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Pigeonholing in itself will not make a child happy. The truth is that it generally leads to loss of self-confidence and, worst of all, destroys creativity. It reduces their curiosity to experiment and try new solutions. It is unlikely to be adapted to the individual capabilities of a child and its developing personality. Premature labelling will rob a child of the ability to make choices and independent decisions.
Labelling pupils is the norm and not the exception to the rule. The box the child ends up in is usually labelled ‘above standard’ or ‘below standard’. My only question is, where is there room for freedom, creativity and freedom of choice?
The child is deprived of any right to choose or to adjust and adapt its personality to the existing conditions and environment. And this when children are often looking for and just beginning to form their own identity. If only for this reason, how can the school or sports clubs be confident that the child fits precisely one box and not another? Each pupil is different and therefore should have the possibility of logical and independent thinking. They should decide for itself which box it fits best.
Perhaps they don’t match any of them. What then? As a rule, such a child is bored and manifests behavioural problems. They don’t want to fit into any of the boxes that the system offers. The child’s emotional, psychological and social side will be shaped within the four walls of the box they have been put into. Few of these children will experience creativity, or opportunities for problem-solving (which is essential in the modern world), independent thinking, and finally, so badly needed today, learning responsibility for the consequences of their decisions.
Today’s school and sports system in most cases fit children into the following boxes and seldom if ever offers children harmonious, creative development. Unfortunately, this leads to the development of mediocre people and not the outstanding and talented individuals that can change the world.
Here’s is types of pigeonholing and their negative effect on children development:
The government sets the minimum required for the child to pass in a given subject and be ready for the next level. The problem lies in that there is no individualization here, and the fact that children are really only just forming their personalities. This is the first box in which the child is suffocated and there is no room for being happy and discovering what lies behind the learning process. The benchmark is the only option to prove to the stupid that he is wise.
The child is thrown into a box dominated by numbers and figures. Here is created a ranking, on the basis of which the pupil is assessed. Only, this is not the Olympics, and children don’t need medal classification. What do numbers or figures really tell us about a pupil? Nothing, absolutely nothing about its mental or social abilities, not to mention creative thinking. Instead, children should be provided positive experiences and reap the joy of learning and exchanging ideas with their peers.
The learning process should be motivating and involve the child in looking for different ways to solve problems. Unfortunately, numbers and figures have nothing to do with that. They reflect the characteristics of robots and not young, creative minds that are curious and wish to develop.
Have you ever wondered why the school curriculum is set by adults for children or young people? What would happen if young people could actively participate in building something that so totally applies to them? I think it’s a safe bet that many teachers would happily adopt such a solution. The main advantage would be pupils being permitted to express their opinions and ideas. This would lead to the development of independence, creativity and responsibility for decisions taken.
Another obvious plus is that pupils would be much more willing to learn something concerning which they themselves have had a say. Unfortunately, this is perhaps just pure theory, but is it really totally unrealistic? Oh, well, maybe I’m dreaming, but it’s worth it. My dreams go much further than the box, which actually does fit like a glove, but only for matches.
Most of these, unfortunately, require analytical thinking, and very little cognitive or creative thinking. For proper development, a child needs both in equal measure (creative thinking perhaps even more). Schools devote very little time to development among children of such areas as: motor, artistic or musical talents, where a dominant role is played by cognitive thinking, characteristic of every child. The young pupil should also have the right to choose which subject is best for its intellectual development and personality.
The national language and basic mathematics should be mandatory for everyone. I’m talking about the basics on purpose, because how many of us in life actually use integers, logarithms, the Pythagoras theorem, etc?
The conclusion? Pigeonholing doesn’t really serve a youngster’s harmonious development in psychological and emotional terms. Therefore, Youngest children should not be selected. They aren’t ready for it emotionally. Their personality is all the time only just being shaped and developed.