Game of Educating!

Have you ever wondered, why education has just become a means for attaining good marks, which in turn gets you a so called good job thereafter? And the education providers a business for churning out mechanical robots day-in-day-out.

After all education was never meant to be a business and a factory for generating the above, it was meant to lead to creation of responsible and sensible individuals who could, after growing up, make rational and sensible decisions, guiding the world towards a sustainable and joyful place to live in.

The question that arises is whether that’s happening? And if not, what needs to be done to ensure that it happens? Very valid questions indeed and we do have an answer, though it might not go down well with the herd mentality of trying to make millions of dollars, yet can have an immense impact on the way people perceive education in a holistic manner.

Before we get into the dynamics of how it can be achieved, let us take a pause to understand what it means for a kid. Kids are born with inherent curiosity, which they express in so called constructive or destructive ways, yet one thing that should not be taken away from them is a zeal to ask questions.

Shouldn’t our education system be encouraging questions and enabling the curiosity to flourish among kids?

Once the curiosity take its own course, kids are bound to find answers to the same, be it asking their elders (parents, siblings, teachers) or seeking it for themselves, be it internet, any chat bot or other means of digital access.

Coming to our role as adults is to provide kids an environment and assets through which they can explore this wonderful world, ask us questions when they feel like and get the answers to the same or a guidance as to where they would be able to find the answers to the same, the latter being the preferred modus operandi, as it leads to self-exploration and building a confidence to explore.

Having said the above, there are many aspects to providing this environment, especially in the current scheme of things (assuming the kids are able to come to a school, though there are other aspects of how to bring underprivileged kids to the same which encompasses mid-day meal programs etc.):

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  • Physical Infrastructure

 

      1. Classrooms (black/white boards, chalk/marker, chairs, tables, lights etc.)
      2. Toilets
      3. Playground (garden, trees)
      4. Projector
      5. Computer
      6. Science Labs (chemicals etc.)
      7. Staff room

 

  • Learning Material

 

      1. Text Books/E-Books (in every language)
      2. Videos (in-person/animation) (in every language)
      3. Experiment kits (aligned to concepts and real life examples) which kids can play with, relate to and learn from the same
      4. Tools equipped with AR/VR

 

  • Teachers

 

      1. Friendly, learned enablers having teaching aides (digital and physical) who promote the culture of openness and asking questions

 

  • Parents

 

    1. Acting as enablers off the school campus, giving children an opportunity to explore

The very idea to create an exploration environment equipped with technology and other fundamental assets to make the learning process a joyful experience is what one would want to aspire for when it comes to developing that all important vision of educating the next generation.

The learning process needs to be made joyful and easily understandable which means presenting concepts etc. in a manner in which the kid would want to receive it as, which in turn means that we need to have a fair understanding of what would be received well by different kids of different levels of understanding and the matter or the material being designed in accordance to the same.

Does that mean that the grades need to be rethought and regrouped into a fundamental parameter, such as level of understanding?

If that’s the case, can the concepts be organized per se according to the levels of understanding and not grades?

Does it also translate into different explanations/pedagogy for the same concept for different levels of understanding that kids might have?

After all, a concept is grade agnostic and the very assumption that the kids of a certain grade wouldn’t comprehend a particular aspect of life is derogatory in itself.

It’s like putting the kids into unwanted boundations and making them believe of the very limitations which don’t really exist.

Strong need to rethink upon how education can be made:

Relatable (to what one sees around oneself),

Realistic (based upon pure observation),

Simplistic (easy to understand),

Unbounded & limitless (making a conscious effort of not creating superficial boundaries in the minds of the kids)

and

most importantly Enjoyable.

Source of the image: https://www.education.com/game/number-demolition-11-20/

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From Use Me to Need Me?

My first memory of the phrase “Use Me!” is, when as a kid, I saw this cute little dustbin in the corridors of my school, asking me not to throw the wrapper of the chocolate that I had just eaten, on the ground, instead inside the one and only place it should be thrown into.

Indeed the idea of Utilitarianism caught my imagination, which in itself is a fantastic idea to have around oneself, the only catch being, if the very idea is being utilized in a smart way.

Unfortunately, as it has turned out, lot of things from:

Doing Networking to making friends, 

Exploiting resources to minting money, 

Consumerism to Materialism, 

Has led to a state of affairs, where the first thought that comes in all our minds is,

How can we make use of something?

Will I benefit from using it in this way, or I need to find an alternate which can make the utilization more efficient, in turn leading to more profits?

What is that key differentiator/ USP when I go about exploiting the resources?

What this has led to is a complete neglect of the destruction and harm that we are causing to not only this planet but also to the minds of individuals.

Especially the next generation kids, whom we are breeding into robots who would want to run after success the moment they gain some control over their mind and body, the very basis of which is to accumulate as many possessions as possible at any cost.

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And then we happily have those table-top conversations about how bad the world is becoming, how difficult it would be for our children to survive and debating about accumulating more and more for the security that we would want to pass on to our next generation.

As it turns out, neither of the table-top conversations nor the accumulation would slow down the tide of destruction,

The only thing which might work, since we still have sometime, is a realization that the very basis of success need not be money; after all:

A mother’s effort and time which she devotes towards bringing up her child, cannot be weighed in terms of money,

So, how about going from a use based thought process towards a need based thought process?

How about slowing down the pace of exploits, giving us time to look at it from a sustainable perspective?

How about giving up a share of profits for a better ecosystem?

How about incorporating other values and parameters as the basis of success with possessions making a very small percentage, as a consequence of what one does and not what one aims to do?

The ball is very much in our court, if we fail to hit the right shot now, doomsday ahead,

But I have full faith in the power of utilitarianism that homo sapiens have got so accustomed to using in their day-to-day life, which would slowly but surely enable all of us to think about the very fundamentals of existence.

Source for the Image: https://www.shutterstock.com/search/dustbin