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Education: teaching to be expendable, sow the seed of self-management

In this interview, Laura Dziadek, counselor of the Kumon Maschrwitz method and professional ontological coach, tells us what this method of self-management of knowledge is all about.


“ The way children are taught does not motivate them to learn. This system makes learning an annoying and routine process, and it is proven that everything we learn ends up being forgotten if we don't voluntarily.”

 Probibida Education (2012) 


In 2012 a private English student introduced me to  Forbidden Education . Juan Esteban was a brilliant and creative boy immersed in a system that overwhelmed him and depressed him, undermined him. I researched, watched the videos (then the documentary) and this introspection and information led me to answer the question with which the documentary begins, which is the following: “Over the years we have seen how everything has been tried to improve education and adapt it to a certain temporal and cultural context. However, is this education model best suited for people to develop and obtain quality of life? ”.  

 My answer is no.  

After a year as hard as 2020, I finally decided that my son needed an  approach  other than the  teaching  he has been receiving. The primary school was fantastic, but at this stage already almost pre-university, something was missing: empathy; and there was something else left: typing and notes.

This is how I came to Laura Dziadek, counselor of the Kumon Maschrwitz method and professional ontological coach.



 Hey, Laura. What is educating?  

I think educating is to accompromise people so that they can develop all their abilities, not only acquire knowledge but educate in values, morals and behavior to discover their full potential


 Is that the same as instructing?  

No, to instruct would be rather to convey knowledge


 What role did the school play in the 70's, 80 to 90 and what role does the school play now?  

I think that, before,  school  was a space where a teacher or teacher, who used to have more knowledge, taught them to his students. Today, there are other tools from which to acquire knowledge; we should reformulate the concept of school and build a different environment, accompanying to help discover each child's potential, with recognitions and attainable and measurable goals.


 Does “traditional” education work today? Why is it or why not?  

What would be “traditional” education? When I was a girl, I knew I had to go to school to have teachers and teachers pass on knowledge to me, and that I had to fulfill my duties to enforce my rights. Today I think several things have changed; children today have a hard time to self-manage, the transmission of knowledge remains as once when today we all access through Google or any search engine that we want to know. I think we need to work more on accompanying children to discover themselves, provide self-management tools and not so much that they do tasks and activities for a note or to satisfy the teacher and/or parents


 What is the failure of Argentina's educational plans? What is missing?  

I think we need to change our gaze and not so much plans; prioritize the development of basic tools (concepts of economics, instilling reading habits, technological instruments, environmental care, languages).



 What is Kumon about? Where does it arise? What do you propose?  

Kumon is a Japanese study methodology that, through self-taught material, helps to develop skills that students themselves discover with exercise and continuous practice.

One day, Professor Toru Kumon (1914-1995), when his son Takeshi (at that time 7 years old) returned from school with a bad note in a mathematics test, reconsidered with his wife - also a teacher - whether they explained to Takeshi what he had not understood in the test or I offered him ; a tool that would allow the child to develop without needing anyone to explain to him. So his father left him “every day” some exercise leaves that the child could solve. Takeshi was gaining more and more security and confidence. Two years later, they decided to open the first Kumon Unit in Osaka where their first students were their son's own companions. Over time, the methodology was developed around the world, being present today, in more than 50 countries. Thus, the Kumon methodology was born.

This methodology proposes to develop routine, habit, self-teaching, safety, confidence through the execution of simple material for your students, to advance to more complex topics without it being traumatic.


 Is it a method more inclined to being than to know? It can be effective if you do not take into account being, self-esteem, if you do not see a half-full glass?  

Exactly, it is a method more oriented to being and helping them to discover themselves;  that YES they can achieve what they propose .

For me motivation should be daily, all children (and adults too) can achieve and do what we intend; for this we need to develop self-esteem. That is what we do through this methodology and my training as a professional ontological coach.


 If a boy doesn't go to school lose socialization? Or is it that school is also a safe place to leave our children while we go to work ?

I personally do not think that socialization is only in schools; in fact, my children have friends and relationships from different places, I have to admit that they are sportsmen and sports also socialize. The school served me many years to leave my children so I could work outside my home many hours because they are safe places.



 Would rescheduled  public school  be a good alternative?  

There is a lot to be done, to broaden the gaze: work on redesigning curricula, not focusing so much on transmitting knowledge (look at the teacher) but to go accompanying learning (look at students).


 What is it like to be a good teacher?  

Once I read the following:  a good mother is the one that over time is becoming less and less essential ; I think being a good teacher would be something similar... we are, we accompany, respect times, empathize and we are becoming less and less essential but leaving in every heart oacute; n of our students the planted semillite. Just like a mother with her children.


 What is a student for Kumon?  

A student for Kumon is a being who wants, through self-instruction, self-teaching with a permanent coaching -on the part of his counselor - to discover and learn what he is capable of doing and solving


 How do you qualify at Kumon? Why?  

In Kumon it is sought that all students reach their score 100 (maximum score), all the material is corrected and worked on errors but always focusing on what they are achieving. For example, a student did 50 exercises and solved 3 badly, congratulated him for the 47 well done and they self-correct those who are wrong until they achieve their score 100.


 Private schools have a low level of content and empathy (I say this and not all). I think the compass was lost, that being companies and providing a service changed the perspective of what it is to teach, what it is to respect the other, how to treat a child individually and wait for each to reach learning in his time and form. What do you think?  

I think and agree that the compass was lost but not only in school but as a society, I think that today some parents are looking for schools to educate in values and schools request more active participation from families; sometimes roles are distorted...


 The family must accompany the school. Now, today we have, on the one hand, students who do not respect teachers and whose parents go to school and manage them and, on the other, teachers who want to be respected, but text messages are sent while they shout, “Turn off the cell phone, fulanito!!!! “. Something to add?  

I believe that families and schools have to work as a team to make integral individuals, focus on our children, students, focus on learning less subjects. Many times, less is more.


 What should an educational establishment have? What can't be missing?  

Motivate, train, train by example...


I would have liked to be a KUMON student; I feel like it would have saved me many moments of tension and demand for perfection. Not to mention the years of therapy to understand that it was not necessary to be perfect but to achieve the best with the tools we have.

I close with a reflection of Toru Kumón: “The potential for growth through self-instruction is unlimited.”  


Publication Date: 02/04/2021

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