Fun in learning, Learning is fun!

Fun is the beginning of anything fundamental. Fun even exists as the first three letters in the very word 'fun-da-mental' itself! For anything mentally stimulating 'fun' must be the essential ingredient. This is how learning begins and also learning ends. The day you miss out the 'fun' element in education delivery, learning will come to an end. For beginners at school, the teachers' biggest challenge is how to make learning fun.

It is often said 'there is a child in each one of us' and only the young at heart understand that fun is the essential element of any learning process. As trainers, teachers, mentors and peers we often find that we are pushed and taught, this is not really the best way. There is the need to pull with fun and this makes learning effective. Use of colour, sound, touch, smell and taste is the first step to make learning effective. In our kindergarten years our teachers have to act, perform and do all wild things to hold our imagination. The Montessori method of teaching aims for the fullest possible development of the whole child, ultimately preparing him for life's many rich experiences. Montessori teachers are trained facilitators in the classroom, always ready to assist and direct. Their purpose is to stimulate the child's enthusiasm for learning and to guide it, without interfering with the child's natural desire to teach himself and become independent. Each child works through his individual cycle of activities, and learns to truly understand according to his own unique needs and capabilities.

Stimulation is the key to excite the mind to learn and find out more. In our learning environment we must have go beyond the basic five sensory approach and help develop the fertile young mind with games, and discover the true self within. Good teachers know how to go beyond the five senses and what constitutes a sense is itself a matter of some debate, leading to difficulties in defining what exactly a sense is. We are taught that we have only the five senses of touch, taste, smell, hearing, and sight to guide us. It turns out that we have been underestimating ourselves. Scientists count between fourteen and twenty actual senses, most of which aren't taught in primary school. See what information you're really working with and what it will take to make learning fun.

Fun must be the process and not necessarily the objective of teaching, as sometimes fun and frolic make us deliver off tangent too. For a teacher the challenge is to have the energy to go on-and-on and have fun too. Ask any teacher and am sure they will say that classroom environment and delivery of a curriculum often set a tedium...boring, monotonous, dull, deadly dull, uninteresting, unexciting... and this is the true test for building a great learning environment. Very few are gifted with the ability to innovate endlessly, and it is just these individuals who are the best teachers and make learning fun.

The teacher at the kindergarten for most of us is the beginning of the learning and education process. Many will never forget their first teacher, this is simply because there is more fun at the start of the teaching process in any school. We will always need to be more creative to keep alive the early childhood years and help us live with the child within.

- the author Sandeep Dutt works with schools to help them deliver better, you can contact him by email sd@ebd.in

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