Advice Column, Education

Individualism and learning synergy

The traditional educational system generally expects students to all act, think and talk the same. This challenges individualism. School’s need to understand what being an individual means to students and their learning.

Creating a learning environment that allows students to embrace their individualistic views and interests is a platform provided to create self-confident citizens that think outside the box and make connections beyond content alone. 

Allowing a student to express their individualism provides opportunities for self-realisation. This assists with decision making when students are choosing subjects and career paths. As lifelong learners, students should not only be encouraged to study subjects offered in schools but also consider authentic, real life learning related to the changing world we are apart of. 

Students need to be challenged with self-discipline; a simple school tradition that challenges this are school bells that indicate time allocated to classes. Teaching students to keep track of their own time creates a sense of autonomy, time and self-management. Life after school does not include bells that help guide time allocated to tasks. A school like Abbotts College provides a variety of situations students manage and are responsible for their own time-management. 

A typical day at school is very structured and time bound where generally students only have access to teachers during school time. This means that if students have queries about their studies, it will often have to wait for the next day. This creates frustration and loss of interest by students. Abbotts College students have the unique privilege of engaging with their teachers till 7pm every evening during the week. This gives students extended time to consult.  

Another factor that enhances individualism is social independence which teenagers find challenging to practice. Students continuously feel the pressure to conform to social norms and are often searching for a sense of acceptance. Policies are implemented to conduct the successful operation of a school however some of the rules and regulations that form part of these policies challenge individualism which could limit a student’s potential as a balanced individual.

Students want to be accepted as unique individuals and this should be encouraged in schools. Every student has their own way of interacting, connecting, understanding and learning, and this should be integrated into the teaching and learning experiences taking place at schools. Individualism and learning are two complimentary factors that encourage self-actualisation and allow a student to flourish academically, socially, mentally and physically through more confidently expressing and accepting themselves as evolving and unique young adults. 

Written by: Kumari Lewis, Public Relations assistant at ADvTECH Schools

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