One does not need to be serious to learn seriously

Yesterday, I observed a primary school lesson which the students followed very seriously – they were highly focussed and serious about learning what the teacher had set out to teach. This is not a common sight today given that kids are used to the notion of ‘learning is fun’, so that learning activities often have to be packaged as games, etc. Yet, the teacher succeeded in creating a lively and enjoyable classroom atmosphere. I was lost for words to describe the resulting ambiance. So after the lesson, I said to the teacher something that didn’t quite make sense: ‘Your students followed the lesson seriously without being serious.’

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