Creators vs. Consumers, Emotional Intelligence and Critical Thinking
Technology and the Internet are useful tools accessible easily at this age and time. But how many parents feel antagonized by technology as they witness addiction to games and the virtual world among the youth? How many children are engulfed in keeping up with the latest gadget, fashion etc? I think it is the best time to develop Emotional Intelligence and Critical thinking among the youth. More than academic excellence and measuring IQ, it is Character that is most important. A truly intelligent person is one that has morals and ethics. If we teach the youth Self-awareness, Self-Control, Social Awareness, Emotion management etc, we help them become better persons (as siblings, friend, etc) not merely better students. We help them become thinkers (for themselves) and empower them to make responsible choices. Many parents are unable to trust their children so they always want to be in control of their lives but if we recognise that children are individuals capable of thinking for their own and developing self-control and be able to nurture that, then parents would not be as paranoid. In Public school,we could do less with lectures and instead engage students more in debates and dialogues. It’s a shame that some students tell me they just copy things from their blackboard for their class period. How can these method develop critical thinking? Finally, in the present day ‘Cult of personality’ and rampant consumerism, it is easy to be caught prey by the wave that makes us measure ourselves (and other people) by “have” and “have nots”. The dangerous thing is that when we consume more and more, we become passive and uncreative. Instead, if education leads us to an active life, we would be creators and be able to self-actualize for the benefit of ourselves and others. We would focus, not on material wealth but development of our character and other potentials.
I firmly believe that Education must make the essential things matter and help benefit the community we are in. If we nurture love of learning, emotional intelligence and critical thinking, the future for Filipinos would definitely be brighter. And instead of us asking the youth what they would like to be when they grow up, maybe we better ask them what problem they would like to solve?