Education today and tomorrow

Learning beyond classrooms

“ I never teach my pupils,

I only provide them the conditions in which they can learn”

                                                                                                         -Albert Einstein.

                                Everyone of us has gone through hours of lectures, those classrooms, benches, boards and teachers. We all can certainly conclude that we always liked to discuss the lessons more than mere listening. No doubt our teachers used to teach with full efforts but at our end it was a bore activity to simply seat and write the notes without getting in learning mode. Well, learning mode is the process which begins when we not only listen but get involved in that activity and think over it. These kind of involvement activities initiate learning process of the students.  Study reveals that a real teacher is the one who inspires the learning process among students. As once they get into learning mode they start actively involving in the concept and finally it leads to real understanding of the course.

 

Eventually, the major task of teacher is to only initiate the thinking process. They can do the same through motivating active participation of students. These task is the most difficult on teachers end, mere delivery of theory concept is much an easy part but, it hardly yields any real learning. To achieve the learning goal teacher needs to involve the kids in concepts through different and very creative assignments. Again we always see assignments as the mundane activity of simply writing the textual theory or copying the required data from our colleagues or internet.

This actual involvement activity can be made very creative. Teachers should make most efforts to put students in a particular situation from where they can be lead to real learning process by actual thinking over the situation. Such kind of situational learning goes through the saying stated above by Sir Albert Einstein. We should include variety of creative learning activities for conceptual understanding of students.

In this light, we are taking efforts, Todays, schools have included projects work, to involve students more and initiate the learning mode. But, the sad fact is it only remains as a process to get good marks. Students do not work for entire period and just complete it some how and submit it during deadlines. Again it is just marks oriented system which hardly leads to any learning. Mostly it is observed, that parents are the ones who are more active than students and they complete the project activity without even discussing with kids. It is an effective activity but it is very poorly conducted in schools. Parents and teachers need training to conduct such projects activity.

Lets take a case study of the Washington students. Recently, in the year 2017-2018,the teachers of Sherman Elementary school , Tacoma,Washington made students to conduct a field work as a  part of inter disciplinary STEAM(Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math) project.  Students were asked to do a fieldwork and talk with experts about the coastal ecosystem which is just near to them. Students were asked to frequently go and visit that place to study about the protection of natural resources for entire year.

Going beyond classrooms and marks, they did not restricted these kind of project activity limited to school, with a goal to earn more benefits from all schools they conduct a national campaign called as “share your learning”. Where kids from all schools in the country demonstrate their projects and learning.  This is a mega event involving around 5 million students in entire U.S, sharing their stories of learning gained from their school projects. Organizers conduct these campaign as an activity of Deeper learning Hub community. Students are taught to make presentations about their learning and they are asked to demonstrate the learning publicly. It is above the grades, marks, schools activity which makes the students ready for the future by providing them opportunities to communicate and collaborate through presentations. Following such practice since past 3 years, teachers are now much trained to guide innovative projects and students are excited to learn and share.

Such kind of projects exhibitions, make students to dig deeper in the learning process. It is a kind of appreciation that says their work is been noticed, they are doing well, which motivates them further to learn more and it cultivates the learning and academic mindset. To start such kind of campaign in other countries, It can be initiated in the schools which have parents teachers community and open house system. They can extend the same system to the project based learning activities and later to exhibitions. As, parents need to involved and should be made aware about the goals of such campaigns.

For getting more benefits, let the students first defend their projects to panel of experts in the same field. It can add on to the more learning experience by sharing their ideas with expertise and then getting trained from them as well, such mentors can add more life and innovative approach in the process.

To make all the above a reality, the single and most important factor are the teachers. In case study there are coordinators of social community assisting teachers to find the innovative project topics for students. Teachers have to be a mentor and be a keen observer to make the entire process in line with the goals. At first, School organization should take lead to start such events at city level. Lastly, we conclude that, If such attempts are made then, we can say we are in line with the schools in the world.

 

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