I once argued that education should be reimagined and redesigned. It is no wonder why Einstein was attributed to say he doesn’t allow schooling to interfere with education. The content of our education is at its best when it is not prescriptive but more about the process that students get to go through.
And along that process, we want them to learn things about themselves, about the world and how to interact with others. One of the key topic amongst this, is around disagreement. How to disagree is a useful skill and one that a human being, since being a kid would have to face.
My colleague has a 1.5 year old girl who struggles when her parents say no to her. She just finds it difficult when her will is impeded and she is helpless. To a certain extent, her way to take back that agency is to break down and cry. To a large extent, the type of tantrum is a kind of power-grab. And we intuitively know that. Except like all power-grab, this sort of emotional violence is not exactly the healthiest way of interacting.
So kids will and should learn how to disagree, and to feel a sense of agency over the situation even when things are not according to their will. Are parents capable of teaching that? How about schools? Why are we leaving that only to the domain of experts or psychologist? Shouldn’t that be a universally taught skill?
Again, we don’t like to teach or train people along metrics we cannot measure. How to disagree isn’t exactly something that can be easily quantified. So no one wants to teach that. It’s a shame because it is probably way more important than the nucleophilic substitution reactions we learnt in Chemistry.
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