sit in front of a television and be entertained.
So, is it any wonder they get bored when there is no one around them to tell them what to do or think about. Even when they are on the computer or using a device that gives them access to world of information and entertainment.
How do we as facilitators of learning get students fired up to start doing things and making stuff? Is there are better way than teaching them? Which is having the content (curriculum) and getting them to do it….
I read a book (Free at Last – The Sudbury Valley School) about the Sudbury schools which are free and democratic schools where students do what they like and learn what they want. One of the teachers commented about her greatest challenge in working there…
The Art of Doing Nothing
“Doing nothing at Sudbury Valley requires a great deal of energy and discipline, and many years of experience. I get better at it every year, and it amuses me to see how I and others struggle with the inner conflict that arises in us inevitably. The conflict is between wanting to do things for people, to impart your knowledge and to pass on your hard earned wisdom, and the realisation that the children have to do their learning under their own steam and at their own pace.”
It seems that our young people are not used to doing, working, learning under their own steam. The y need/want to be led and told what to do because that is how things are in society…wait to be told what to do.
What a dreadful shame.
Especially in the 21st century which requires self-initiative, self-motivation and creative types to be the starters of things. Gone are the factories and vast warehouses of people being told what to do.
So, my challenge is to find ways and means to encourage my students to take initiative and take responsibility for their own learning.
Do I take them by the hand or do nothing?
Will learning happen naturally?