What are the most important education fallacies we live with due to the effects of foreign cultures?

Question: There is no doubt that we, due to the effects of foreign cultures, unknowingly live with educational fallacies. Would you please point out the most important of these?

The answer: Yes, there are many widespread errors that people do not notice, not even educationists. Here are some of them:

1. It is wrong to believe that education means habituating the child to a certain behavior without making him understand the goal of that behavior.

2. It is also wrong to think that the best education is the one that subdues and subjects the child to the parents’ will.

3. It is wrong to think that the correct education is manifested by the apparent behaviors without paying attention to the inward purity.

4. It is wrong to prevent a child from undertaking some tasks that befit his age and powers because if he does not become acquainted with difficulties, he will not be successful in undertaking his actual responsibilities in life.

5. It is a popular fallacy that when a child falls to the ground or collides with the wall and feels pain or cries, his parents hasten to him blaming the ground or the wall, and, in order to calm him, they beat the ground or the wall with their hands as a kind of punishment.

Here, the child learns false justification, unreality, and blaming of things instead of being shown the truth to recognize his actual mistake that caused him to fall to the ground or collide with the wall. If he is shown this fact, he will know how to avoid the same mistake again and will know that life means seriousness and not mockery.

6. It is wrong when a child falls to the ground for others around him to hasten to lift him from the ground. Thus, he learns dependency and loses the sense of independency and self-confidence.

7. It is wrong to frighten and threaten a child, and the worst of that is to frighten him by illusions or imaginary ghosts. For example, parents will describe to their child a monster coming from the darkness, or they will imitate a sound and tell the child it is the voice of the jinn, etc. In this way, parents make their child weak, cowardly, and illusive. Parents may mean, by frightening their child in this incorrect way, to calm him and make him stop crying, but they ignore the bad effects that will linger in the child’s mentality throughout his life. This is a crime that is unknowingly committed against the child.

8. Some people say bad and severe words full of debasement and humiliation to a lazy or an introvert child. This is another crime committed against a child suffering from a temporary psychological trouble that can be better solved by some lenient words, a warm kiss, or an embrace full of love and kindness.

In fact, the child who is tense at home, unsuccessful in school, and strained in society reveals the defects of his family or the deprivation his family has imposed on him. This is what educationists and psychologists notice in the personalities of the parents and close relatives of that child. Therefore, we find among the educational principles in Islam that it is prohibited to call one another by bad nicknames. Parents and others are not permitted to call the child with bad names that demean and humiliate him. Unfortunately, this is widespread in our Muslim societies!

We hear many bad words from the old when they call the young as if they were calling beasts! What would you expect from the young after that?

What is odd is that the old punish the young when they hear them uttering the same words they have learned from the old themselves! Children become confused before the contradictions of the old. On the one hand, they find their parents using such words, and on the other hand, they are punished when they themselves use these words. Children think that if these words are bad, then why do the adults use them, and if these words are good, then why are they punished for using them. It is not odd when we realize these parents, whom we call adults, have acquired this wrong education from other preceding adults, whether at home, in society, in school, or from the media. So, the problem is deeper than deep!