'Two Stars and a Wish': The Missing Link in Nigerian Society?

by Rev. Uche Dr. Obodoechina

Recent discoveries and developments in Child Education Psychology has come up with a principle of motivation and encouragement that makes teaching and learning dynamics for the child more interesting and more result oriented. It is about 'two stars and a wish' principle of action.

This principle among other things demands that a teacher before he or she critizes a child in the class for his or her one deficiency in class performance, (express a wish) must first and foremost recognize two strengths (called stars) in the life and conduct of the child.

In other words, before a teacher can make an effective correction in what has been wrongly done or not even done at all by the child, must first and foremost appreciate the excellence in the child and predispose him / her with his or her strengths.

The bright side of the child must be recognized and appreciated before one begins to remind him / her of the other dark side that are not totally satisfying.

It is hoped that 'the two stars and a wish' principle properly applied will dispose the child more favourably to any form of positive change rather than the usual non-motivational type of corrections, that harps only on the weak side of the child.

It is also hoped that the 'two stars and a wish principle' will equip the child with a better image of himself / herself and thus galvanize him / her into other positive actions and achievements capable of transforming the child and his or her learning environments.

An experience of how we live and work in our Nigerian society shows that the 'two stars and a wish principle' is not very much in vogue among us. For instance, right from our homes, we have the tendency to look more carefully at the dark side of issues.

We are more conscious of what was not properly done rather than what was done well. People are more prepared to scold and dish out punishments for omissions rather than give compliments and praises for works well done. One begins to wonder, whether our eyes are meant only for that which is not properly done.

And one asks, why do we not give compliments? Why do we not appreciate what others have done well? Why are we so negatively oriented? It is unfortunate that this type of mentality gives the wrong impression that we are in a perfect society or that we are very desirous of one.

But we know that we are neither perfect nor are we living in a perfect society. In fact, the way we live and work, do not depict our seriousness to perfection and life in wholeness.

Why are we then giving the impression that the situation will be better by our scolding and giving of punishments? Is it because we have the power over the other; to impress it upon him or her that we are in charge? Do we not think that a change of our methodology is today urgent?

Yes, the 'two star and a wish' principle is an important one for the needed transformation in our Nigerian society. We must begin right from our homes to learn to see things differently, to give compliments and finally make corrections of what remains to be done.

This is needed in the politics, education and economy and of course in all aspects of our society life. There can be no way we hope to climb greater heights in human development ladder without first appreciating the levels already accomplished.

This model of thinking and handling gives the assurance that greater efforts and wishes in the future are not only possible but realizable. Otherwise, the lack of due recourse to the events and achievements of yesterday, makes the prospects for the future not only illusory but totally void!

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