The Indian Education system is one of the largest in the world. Though largest, even in the millennial generation, there is a lot of focus on Reading and Writing, right from the age of 5years. We emphasize majorly on the aspect of gaining scores and high grades, rather than a good future generation. Though I would say that scores, reading, writing, are important, but it is time that we bridge the gap between the school learnings and their practical applications in life.
Recently, I was discussing with a mom, who was worried about the study pressure in class KG. Really, for a nearly 5 year old, is there so much of pressure to mug up things? We are raising kids in the 21st century. What we need today are more practical experiences which kids can apply in their lives.
Today’s kids do not just need to know the existing problems, but they need to be smart enough to know “Why these problems need to be solved” and the innovative ways to solve it.”
It does not just apply to a set of problems, but rather their learnings need to be applied to their Life, and this is the skill set, I’m talking about. While the Indian education system has evolved to a great extent in the last 5-7years, there is still a lot to do when it comes to raising kids in a practical world.
Experiential and Collaborative Learning :
The curriculum should be based more on experiential learning rather than Rote learnings. History looked such a boring subject to me, and now when it comes to my 5year old, he is always curious right from World war to Freedom stories. The answer lies in the right exposure, where realistic aspects are shown (Museum’s, Interesting stories, role plays, audio-video clippings) to kids.
This will arouse their interest, and also help them learn essential life skills. Be it Problem Solving or the importance of Teamwork, or learning to get up from their failures, experiential learning helps kids understand about life.
Phenomenon based learning :
Kids are innately creative, and this creativity takes a back seat as children grow older. A lot of it is due to the way our education has been framed. When we talk about the best Education system in the world, Finnish schools take the cake! And the reason is “Learning by doing” for them.
Phenomenon based learning involves blending different disciplinary topics, rather than learning one single subject in isolation. This helps kids in understanding different subjects well and how to utilize their set of knowledge. In a nutshell, Kids need to have a holistic approach rather than a single subject-based approach.
Curiosity triggered learning :
Did you ever notice the curiosity levels of kids when they are between 3-6years? I swear, my son’s every sentence starts with How and Why. But gradually what happens as they grow? Their curiosity shrinks.
Curiosity towards something makes learning more enjoyable and this is a proven fact. Instead of jumping straight to the answers from the textbooks, kids should be subjected to questions and allowed enough time to come up with the possible answers.
Mugging up the answers will never create interest, while a natural curiosity will help kids go farther. Their imaginations and creativity should never be shunned. This is how they think of possible solutions to real life problems and implement them.
Ample chances of Trial and Error:
Students need to be given the liberty of trial and error with their answers. Isn’t it important for us to see kids stand up after their failures? Well, embarking on the success [always] should never be the target. Rather, schools should encourage kids and allow them to fail at an experiment or collaborate and direct them towards success. The journey of learning from failure to success is mind-blowing. and this will in turn raise strong-headed resilient kids, which is the need of the 21st century.
It’s time that we look at our curriculums and make them more effective, inculcating holistic learning for kids, right from Nursery. Our efforts will only make them “Future-Ready”.