Saturday, February 07, 2009

Not interested? do not worry it is natural!

I am sure you have noticed that young children easily interact with other kids and learn a new language without any difficulty! but what will happen if we do not "send" them to school? You think how motivated they are to learn reading and writing? or why most people have some ability to read the social cues ( facial expressions) of other people? we do not need any education for this!
It seems that most people have motivation for ordinary activities which are social in nature! Have you noticed how many hours we spend on watching TV or talking about unimportant issues ( small talks)? you think how many people read to expand their reading abilities? What would you think if one tells you that " the motivation to read and to engage in other activities (e.g., video games, television) is probably driven by the content of the activities rather than by the process itself"! Have you ever thought why most best sellers are about romance and relationships? maybe reading this particular subject would "allow people to rehearse control-related behavioral strategies (e.g., reading about relationships allows one to refine social knowledge and strategies)"!

Both children and chimpanzees can point at objects and count them! It is just natural! We are born with it! but we need academic education to learn algebra!
Let me ask you a different question: how many people have "burning desire" to master mathematics or other complicated subjects? which one seems more natural; going to a party and "having fun" or spending hours doing experiments in the lab for the sake of scientific discovery? we know that very few people "generate a disproportionate number of scientific and technological advances". How many people do postgraduate training , masters or PhD, to increase their chance to find a job or increase their income? why most postgraduate students are complaining of hard life and try to finish their education as soon as they can to start a normal life!? because they are paid less and have to work long hours? or maybe they also have to learn and think and produce something? why is that? Why learning is hard?

I have found better explaining for these questions when I looked at them through the prism of evolution! I have recently read an interesting paper by Geary about " evolutionary educational psychology"!!. He describes our abilities as primary ( such as social skills that have evolved through million years) and secondary abilities such as academic competence required in modern world! Due to explosion of knowledge in the recent few hundred years, there is a big gap between these two! Since our primary abilities are not sufficient for social functioning, we need education and schooling to close this gap!

Here is the link to his paper Not interested? I do not blame you! :) Now I know the lack of curiosity to understand such relatively conceptual matter is normal and also natural Just kidding!! I am sure you will enjoy it even if you disagree with the author. I guess for those of you who have children, you will feel less guilty by forcing your kids to learn which is very painful and difficult!! all kids want to play! we do too, do not we? :)

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