As adults, we may have been conditioned to believe that education and a serious face are inseparable. After all, learning how to get serious is a key part of growing up; right? Or so we are told. Yet, it has been proven again and again that the more fun even adults have at something, the easier they are likely to find doing it and the better they are likely to become at it. If that applies to adults, perhaps we need to review how we teach children and young adults.
Learning can be fun. Learning should be fun. We need a paradigm change. That someone is having fun at something shouldn’t mean that they are not learning or that they are unserious about their studies or work. Many people went through school without any inkling that learning does not have to be drudgery and uninteresting. For most, schooling was painful and something that they couldn’t wait to get away from. But if we make learning fun, there is no reason why anyone should want to run away from it.
- The teacher ought to have fun teaching. How effective can a teacher, trainer or instructor be if they do not enjoy what they do? Do we really want to entrust the training of our children to people who do not enjoy teaching them?
- The pupils and students ought to have fun learning. When they find their studies and classrooms fun, we will hardly ever have to chase them around and be able to spend our energies to more productive tasks and experiences. They will read and learn of their own accord more than ever.
- At every tier of the educational system should be an air of fun. From the policy makers to administrators, the idea of learning being fun should be imprinted from the very start or else it won’t work.
Usually, we reserve learning as fun (or is it fun as learning now) for nursery and pre-school children. We expect that after that, learning should be sober and serious. While there is some sense in which that is true, what happens usually is that we squeeze out all the fun from that point on. A grave mistake. Make leaning fun and watch as more knowledge goes round.