When you think of the word ‘education’ you would often link the word ‘knowledge’ to it, right? After all, the reason we educate ourselves is to gain more knowledge about something, which will hopefully benefit us in some way, such as being able to do something better or understand how something works.
A child’s thirst for knowledge happens very early on in childhood. A child’s natural desire for knowledge, such as a what, how, why something works is wonderful to watch as a parent. You may have also realised that in many instances children don’t always need to be told the ‘answer’ to the questions they may ask or the challenges they face, they can often work things out by themselves through trial and error in time.
The primary educators of a child is of course the parents. It is the parents responsibility until the child has the ability to think critically for themselves. That is, unless we ‘share’ our responsibilities with teachers, who we trust will to continue in developing their natural urges to think, understand and acquire new knowledge to help them progress into worldly individuals.
Unfortunately, in many cases, that trust is often misplaced. if you believe that ‘everybody has an agenda’ philosophy, then that could be one reason for a teacher or institution to fail. If we run along with the ‘agenda’ approach, then that can easily be tied with ‘conditioning’. Today, institutions condition children as easily as you condition your hair, even if the results can come out rather greasy!
So what is it? The definition is as follows: Conditioning: ‘a behavioural process whereby a response becomes more frequent or more predictable in a given environment as a result of reinforcement, with reinforcement typically being a stimulus or reward for a desired response.’
Conditioning can be a powerful tool in a institution’s or teacher’s arsenal then. For example, if in a Can Cubs session, conditioning is used to help stick those new words and phrases into a child’s memory. For example; ‘frog frog frog jump jump jump, can you jump jump like a frog? Yes, that’s it, well done!’ (award sticker if achieved) = Conditioned to remember the word ‘frog’ and ‘jump’ achieved. This is an example of very simple conditioning at work, and with an honest purpose to help the child learn more knowledge in the english language.
The tool of conditioning can be wielded nefariously however. And is done so in every country, in a variety of subjects and fields and smart and not so smart people are affected. Some people will remained conditioned for their whole lives and not know if the ‘knowledge’ they posses was done so for nefarious intentions. Others may see things for what they are and seek out the ‘real’ knowledge to certain questions (sometimes after many years after the conditioning as taken place).
It ultimately depends on personality, environmental factors and peers to go back and re-question certain answers you thought were honest and true. Some particular simple questions we all asked as a child and the answers we were given can sometimes have a contrary answer we find out later on in life.
What I can commit to, is Can Cubs will never pass on false knowledge to your children. That I can promise.
I’ll leave you to re-examine some of those certain childish questions. Put your critical thinking cap on, and jump down the rabbit hole. Good luck.