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Joy of Learning Replaced with Fear of Failure

Fortunately, for most of us, the turmoil of adolescence eventually ends, and somewhere around the senior year of high school or later, our adult values, beliefs, expectations, goals, etc., begin to take shape. However, learning and the need for and place of education in our lives will probably never again be what they were when we were 5 and 6 years old.

The learning experience has been distorted by school systems, philosophies and teaching methods that were threatening, boring and meaningless. Possibly, you've developed a visual learning profile, but the system requires you to learn first by listening to the drone of the teacher, and secondarily by reading textbooks. You may be totally non-kinesthetic as a learner, yet you are forced to spend time in physical education classes, as well as possibly typing and shop classes. When a student fails physical education, it is really the school system failing the child, as the system simply doesn't recognize that not everyone is capable of throwing a ball or shooting a basket. Individual learning styles are ignored for the sake of a standardized curriculum and rigid teaching methods.

As a preschooler, you never thought of failure. You didn't even know what failure was. As an elementary school student and later a high school student, you seemed to learn enough to avoid receiving a grade of less than C average. You learned to learn out of fear -- fear of not pleasing someone due to a poor grade. The enthusiasm and pure joy of learning were replaced by fear of failure as a prime motivation.