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教育是無處不在

教育孩童用甚麼方法,從甚麼角度最為適合?這一直是個爭議不休的問題。有專家認為從遊戲中學習,用書本作為教學工具,或根據現代說法不用書本,不要限制孩子,由他們自己去挑選他們所喜愛的,譬如教室內的圖書種類,教室內的玩具,他們喜歡做圖工就自選材料。其實孩子是一張白紙,一棵幼苗,如果沒有畫家在白紙加上他的創作,圖畫怎能五彩繽紛?如果一棵幼苗沒有人灌溉及施肥,那植物怎能茁壯成長呢?我常常說一句話:「教育是無處不在的」。理論當然是必要,但單靠理論是否太危險了呢?

家長是孩子的第一位老師,幼兒的老師是他人生中的啟蒙老師,地位相當重要。作為父母或老師,當孩子常常問為甚麼的時候,我們會否請孩子不要再問,或者告訴孩子你太煩了呢?也許有那麼一次你會大聲叫他停嘴。也許當時你不能解答孩子的疑問,因為連自己都弄不清楚問題的答案啊!因此對孩子說:「你太煩了,不要吵我!」或用「不要再問等等」來遮擋及挽回自己的面子呢?與其大動肝火,為什麼不坦白地告訴孩子:「這個問題連媽媽都弄不清楚,不如我們改天一起去圖書館找一些有關的書吧!找到了書就可以為你解答疑問,媽媽和你一起去學習,讓我們養成一個好學的習慣,不清楚就要去尋找,找處答案,這才是個好孩子。」我們教導孩子要常常鼓勵,不要喝罵。喝罵會阻止他們去思考及求知慾。

甚麼是最理想的方法幫助孩子去學習及思考?我一直再不斷地摸索,探求。 記得我在英國上了為期一年的教育課程,學習如何去評估在職老師的教學素質。譬如教學生認識一個蘋果,看到每一位老師教導學生各有不同,有老師把蘋果畫在黑板上……各施各法。有老師手提實物,有老師用圖片,小孩子都能知道蘋果是什麼東西,但教導孩子認識一個蘋果在我來說並不簡單,首先老師肯定要備足課。現在讓我來把一個蘋果分成:(一)語文,(二)常識,(三)數學,(四)自然科學,(五)地理,(六)歷史 科目來談蘋果的教育方法。可能有人會說這麼多課目來談一個蘋果,不是小題大做了嗎?我可以肯定地告訴你:「只有這樣做才能讓孩子全面地掌握知識!」首先拿語文課來說蘋果吧,教孩子認識什麼是蘋果,蘋果的種類,蘋果有不同顏色,有紅的、青的、黃的和粉紅的。大些的孩子會認字,再大些可以學寫蘋果等等。

常識方面:介紹蘋果的營養,吃蘋果的方法,注意的衛生方面,對身體有什麼好處……

數學:數數用的是什麼教材?是圖片或用實物(蘋果)來示範教學。如果用實物的話,建議帶領小朋友玩切蘋果遊戲,示範切開一個蘋果,就有兩個半邊,可教導孩子兩個半邊是一個完整的蘋果,再切一刀是4塊,4個四分一又成為一個完整的蘋果,如果用實物孩子是最容易理解及接受,通過遊戲示範這只蘋果中學到分數。

自然科學:在家中吃一個蘋果很少會由家人用這種遊戲方式來進行。但孩子由老師帶領下,圍在一起學習就可以做到。當老師把蘋果切開,再經過老師的講解,可以看到蘋果中間的種子,種子可以種植,種子將變一棵樹,而樹在什麼氣候下最適合成長……將蘋果的構造解釋給孩子知道,這不也是將自然及生物在遊戲中講解了嗎?

地理:出產最多最好蘋果的地方是中國,美國,英國,澳洲等等國家。老師是可以在不同的形式下,或在地圖上找國家,與孩子一起找到某個國家再找出產蘋果的地方及蘋果供應到什麼地方。在輕鬆的環境下一起討論及設計遊戲去探討並給孩子機會發問,不同年齡可以用不同程度的題材。歷史:蘋果在樹上掉下的那一刻,牛頓的經歷,不單是一個故事,也是歷史,也是科學,是一門有趣的科目。因這一個故事可能會引起孩子對科學產生興趣。

把課題用小小的一個蘋果來做舉例,經老師充分備課後,原來用一個星期也教不完有關一個蘋果的課題呢。

孩子——這一片白紙,是要有責任感的成年人在這片白紙上加添色彩,父母和教育工作者是最理想的人選,讓我們一起努力吧!

