Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire. These immortal words from William Butler Yeats echo what relevant and lasting education should be.
While schools are expected to equip students with knowledge and skills that are perceived to be useful in their entry into the real world, they should also train children to continually ‘teach themselves’ and be able to tap into their ‘inner fire’ whenever the need arises.
We live in a fast-changing world. Arming the 21st century student with more of the same skills and knowledge will not be sufficient to meet the challenges of the future. Few generations ago, teaching-learning was a lot easier. Teachers could predict that what was taught in class would last their students for the rest of their lite time. Today, due to the dynamics and most often unpredictable changes in economy and society, educational institutions should prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, technologies that have not been invented and problems that we don’t know yet will arise. (A. Schleicher, 2010)
In the advent of this uncertainty, what is left constant is the intrinsic motivation-the ‘fire’ that children bring with them when they first set foot in school, which sadly in many cases, gets dimmed or even totally extinguished as they get entangled in the complexities of less meaningful learning experiences. If we educators are successful in rekindling or stoking this flame of learning within each child, then we have Successfully educated them for life.
Keep the inner fire burning!
-Mr. Ibnu Mulyana, M.Pd.