Any educator worth their salt knows that the battle is won when students are engaged in the learning process. How to do that becomes of paramount importance if successful learning is to occur. I won’t go into the myriad methods teachers use and try out in their efforts to capture and retain the attention of minds too often full of alternatives vying for their consideration. But the list is pretty much endless. Making lessons fun is one. Kinaesthetic learning another. Meaningful lessons a must.
Whatever else may be said about the campaign for Scottish Independence, one of its chief successes has to be the level of engagement abounding within the populace as a whole. For the first time in generations, adults and youth alike are enthusiastic and vocal in the political arena where previously they have felt disengaged. Mainly due to feeling disenfranchised by the whole political process and the parties representing what has been seen to be too much of the same old, same old.
What is the point in voting? has been a question on the lips of so many for years and this has been reflected in the turnout at elections. To have reached a point in governance where it seems pointless to participate at all is a woeful reflection on how politics operates in the UK and in many other countries. To believe in democratic process one must feel that they have a stake in the result.
That has been lacking so badly.
Across Scotland, right now, all ages are enthused by what is occurring in their lifetime. When my seven year old states early in the morning, ‘Only two weeks to go now, Mum’, I know that the talk abounding has permeated minds that would have previously not understood what a referendum was let alone could discuss what the possibilities of a yes or no mean.
It is not permissible for me to discuss the campaign in school in the interests of neutrality. But the children themselves are discussing it in the playground! Primary school children who are listening to their parents talk and feeling the vibe are opening up avenues of discussion.
Manufacturing enthusiasm is a difficult job. Ask any teacher. Meaningful enthusiasm is worth its weight in gold. And votes.
Imagine a political arena where the participants are the people themselves. Not the face of a party leader. Not the voice of one man or woman spouting agendas that feel separate from the populace. Not suits, dressed to impress, with flat voices guaranteed to turn the most intelligent student into a zombie. Not a separate entity from the reality of the commoner.
Sure, there are posturers seeking to score points in the age-old method guaranteed to inflame ire among the plain speakers and force the bored into submissive apathy.
But it’s not working! Rather than turning people off, the posturing becomes one more thing to fight against. It already was when the campaign began. Now, it’s seen as the smoke screen it has always been used for. No more mincing words in negativity and scaremongering. No more listening to the lies.
Oh yes, we hear them and pay attention to what is being said but the tissue is crumpling into pieces.
When will we see your like again?