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Towards Transformational Education

- By Subhosree Saha July 29, 2020
Towards Transformational Education

A Child’s Head Is Not A Pot To Be Filled, But A Spark To Be Kindled Is An Ancient Chinese Proverb. Our Present-Day Education Encourages Rote Learning And Does Precious Little To Prepare Children For A Tough Life Ahead. As Early As 1993, Prof. Yashpal Recommended That Learning Should Be Without A Burden And Highlighted The Urgency For Reducing The Heavy Curriculum Replacing It With An Enjoyable, Engaging, Holistic, Experiential, And Analysis-Based Form Of Learning. Up Until Now, Teachers Were In A Rush To Complete The Portions And Be Done With The Lessons. Rote Memorisation Seemed To Be A Time Tested Method For Students To Move From One Class To The Next, With Little Interest Shown In The Student’s Ability To Achieve Learning Outcomes. The Classroom Thus Resembled A Battlefield With Students As Little Warriors Who Had To Win The War Against The Dreaded Dragon That Is The Pass Percentage Which Would Translate As Having Achieved Success In Schools And Colleges.

It Has Taken An Invisible Little Virus To Press The Pause Button And Rethink Our Methods In The Lines Of The Recommendations Of Experts In The Education Field. Let Us Rewire Our Strategies And Do Away With Rote Learning As This Prevents Opportunities For Curiosity, Critical Thinking And Creativity. Let Us As Educators Promote Learning Based On Discussion, Discovery And Analysis. If We Have To Make More Space For Such Holistic And Experiential Learning, Then The Curriculum Load Has To Be Drastically Reduced. Remember A Child’s Head Cannot Be Filled With Dry Facts And Figures, Boring Content That Does Not Stimulate Or Pique The Interest. In Short, Let Us Concentrate On The Core, The Concepts And Ideas And Remove The Fluff. 

Collaborative Learning Where The Teaching-Learning Process Is Interactive Should Be Encouraged In The Classroom. Students Should Be Encouraged To Question The Concepts And Discuss Freely To Arrive At Answers In The Class. The Days Of Pin-Drop Silence In The Classroom Has Long Passed. A Teacher Has To Take On The Role Of A Facilitator And Help The Students To Ask Meaningful, Relevant Questions. Socrates Promoted The Spirit Of Questioning In His Class And Thus He Was Able To Produce Exemplary Students Like Plato And Xenophon. Every Wise Student Questions The Teacher To Gain Clarity And Insight And This, In Turn, Brings Out The Best In The Teacher. In That Sense, All Learning Is Collaborative, Between The Teacher And The Taught. Learners Are Not Passive But Participate Actively In The Class. 

The Word Educate Comes From The Latin Word Educare Meaning To Bring Out. Thus Education Has To Bring Out The Excellence Within Each One And Schools Should Aim To Assist This Process Of Drawing Out The Best In The Pupils. John Gatto Sums This Pithily When He Says That Teaching Is Nothing Like The Art Of Painting, Where, By The Addition Of Material To A Surface, An Image Is Synthetically Produced, But More Like The Art Of Sculpture, Where, By The Subtraction Of Material, An Image Already Locked In The Stone Is Enabled To Emerge. It Is A Crucial Distinction.

As Albert Einstein Says I Never Teach My Pupils, I Only Attempt To Provide The Conditions In Which They Can Learn. If All Teachers Were To Create Conditions Conducive To Learning In The Class, Then Students Are Sure To Excel And Reach Great Heights. It Is Up To Teachers To Bring Back The Joy Of Learning Into The Class And The Ideal Time To Do It Is Now.