You may have heard about this story of a man and a cocoon that goes as follows:
A man once found a cocoon. He observed a small opening and was curious. He sat and watched the caterpillar for several hours as it struggled to force its body through the little hole. It was trying hard to emerge from the cocoon, going back and forth, stopping at times, and trying to find its way out. The man felt bad for the caterpillar, seeing it struggle.
The man decided to help the butterfly and with a pair of scissors he cut open the cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily. But something was strange. The butterfly had a swollen body and shriveled wings. The man watched the butterfly, expecting it to take on its correct proportions. But nothing changed.
The butterfly stayed the same. It was never able to fly. In his kindness and haste the man did not realize that the butterfly’s struggle to get through the small opening of the cocoon is nature’s way of forcing fluids from the body of the butterfly into its wings so that it would be ready for flight. 
He did not understand that every step in the process is important. And if you skip one step, though you might seem to have reached your destination, the result might not really be the best.
To reach any goal, there are no shortcuts. Everyone has to go through the rigorous process and follow the path to reach their destination. Struggle is nature’s way of bringing out the best in us. That’s the law of nature.
We too should take our time, find our path, celebrate and enjoy every milestone along the way till we reach our destination.
Most of us know this philosophy, but how many of us really follow it? Unlike the man in the story, do we let our caterpillars come out of their cocoon on their own, by letting them go back and forth, have their own pace, making sure they accomplish every milestone, so that finally they can emerge as beautiful butterflies? Even if we want to, do our children have the leverage to do things their own way and at their own pace?
All children are naturally curious about things and passionate about learning. But somewhere down the line, in this bizarre game of learning, they get lost. During the game, they might stumble at a step or need more time than others to complete a step. Unfortunately, we do not always give them the opportunity to pause and think, or revisit a previous step, since we hurry them to catch up with others. So they tend to skip some important steps. They may reach the finish line but more often than not, the learning is incomplete or is lost. And that’s a heavy price to pay. Because as Albert Einstein rightly said “Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school.”
Education today is operating on a factory model, where children are pushed through the system for a period of 12 years. The expected outcome is for them to be “educated” citizens, graduating with the exact same skill sets, so that they are eligible for higher education or for getting jobs  . But that is not how it really works, does it?
Through this system we might be able to achieve the quantitative goal of literate citizens, but what about the qualitative goal?
Today’s classrooms do not give our children the opportunity to study at their own pace, or in their own way with their preferable learning style. Nor is there enough time to revisit a concept which is either not understood or misunderstood. Willard R. Daggett (Ed.D, CEO of the International Center for Leadership in Education.) has accurately stated the reason for this as – “We have organized schools not by how kids learn; they have been organized by an easy way to teach.” 
There is a lot of research happening in the Learning Sciences to bridge this gap. Different sciences like psychology, computational science, sociology, anthropology, child psychology and cognitive science contribute to the “Science of Learning”. There are many papers published on the best practices of teaching, different models and styles of learning, and much more.
And with the aid of technology, there is lot of scope for progress and an excellent opportunity to offer our children the right resources to learn and grow.
About the Author:
Sampada Bidikar (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the Team Lead – Content Development at Learnhive.
Learnhive is a leading provider of technology based learning solutions for K12 students, parents, and tutors. Our goal is to make curriculum based learning more effective and fun. We specialize in providing after school learning solutions for students and parents. Our flagship product, Personal Concept Tutor™ gives students the flexibility to learn concepts at their own pace using a wide variety of materials and resources suited for their individual needs. Our technology is compatible with multiple device formats such as desktops, laptops, tablets and smart phones to make learning more fun, interactive and available to students anywhere and at anytime. Signup for free to access the learning materials (lessons and exercises).