The relevance of education has transcended mere classroom interactions. Gone are the days when school served as the sole place for learning because, today as early as four years, a child can count from one to a hundred before they start school.
My curiosity to navigate the relevance of school in its entirety drove me to this interesting aspect. Digging deep, I wanted to fully understand the importance of social interaction for students in a school environment.
There have been, however, several queries on whether schools really offer the required social mobility to the students for an effective and holistic learning. Well, this could be happening but whether it does or not, it automatically has an effect on the students’ learning and the knowledge they acquire.
School environment is not a channel through which only knowledge can be acquired; it is, rather, a ground where children should be able to share real life experiences. This is why it is important for them to have the ability to interact coherently with others from an early stage in their lives.
They should be able to distinctly interact with their age mates in an environment which is different from home about simple things, such as movies they have watched and other social experiences or lessons they have learnt.
So the question remains, do schools cultivate this kind of environment? Well, societal structures vary but with my somewhat fair experience as an educationist and an upcoming educational policy researcher, it is imperative that we rethink about the relevance of education and the kind of education we are offering.
The environment and what makes up that environment in school matters a lot in the pursuit of a complete education. And there is of course the need to make learning fun to ignite creativity and a healthy competition among the students, but there should be more to this if we are to breed dynamic citizens.
However, with the contemporary economic situation, schools seem to have succumbed to the disease of capitalism, whereby learning oriented mobility seems to be favoured.
Students who attend private schools are likely to get this kind of holistic learning with social mobility as a factor in effective learning and teaching. This trend is so common in western countries but it seems to be slowly taking up the periphery as well.
Schools and other education institutions should understand and promote social mobility to affect learning since knowledge is rooted in the ability to share experiences, yet the period one spends in school matters a lot.
The writer is a PhD student at Beijing Normal University