Little children come to school in kindergarten filled with curiosity. They are endlessly asking “Why?” questions in an attempt to find meaning and make connections. Somewhere around grade four they stop asking, “Why?” and begin to ask, “Will we have this on the test?”
These two questions indicate the change in learning more than any other observation that could be made. The “Why?” question is an internally motivated curiosity question; the “Will we have it on the test?” is a conformity question to the system.
It is essential for a civil society to follow ordinances and laws and conform to societal expectations. It is a necessary part of the culture. However, in order for a DEMOCRATIC society to flourish, the VALUES OF THE CULTURE must be where its citizens take responsibility because they WANT to be civil. This is in contrast to civility being imposed, as is the case in many authoritarian countries around the world.
Although societal conformity is necessary, educators and parents (really anyone who wants to influence another) would do well to continue sharing the “Why.”
In schools, having young people understand the levels of personal and social development—especially the differences between levels C and D—would be a good starting point. See