                                                                  校長 邊陳之娟 博士  銅紫荊星章,太平紳士

 

Education is everywhere

                                                              Dr. Delia Pei BBS ,JP.                                                                                                    How should children be taught and from what angle is it the most suitable? This is one of the most argued question. Some experts think that children can learn though playing, and that books are used as teaching tools. Or according to some modern saying, books are not necessary, and that there is no need to limit the children, let them choose what they like to learn. For instance, they can choose the reading books and toys in the classroom. If they want to create an art work, they just choose the materials themselves. In fact, children are like a piece of blank paper, a seedling. If no artists add his creation on this piece of paper, how can the picture be colourful? If no one waters and fertilizes the seedling, how can it grow properly? As I always say, “Education is everywhere”. Of course, theory is necessary, but isn’t it too dangerous just to rely on theory?  

                                                                                                                         Parents are the first teachers for their children. Teachers of young children can be enlightening teachers and they play an important part in their lives. As parents and teachers, when children ask us questions , should we request them not to ask anymore or perhaps even asking them to keep quiet. Maybe it is because we cannot give an answer to the child’s question! We end up saying to the child, “Please do not disturb me anymore!” or use “Don’t ask again” etc. to save face? Instead of losing our temper, why not just say to the child honestly, “Even your mom doesn’t know the answer, why don’t we go to the library one day and read some books on this subject? We’ll find out the answer together! Mom is learning with you. Let’s develop a good habit of learning. When we are not clear about something, we search for the answer. This is what a good child should do.”We must always encourage children. We must not shout at them, as shouting will only stop them from thinking and looking for knowledge.

                                                                                                                         What is the most ideal way to help children learn and think? I’ve been searching for an answer myself. I remember when I took a one-year course in the U.K., learning how to assess the quality of teachers. Different teachers have different ways of teaching. For example when it comes to an apple, one teacher drew an apple on the board, one brought an actual apple, one used a picture. Children get to know what an apple is through different ways but to teach children about an apple is not as simple as it looks. Firstly, the teacher must be fully prepared for the lesson. Through an apple , children can be taught different subjects including (1) Language, (2) General Studies,(3) Mathematics,(4) Natural Sciences,(5)Geography and (6) History. Some might say that it is an exaggeration to teach so many topics with just one apple. I can assure you, “This is the only way that we can provide an all-round knowledge for the children.” Firstly, when we talk about an apple in a language lesson, we teach the children what an apple is, different varieties of apples with different colours : red, green, yellow and pink. Older children can learn to recognize the words, even older children can learn to write the words, etc.

                                                                                                                          In General Studies: Introduce the nutrition of an apple, different ways of eating an apple, benefits an apple can have to our health….

                                                                                                                        In Mathematics: To count the number of apples (determine what kind of teaching tools can be used. Use picture or actual object (apple) for demonstration). If an actual object is used, the teacher can demonstrate how to cut an apple into 2 halves: 2 halves make a whole apple; cut one more time, 4 quarters are made: 4 quarters also make a whole apple. Children can easily understand when the actual object is used. Through this demonstration in a game, they can learn the concept of fraction.

                                                                                                                        In Natural Sciences: Under the guidance of a teacher, the teacher cuts open an apple, to explain that seeds are found inside the apple, seeds can be planted, and these will grow into apple trees. And what is the most suitable climate for the apple trees to grow in? Explain to the children the structure of an apple. Through this way, we can explain natural sciences and biology through games , can’t we?

                                                                                                                        In Geography: The countries that produce the most and the best apples are China, U.S.A., U.K., Australia etc. Teachers can use different methods: for example to find out some countries on the map and find out the apple-producing countries. In a relaxed atmosphere, through games and discussions, children learn to discover and enquire. Different themes can be designed for different age groups.

                                                                                                                        In History: The moment an apple falls from a tree, the experience of Newton can be taught .It is not only a story, it is also history and science, an interesting science. This story may arouse a child’s interest in science.

                                                                                                                        Using a tiny apple as an example with the teacher being fully prepared for the lesson, an apple can be taught in so many different subjects, it might even take more than a week to just teach about an apple!

                                                                                                                         Children are like pieces of blank paper, they need responsible adults to add colours to them. Parents and educators are the most ideal people. Let’s work hard together!

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