“Why do we need to learn about this in such detail?”
It was a valid question, voiced by an audacious 8th grader during our last session of the Anatomy program. We had been teaching about the heart when she halted the discussion, arguing that there was no use of this knowledge for them right now. “Sure, maybe we’ll need to know this if we want to be doctors or scientists one day, but we don’t need to know this right now.”
Her question stumped me. Why do we make anyone learn anything in the first place? Why must every 8th grader understand the sedimentary strata of the Earth’s crust and photosynthesis and what an arthropod is?
I have thought about this question so intensely because it has never crossed my mind before. Not once. I love to learn anything. I thrive when I am learning. My deeply rooted passion for it feels like a thirsty sponge wanting to soak up any information I can get my hands on. How does my heart beat inside my chest, and every other human’s chest on the planet for that matter? How did we all synchronously form into these complex creatures, starting from one single cell in a long tube near someone’s hip bone? How does oxygen get into my blood? How does a translucent noodle wind it’s way through the holes in my skull to innervate the muscle that lifts my eyelid?
I am in love with learning.
The problem is, I don’t see teachers instilling the same excitement about learning in children today.
is it instead something that cannot be taught, like a flame of passion and determination only lit within a select few?