Why is it important to overcome EXAM PHOBIA
How to deal with an education system, where learning is driven by fear of exams rather than the love of learning
With 260 million students, India has the world’s largest school-going population. While this is a very encouraging number, it is disappointing to see that students are still getting trained to solve questions and not to ask questions or find a solution to the problems. With exams and tests being an integral part of our education systems, learning continues to be driven by the fear of exams rather than the love of learning. Exam fear, or test anxiety, has always been the most common problem among students. Reports indicate that the incidents of test anxiety have increased in the recent years due to increased frequency of tests and exams. While examinations and testing will remain an integral part of every education system, the need of the hour is to evaluate the pressure and stress that has been created around it. If exams become the focal point of learning, students will become less likely to learn because they want to. Rote-learning might help them ace exams but will not help in retaining knowledge . It is of crucial importance that we instil the concept of ‘lifelong learning’ amongst students. To deal with this in the long run, we need to bring two fundamental changes to the learning ecosystem our children are exposed to at present:
REMOVE FEAR OF FAILURE
This originates in the belief that failure will have long-term and highly significant consequences and that he/she has little to no control over the outcome. For instance, it is perfectly fine if a child makes mistakes in his first Math test, but the damage is caused when the parents react with shock as that leads to the child feeling deprived of affection and motivation. Any association with the original experience will naturally make the child anxious, and if not corrected in time, this will lead to lifelong anxiety or phobia of exams. It is crucial for us to create a learning ecosystem where the child can make mistakes and is encouraged to learn from it. Only this will give the child lifelong confidence in his capability to overcome challenges and succeed.
Right from their formative years, the focus of learning for all students should be to get conceptual clarity on every topic. This is the only way to break the cycle of rote-learning and induct students into the amazing world of self-initiated learning. Visual learning can truly help students initiate learning on their own and help them understand and retain complex concepts. Offering students watch ideas and theories come to life through videos and imagery, instead of just reading about it.
Disclaimer: This information is taken from Times of India Newspapaer published on 10th Dec. 2018.
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