Day 51 – Q 2. Why is rote learning not a good thing? Do you think children should be made emotionally aware and be imported with emotional intelligence through school education? Substantiate.

  • IASbaba
  • August 7, 2020
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Ethics Theory, GS 4, TLP-UPSC Mains Answer Writing
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2. Why is rote learning not a good thing? Do you think children should be made emotionally aware and be imported with emotional intelligence through school education? Substantiate.  
रट कर सीखना अच्छी बात क्यों नहीं है? क्या आपको लगता है कि बच्चों को भावनात्मक रूप से जागरूक किया जाना चाहिए और स्कूली शिक्षा के माध्यम से भावनात्मक बुद्धि के साथ आयात किया जाना चाहिए? पुष्टी करें।

Demand of the question:

It expects students to put forth their views on why rote learning is not a good thing. It also asks students to write about whether children should be made emotionally aware and be imported with emotional intelligence through school education.


Modern education in India is often criticised for being based on rote learning rather than problem solving. Preschool for Child Rights a child rights NGO states that creativity is not encouraged or is considered as a form of entertainment in most institutions and preference is given to rote learning to gain marks. Emotional intelligence can help to put aside the rote learning and develop the  creativity in students due to its prominent characteristics.


Problems of rote learning:

  • Promote Convergent Thinking: Rote learning trains a mind to solve problems with a single answer which is right, as opposed to meaningful thinking which allows the mind to reach different solutions.
  • Deny Exploring Different Options: A teacher presenting information to students in a manner that doesn’t allow or encourage questioning and divergent thinking is encouraging rote learning.
  • Makes People Passive Learners: Rote learners never learn to question and explore. Their minds are trained to receive information and recall it at the right time. These people develop their listening and writing skills but not their thinking and questioning skills. Taken out of their comfort zone, passive learners will be quiet and disinterested in the proceedings around them.
  • Not Allowing Connections to Form: Since rote learning teaches just one answer, people who learn like this cannot make mental connections between the knowledge they already have, and reaching a solution to the problem they are working on.
  • Not Promoting Understanding: Rote can be considered a “quick-fix” solution to gaining knowledge. It is the lazy person’s answer to teaching and learning. The teacher will inform the students of the answer to a particular problem without really explaining how the answer was reached or encouraging the students to find the answer for themselves.
  • It Is Geared Towards Scoring: Learning should be something that promotes understanding and bases knowledge gained on how problems are approached and solved. In the rote learning method, the emphasis is on getting a higher score. 
  • Discourage Social Skills and sensitivity: Group studies, research and other factors that make up meaningful learning encourage socialization and learning from peers. Rote learning has the opposite effect because information has already been transferred by a single source, and it is the only one which is acceptable. This discourages discussions and further learning from social interactions.

It is very important to recognize that rote learning is not the most effective way to learn most things. Meaningful learning, where the learner is taught to question, think and arrive at a solution from a different angle is how true learning takes place. Emotional intelligence due to its characteristics can help a student to have meaningful learning in following ways:

  • Self-awareness ability of emotionally intelligent student  allows him/her to know which subjects are easy and hard. How to handle these subjects, which approach should be followed, what to learn from it and what are their respective applications.
  • Develop Empathy: Having empathy is critical to be a good person in society. A student who knows the plight of the weaker sections of society can think to eliminate the plight of workers in more realistic way rather than just rote learning the problems and solutions.
  • Management of stressful situations: Emotional Intelligence helps a student to respond to critical situation in life in right way. e.g. Performing well in exam induces stress in students, and emotionally intelligent student can tackle this stress like situation neatly.
  • Motivation: Emotionally intelligent students can develop themselves in to better persons as the meaningful learning can motivate the students to have larger goals in life.
  • Ability to Bounce Back from Adversity: Emotional Intelligence help students to bounce back quickly after a setback in exam. e.g. Students suicides can be stopped by teaching emotional intelligence and by making them emotionally aware.
  • Social awareness: An emotionally aware student can understand the feelings of student from poor family who is not able to buy new clothes for school. Social awareness due to this will help a student to look for betterment of society in future.


Emotional intelligence in the student is critical for their performance and learning in school curriculum. It will not just help to develop a good personality of student but at the same time it will also ensure an emotionally well aware and intelligent society which looks forward for growth and development of a nation.

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