The key difference that will change the way you parent and teach
The interpretation of the word ‘education’ determines whether children are treated as mouldable objects or as complete individuals at school. Most of us have been to school, but not educated.
The definition of education comes from the latin word educare which means ‘to guide, to lead and to draw out abilities’. This definition implies that there are inherent abilities in each of us, and an educator’s job is to recognise and draw out an individual’s potential and help it to thrive.
Founder of the Shichida Method, Prof. Makoto Shichida constructed the method under this definition of education. While he observed that children will grow on their own accord, with or without intervention from parents and teachers, he noted that it is a parent’s duty to draw out their child’s natural potential – in other words, it is a parent’s purpose to educate their child.
However, most people believe that education is about instilling knowledge, which implies that children are blank slates or empty minds waiting to be filled with information. This is the definition of education that mainstream schools uphold, and besides a few brilliant teachers that shine for certain individuals, school is more about chasing high test scores and learning social norms rather than becoming who you were always supposed to be.
This explains why so many parents want to postpone their child’s education for as long as possible and even pull them out of the school system altogether. Unfortunately, this is also why the golden window of the sensitive period from 0-3 years old, when learning is easiest and the most fun for children, is so often overlooked and ignored – because starting education young is perceived as harsh, intense and even damaging to children.
But with Prof. Shichida’s original definition of education – to draw out an individual’s best potential – it becomes apparent that children are instead being robbed of genuine educational opportunities and support right from the start. A systemic neglect that is even more damaging to individuals in the long-term as the stimulation or lack-thereof that children receive by the time they are 3 years old can determine their future health, success, relationships and mental wellbeing as adults.
Prof. Shichida said, “A child’s character and abilities are formed long prior. To think about education from birth is a parent’s responsibility. We need to focus on their own ability to develop themselves and let them naturally demonstrate their abilities.”
‘The world needs better leaders and I am helping to grow them here!’