Sustainable

I was thinking lately about this word. Sustainable. The first time I really involved with this word was when I had to teach my private student about 8 goals of MDGs. But then, it turns out that I have to use the word more often.

Several months ago I went home with my friend from school where I worked. I had a chat with her about some of my students. We were wondering why their scores in so many subjects are bad. I thought that there are three possible reasons for this.

First, the reason is unclear explanation from the teachers. But then there will be so many teachers at stake here. There is one teacher for one subject and we doubt that all teachers are that incompetent. No way. They are hired as a teacher for some reasons and the reasons must be good. Nope, I don’t think that the teachers are the reason.

The second reason is students’ preparedness of the test. It should be worked out by teachers and parents. At school they study, do exercises and they did well. They were given homework to study at home. I am quite sure that the parents were aware of the upcoming exam and asked their kids to learn. Well, at least the kids told so.

Then there is the third reason. Maybe they can’t absorb the materials and extract them when they are needed! Humans have brains, right? How can they not be able to absorb knowledge? I remembered one of my students who always gets answer for his questions easily. Whenever he is challenged, he step back and choose not to try. Maybe that is the reason. They always get the answers to their questions easily that they don’t have to think, analyze, and strive to come up with an answer.

Finally I concluded. The later reason lead me to think that maybe the schooling system which depends a lot on test scores makes children feel that learning is only a way to get good scores. If children can get good scores not by learning, then what’s the point? Maybe this is what Freire (1996) warned as the result of banking concept in education which reduce the whole educational experience into test scores. People forget the educational process. They forget, as Pranoto (2012) said, how to fall in love with learning, knowledge, and science. Education is treated as a mean to an end while it should make people to be full of resources which will benefit them in the future. Education makes people educated and educated people make what they got from education sustain in order to benefit not only themselves but other people and their environment, to make people and the world sustainable.

May 7, 2013

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Sustainable

Sustain (v) to keep sb/sth alive or in existence

(Oxford Learners Pocket Dictionary)

I was thinking lately about this word. Sustainable. The first time I really involved with this word was when I had to teach my private student about 8 goals of MDGs. Well, quite a hard topic for a junior high student. But then, it turns out that I have to use the word more often.

A week or two ago I went home with my friend from school. In this case, school is my place of work, not where I study. I had a chat with her about some of my students. We were wondering why are their scores in so many subjects bad. We thought about three reasons; unclear explanation from the teachers, unprepared students during the test, or inability to absorb the materials and extract them when they are needed.

If the reason is unclear explanation from the teachers, then there will be so many teachers at stake here. There is one teacher for one subject and we doubt that all teachers are that incompetent. No way. They are hired as a teacher for some reasons and the reasons must be good. They should have a capability, skills, to handle the children and transfer the knowledge. Nope, I don’t think that the teachers are the reason.

Students preparedness of the test should be worked out by teachers and parents. At school they study. As soon as there will be upcoming exam, the teachers prepare the students. There are exercises and homework given out so students get used to answering written questions. The experience say that those students were able to do both things well. They had good results for their exercises and homework. So what went wrong? There is still one more preparation that should be done; preparation at home. Well, the homework should prove that they prepared themselves at home, right? I am quite sure that the parents were aware of the upcoming exam and asked their kids to learn. Well, at least the kids told so.

Then there is the third reason. Maybe they can’t absorb the materials and extract them when they are needed! Humans have brains, right? How can they not be able to absorb knowledge? Then I remembered one of my student. He always get answer for his questions easily. Whenever he is challenged, he step back and choose not to try. He totally shut down. Maybe that is the reason. They always get the answers to their questions easily that they don’t have to think, they don’t have to analyze, they don’t have to strive to come up with an answer. Well, God gives us brain in order to give us a chance to think. As stated in the Holy Qur’an.

Finally I concluded. Sustainable. They were not sustainable. They can’t keep their knowledge exist this whole time and can’t get the benefit of their knowledge. People tend to easily forget what they know or have when they get it easily. I forget that I have 2000 rupiah money when I pick it up from the street (well, this isn’t really happen). These children easily forget what they know because they don’t need to think. The brain doesn’t put the information in long term memory and therefore they were unable to produce the answer in their exam.

I really think that teachers should be able to make the students sustainable. They have to be able to give the students skill to strive in this world. Teachers can easily pass out the knowledge like they are passing hand outs. But really? Is it going to help the children? Give the children opportunity to think. Push them to the edge but equip them with safety tools. When they are skilled, every exam will be as easy pizzy lemon squeezy.

Apr 12, 2012