Listen to the child
Don't look at education
from the standpoint of what you
would like your child to become
but what difficulties your child is having
while trying to become...
Listen to his or her unspoken fears depicted in the
IF I WERE A CHILD AND YOU WERE LISTENING
HERE IS WHAT I WOULD LIKE YOU TO KNOW
AS I WISH AND WONDER
IN MY OWN SILENT WAY
WHAT IS TO BECOME OF ME?
From the day I was born
Perhaps even before
In utter silence,
Known only to me
I wished and I wondered
What I am here for?
And what is to become of me?
Would someone tell me the story?
Of where we come from
Or where we are going
What is my purpose, if any?
In them thar scheme of things?
Am I here to do merriment
like the grasshopper
or live in fear like the squirrel
letting voluptuous summers slip by
so not to fall short
During the winter cold?
No, it just can’t be so
I am here to feel the vicissitudes
of my yearning Soul
urging me to fulfill its goal
I am not merely a fallen leaf
Blowing in the wind
I am part of the whole
Being needed in earnest
to add to its growth
But how would I ever know
unless someone connects me
to our yesterdays
so I too KNOW
where we had been
and what lies ahead
in the yet unknown.
As educators, we need to concentrate on fulfilling that inner longing and thereby resolving the silent
suffering of each and every child the world over. That needs to be our one and only mission.
And for that we need to start by listening to the child and remembering that no child
comes equipped with the knowledge and skills he or she needs to survive and grow.
Only we can fill that gap by exposing the child to our world in a practical, integrated and chronological
manner. Our guidepost has to be:
Just because we know it does not mean that the child knows it too.
We can, however, shorten the learning time by sifting, sorting, condensing and integrating
the essence of our knowledge and then presenting it as an overview to the child, much like a
continuous story with no gaps whatsoever.
This sounds like a Herculean task but it is no so because over the past five thousand years or so of
recorded human history, we have not learned all that much. It only looks that way because it is all
spread out all over the place. Sift, sort, integrate and interconnect it and it shrinks. Science, for
instance, gets reduced to mere 150 simple concepts and skills.
The same thing happens to the rest of our knowledge of Art, Humanities, Philosophy, Music,
Religion and Spirituality etc. These too shrink and when integrated with science and vice versa,
we end up getting a holistic collage of logical and useful knowledge easy to know and learn.
This way we get launched into our world fully aware of its basic workings that enables us to work
towards becoming a versatile analytical human being capable of sustaining ourselves and also
contributing toward the growth of our evolving society.
In order to construct and implement this sort of integrated knowledge that two separate but
interconnected educational centers are established.
One is the Center for General and Applied Education where the curriculum consists of the collage of
integrated knowledge and the other is the Science Skills Center where
emphasis is on how science evolved slowly but surely via the invention of scientific instruments.
This Center thus displays and demonstrations practically all of the basic science
instruments such as the light, dark field, phase contrast, and fluorescent microscope, pH meters,
conductivity meters, spectrophotometers, centrifuges, autoclaves, filters of all sorts, pipettes and other
liquid handling devices, distillation, freeze drying, flash evaporation, electrophoresis and
chromatography equipment plus much more. Nothing useful is left out.
Both of the above Centers are open to the public. Our experience over the years, however, has shown
us that the public visiting the Science Display and Demonstration Center first where the
visitors not only get to see the equipment and how it is used but also get to use the various
equipment themselves, learn better and faster, leaving any and all of the anxieties commonly associated
with science education behind in a hurry.
Somehow, our brains and our psyches work better with holistic overview of this nature. This approach
also does not tax our limited span of attention enabling us to learn, retrain and grow
intellectually and conceptually acquiring the needed skills on the way.
I am now urging educators and administrators the world over to try this integrated approach to teaching
and learning. For more information contact the above Centers at: email@example.com
or the undersigned.
What I would like to see that the children around the world have access to the same kind of
comprehensive educational centers we have established here in Chicago.
They are neither difficult nor expensive to set up especially when you can learn from our experience.
I am open to answering your questions, qualms and apprehensions. The project is not only
worth doing, it is also doable.
Riaz-ul Haque, Ph.D.,
Associate professor (Emeritus)
University of Illinois at Chicago
729 South Western Avenue,
Chicago Illinois USA 60612
Phone: 312-243-7716; Fax: 312-243-2041
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org OR email@example.com
KNOWLEDGE IS EVERY CHILD’S INHERITANCE
We must conserve it , share it and pass it on
but never, never loose it
SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT
WE HAVE LOST SO MUCH KNOWLEDGE SINCE MID FIFTIES
OF THE PAST CENTURY THAT I HAVE COINED THE
"ADD KNOWLEDGE TO THE LIST OF ENDANGERED SPECIES™”