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“A child educated only at
school is an uneducated child”
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Education can be divided into two (2) basic areas;
schooling & ‘ life-education’. With respect to schooling, it is not an option as to whether a
child attends school or receives a formal education in some manner. It is compulsory and an essential element
of life and future vocational opportunities. To disregard this area of a child’s development will
automatically jeopardize their future with respect to occupational choices. Having said this, to assume that
a formal education via means of schooling only, is all that is required for success as a member of society is
both naïve & simplistic. Education in its true sense is much more than just attendance at school, passing
examinations, achieving certificates, diplomas, degrees, doctorates & so on… Education is about life;
about thinking & questioning; about discovery and passion. It involves understanding ourselves, the world
around us and how we fit into that world. It should be a means of developing self
esteem and self worth exclusive of academic achievement.
This may sound too
idealistic and fanciful for some, however there are many great figures throughout history that would concur
with, or illustrate, this basic premise. One might say they are the exceptions to the rule, the standouts, the
gifted; and that education in a structured, formal manner is designed for the masses. They have a point, but
most of these proponents to this belief restrict their attention with blinkered ignorance as to any other
aspects of life education required for the sound development of the total individual.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my
Schooling can be beneficial for a child’s development
but it can also create problems. Bullying for example has ruined many an individual child; leaving them
scarred & psychologically weakened. Bullies themselves, despite their belief in power & superiority,
have similarly be detrimentally affected, with their future often involving antisocial behaviour, problems
with the law, criminal records and sometimes jail.
The poor achievers at school feel can less than
successful, unintelligent, socially unacceptable, ostracized and alienated from the high achievers and even
the average student. The coping skills they develop during this time can have a bearing on future
relationships and social adaptation in later years.
Mental ill-health can be a consequence of a
dysfunctional and damaging school life. Depression, personality disorders, anxiety disorders etc. can
be traced to some extent to significant events that have occurred during these years.
As such, it is imperative that parents & parental identities view their children and their children’s education as
involving much more than mere scholastic attendance & achievement.
Sport has provided many a student with less than
average scholastic ability the opportunity to feel successful and confident; to achieve and forge an
identity. Some are extremely successful and go on to make their chosen sport a career. Most do not. Despite
this it remains a vital part of a child’s development and the physical exercise involved in sport
participation addresses many of the health issues confronting our ever expanding problem of obesity. Team
sports also encourage cooperation, camaraderie & ‘mate-ship’.
An unfortunate by-product of sporting achievement
however can be the neglect of some of the basic & essential elements of schooling, though the more
serious matters pertaining to interpersonal, social & psychological issues are of more
Whether a student is poor scholastically or excels
their successful participation in either individual or team sport may lift their profile and standing within
their respective educational facility to that where a degree of adoration, relative ‘fame’, higher
standing & status etc. affords them the acknowledgement, respect and attention from their peers, fellow
students, teachers & parents. This is freely given, without the need to initiate any form of
interpersonal skill or interaction, being based on their physical and sporting
This is understandable and occurs frequently.
Unfortunately it comes with no effort of psycho-social motivation or anything that might be considered of an
‘internal’ origin. There are no conditions attached, no significant personality requirements (apart
from being relatively well-behaved) and no expectations beyond continuing their sporting success; the latter
applying particularly to fellow students & peers.
As an adolescent, relationships begin to be
established and the sporting identities generally find it rather easy to form attachments & relationships
with limited effort. Their profile makes them a choice target and the ‘games adolescents play’ in
this developmental stage begin. At this point in one’s life, there appear no negatives to this scenario.
Later in life, though, it’s a different story. School might be a type of microcosm of society at large,
though in reality, the world in which the adult individual finds themselves in is significantly
Without the necessary interpersonal skills,
appropriate coping mechanisms, sound & healthy self esteem (neither low nor of a narcissistic level), they can be found wanting; often anxious and uncertain. Their
sport and the success achieved made them what they are. It is who they are. Outside of this one can feel
uncomfortable and rather ‘lost’. Things that came easily, without effort, such as relationships are
now more complicated and involve repercussions & consequences. There are responsibilities; personal,
work, club, the league etc. There are also expectations & obligations. Choices for vocational
opportunities outside the sport itself may be limited if basic schooling has been
The stressors experienced may result in the implementation of
inappropriate coping such as alcohol &/or drug use
and abuse. Inner frustration may result in irritability, hostility and antisocial
It is imperative
that education be implemented, not in the traditional ‘schooling’ sense but rather as a means of growth
& healthy development in all aspects of the individuals life; psychologically, socially, emotionally &
physically). The other truism is that one ‘never stops learning’. Education; true education never ends.
It is a lifelong process. We learn from our successes and we should learn more from our mistakes. We also learn
from others’ experiences and their successes, failures & mistakes.
“Failure is instructive. The person who really thinks learns quite as
from his failures as from his successes”.
You do not have to have your head stuck in a book or
re-enroll at an educational facility in order to learn & grow but you do have to allow life’s journey
assist in your continued development, education & maturation.
essential for the Rugby League player, particularly the professional or semi-professional. The idea is not to
make the individual ‘smarter’ or more intelligent. It is to enable them to move closer to the
attainment of wisdom & commonsense. A comprehension of psychological and social needs will enhance their
prospects of survival and provide the opportunity for a contented life where relationships are sound,
expectations, dreams and aspirations are realistic, where physical & mental well being is assured and sound
healthy self esteem provides satisfactory social integration and adaptation.
“It is 1,000 times better to have commonsense without
than to have education without commonsense”.
Society has standards, values and principles for which
the majority hold as sacrosanct. To deviate from these will bring natural consequences. You can still remain
unique and individualistic, but there needs to be an acceptance of these values & standards and a
concerted effort to maintain them in your private and public life.
Play the game as tough as you like, but leave the
footballer persona on the field where it belongs. As most sportspeople who have conflict in the sporting
cauldrons say; “what’s said
& done on the field, stays on the field”. Apply that to
your life and you’re on your way to a better existence.
“Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in
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