Up@dawn 2.0

Monday, November 14, 2016

Education vs. Play

As most of the English language comes from Greek and Latin origins, it was very surprising to me to learn the close relationship between work and play in the Greek tradition. It makes sense that children learn naturally by playing. That is something we see every day when we see children playing house, school, cops, etc. They are internalizing the world around them and gaining understanding of how the world works. As we grow older however, and as humans make more discoveries, we have been required to learn more and in a more standardized manner than ever before. With formal education being mandatory now, we have developed a system away from this natural learning and more centered around efficiency. We have to learn more and we have to teach it to many more people than we used to. This has made us drift away from learning the bare minimum to survive in a skill and be more “well-rounded” individuals by having a basic understanding in all subjects. This is less natural as we learn more information than we could possibly use in our lifetimes, and makes it harder for many people to grasp this system as they do not fit in this “fill in the bubble” system we now have. I think that many people would learn more with a hands on, entertaining and fun way of doing it, as many people are visual and learn by doing, not by memorizing. Perhaps if we went back to a system in this manner, we would have less problem with a standardized society and its stratified system that it can create.


  1. I agree with you that the method of education that has been adopted for the sake of efficiency has become rigid and lost its initial purpose as a way to better understand the world. In mathematics, we often learn formulas with no explained meaning behind them. In science, we memorize facts but without always understanding the reasons behind them. I think the introduction of online courses has further depersonalized the essence of learning and made it harder for interactive discussion and hands on methods. I think it would be wonderful if we had a more creative approach to our educational system, but until then, we must learn to appreciate the knowledge we are provided with, and learn to interpret and apply it to our world as innovative individuals.

  2. (h3) Although I do agree with you on some points one thing to remember about the classical world is that education was generally a manner of trade. You learned to do whatever your father, if he was a blacksmith you learned to make tools, if he was a mason you learned to cut stone. Education anything like what we know it today was mostly available to the affluent. I like to think of these two approaches like putting sand into a jar. The first way you get the jar half full. The person knows how to be a mason very well, but they don't know much else. The second is like trying to drop sand in until it's full. A lots going to not make it in, and maybe some of it you need. But you end up learning a lot more. There are pros and cons to each system.

  3. Schools nowadays are set up based on standards and criteria. As long as the teacher teaches the standard, it is up to them how they do it. Some prefer to be entertaining, and some don't. It's up to the teacher, but I agree that school should be more entertaining