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The Chore of Learning

Usually at this point, the eagerness and enthusiasm that marked our entrance into the formal education process now give way to an apathetic, docile attitude toward school and learning.

In reality, the process of learning is seldom boring. What becomes boring are the limitations placed on learning by the system and the methods of teaching.

The happy, exciting, active environment of kindergarten has been replaced by students sitting passively in rows, being exposed to a one-sided dialogue as expressed by the teacher. Suddenly, the fifth and sixth graders proclaim that school isn't fun. It's not interesting anymore. It's plain boring! What is really being said is that the curriculum, the learning environment and the teacher's methods are boring and don't fit the needs and expectations of the average 10- or 11-year-old.

Unfortunately, this means we now begin to learn something new -- learning is a chore. It's a necessary evil. We now begin to form some negative attitudes regarding school and learning. And as we approach middle school and adolescence, with its accompanying physical and emotional changes, this newly developed negative attitude toward learning is easily reinforced.