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Home » Parenting

Gaining the Best of Both Approach to Education in the East and the West

4 August 2019No Comment


 
See if you agree with this.

Students are expected to listen, not speak much, submit under the teachers’ authority Schools in Indonesia (in the East), in general (ie. NOT ALL, of course):

Students are expected to listen, not speak much, submit under the teachers’ authority.

If they do express their opinion or question their teachers (gasp!), they potentially are labelled as ‘difficult’, ‘impolite’, ‘a trouble maker’.

As a result:
They tend to be quiet, less participative, less articulate.

They find it harder to verbally express their ideas and thoughts, esp. in public.

Students are encouraged to speak up, be critical and creativeSchools in the west in general:
Students are encouraged to speak up, be critical and creative (out of the box ideas are more likely to be accepted by peers).
They are encouraged to verbally express their ideas/thoughts in class, regardless of ‘HOW’ they do it.

As a result:
They tend to be more daring in trying out new experiences, more comfortable in expressing their thoughts (and challenging other people’s ideas).

At the same time though, they also (potentially) tend to have behavioural issues, eg. Disrespectful attitudes towards parents/teachers, if their opinions differ, in the name of ‘freedom of speech’, etc.

Each ‘approach’ has its own ‘good and bad’, if you ask me.

I am fortunate enough to have experienced ‘both’.

Up to 13yo I experienced the traditional Indonesian school way. And after that, the Australian way.

Personally, I think a combination of BOTH the eastern and the western approach is needed.

They need to learn to do all that in a more polite wayStudents need to be able to verbally express their opinions (however silly, given that they are after all still kids / teenagers!), quench their curiosity, question the stuff that they’re learning.

BUT.

At the same time, they need to learn to do all that in a more polite way (choice of words, tone of voice, attitude, etc).

In reality, this the hard part!

(One extra potential reason: they are born in a digital era where communication via texting tends to be more common than actual verbal communication)

If our children live in Indonesia, or grow up under the authority of teachers who still adopt the more traditional way of learning (ie. Quiet submission is better), their journey towards ‘being able to express self well and polite’ is a VERY long one.

Our role as parents are crucial in nurturing their growing curiosity positively, in shaping their habits, social/communication skills, etc.

And if our child is naturally vocal/expressive or have the tendency to verbally express their opinion / disagreements in a ‘loud’ way (ie. Rebellious, in the parents’ eyes), may God help us.

These young ones need plenty of guidance, rebuking, reminding, and consistent shepherding, positive role modelsBecause these young ones need plenty of guidance, rebuking, reminding, and consistent shepherding, positive role models, opportunities to learn from mistakes while still feel assured that we love and accept them.

We parents need to learn how to deal with them and guide them, instead of shutting them up (for our own convenience)

(Note: We Asians put a lot of weight on showing respect to the elderly, teachers, etc., so dealing with ‘difficult attitudes’ from kids who are verbally expressive definitely needs a lot of self-denials, patience, wisdom and help from God!)

Anyway, this is a note to myself.

I’m still learning.

May God help me. Help us.

Food for thought.

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