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Losing the Excitement for Learning

If you observe a preschool class or kindergarten class, you can see, feel and even sometimes smell various learning activities. Every 4- or 5-year-old has a question. The entire group is involved in learning how to paint, cook, work with numbers, etc. There is enthusiasm everywhere. The air is thick with learning excitement.

Now take a look at a typical class of high school juniors or seniors, or even a college classroom. What do you see? A teacher standing in front of the room and 20 or 30 blank expressions on the faces of the students. A certain quiet and even solitude persists in the room. A question is asked and two or three students raise their hands to answer (not the entire class). Those who don't raise their hands often fail to do so out of fear of providing an incorrect response that might make them look "dumb."

Some members of this young adult class spend much of their time watching the clock or looking out of the window. Possibly two or three of these students are actually taking a nap! What's even worse is that the teacher seems to care less that these two or three are napping. After all, they can't cause any problems while they're sleeping.

There is no excitement, no enthusiasm. The young adult learner is a passive observer at best, not an involved, eager learner. Unfortunately, much of our formal education is spent in this type of environment.