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Educators sometimes assume they play a pivotal role in shaping individual development. While undoubtedly contributing to the learning process, they must recognise they are just one part of the equation. They should carefully consider their impact on learners navigating a blend of institutionalised and fragmented education.

In positively influencing natural learner development, it's vital to avoid overly deliberate approaches. Instead, educators should inspire learners to be attentive. Fully engaged learners are more likely to integrate information holistically than those who view learning as a deliberate acquisition of isolated knowledge. The latter approach often results in categorising matters as right or wrong, which stifles creativity, instills fear of failure, and narrows the learning experience.

When education quantifies learning into rigid units tied to test outcomes, it fosters a worldview where few succeed and many fail. This exclusionary system may produce individuals fit for economic roles but neglects the unique potential of each person's learning journey. In many cases within the music world, competencies, not just qualifications, open doors.

Teaching surpasses information delivery; it's about inspiration. Overloading learners with information can hinder natural growth. Educators should integrate information with emotions, intuition, and physical aspects of learning, akin to how organic farmers prioritise soil health over maximum yield. This nurturing approach stimulates intrinsic and inspired learning.

True intelligence engages the mind actively and curiously, fostering inclusivity and creativity. Conversely, a focus solely on intellect can lead to exclusive thinking and a reluctance to embrace alternative viewpoints. Education should start with questions rather than preconceived answers.

Rather than fixating on curriculum and testing, emphasis should be on effective teaching. This involves sharing passion, inspiring learners, and allowing them to internalise observations. Learners should resonate with the essence of subjects, not just surface details. Presenting information passionlessly as one-dimensional chunks fails to ignite student enthusiasm.

Finally, stifling arts through rigid curricula undermines their potential. Arts activities nurture creativity and intuitive processes, guiding learners toward deeper understanding.

Hein Van de Geyn, April 2024

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