The observations of Prosser and Allen regarding education systems are vividly demonstrated in “Wearing of the Mask.” They observed that students, who are supposed to gain information, insight, and depth in schools, are not themselves inside the classroom. They wear masks to hide their true self inside the learning environment. Prosser and Allen also observed accurately that students tend to take on a different personality outside the learning environment. They wear a mask and their personalities do only that which must do inside the classroom. Both the researchers also observed that the students developed a dual personality and this fake mask is removed when they are in a place that attracts them. This forced the students to adopt a dual personality – one for the classroom and another for outside the school. Students are not themselves inside the classroom for many reasons. They tend to put on a different mask which a teacher wants to see. Prosser and Allen also stated that the attributes of this personality should be addressed. According to them this dual personality of the students will persist as long as students are not enjoying the classroom.
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They also stated that this mask will not come off as long as the learning institutions distinguished between the artificial learning space which is the classroom and the natural process of learning. According to Prosser and Allen, school is supposed to be the most valuable experience of a student’s whole life; there a partial personality does only what it must do. Here a whole personality- the whole boy – expresses himself through the medium of a significant task. What Prosser and Allen infer is that classroom is an artificial learning place where students are not comfortable showing their true self. Even though school is supposed to be a place of fun and learning, students cannot thrive in that place as they have to wear masks. They also stated that “The child’s natural tendency is toward an active response to anything significant in his environment – to anything that challenges his attention or awakens his interest” (Prosser and Allen). This observation is quite accurate as a human beings cannot be motivated by things that do not interest them. Children need to be interested in the subject to pay attention inside the classroom.
I wholeheartedly agree with the observation of Charles A. Prosser and Charles Allen. For the students to thrive in the classroom, they need to remove their masks and participate in the class. With the mask on, the teachers cannot assess them properly as they cannot see the real character of the students. A learning institute should be a place of fun and a place where students can express themselves without fear. Many practices are done like giving prizes for their various achievements, to motivate the children to push them to excel in schools. Prosser and Allen observed that many people still think that students would work primarily and most earnestly for medals. But, this in turn makes another excuse for the students to put on their masks. “Medals may serve somewhat when the task itself does not appeal and the mask is on. When the task itself appeals, medals are only artificial and superficial devices or worse, for the mask is off!” (Essay on Wearing of the Educational Mask, 2012). Students need to be encouraged to participate without fear of being judged and without the fear of being evaluated.
The theory that Prosser and Allen put across can be identified by many people. I as one can identify with the theory. If students are genuinely interested in the subject being taught in the classroom, it stays with them for a long time. When we talk about our childhood experiences, many of us remember vividly the games we used to play or the songs we used to sing with our friends. But, on the contrary, not many people will remember what they learned inside the classroom. This is because many of the classroom activities do not excite us which in turn makes us lose interest in the subject. Subjects that genuinely attract us stay with us for a long period. But, on the contrary, subjects that bore us or subjects that do not interest us forced us to wear the mask in the classroom, and this, in turn, made us shed the information.
Students should be allowed to be free and they should be engaged in the topic in the classroom. New ways of learning should be implemented in educational institutions as the old method of learning is not helping the students. Students should be able to express themselves in the classroom as they do in the playground. A motivational learning technique should be implemented in the classroom so that students can gain interest in their subjects. As mentioned above, the central drive in learning is interesting. It is pivotal for the teachers to make the class an interesting place for learning and gaining knowledge.
Essay on Wearing of the Educational Mask, (2012). Term Papers Lab. Web.