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.):
- Physical Infrastructure
- Classrooms (black/white boards, chalk/marker, chairs, tables, lights etc.)
- Playground (garden, trees)
- Science Labs (chemicals etc.)
- Staff room
- Learning Material
- Text Books/E-Books (in every language)
- Videos (in-person/animation) (in every language)
- Experiment kits (aligned to concepts and real life examples) which kids can play with, relate to and learn from the same
- Tools equipped with AR/VR
- Friendly, learned enablers having teaching aides (digital and physical) who promote the culture of openness and asking questions
- 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)
most importantly Enjoyable.
Source of the image: https://www.education.com/game/number-demolition-11-20/