A Generation of ‘Yes Men’ Cometh – this was the topic of discussion by an all-women panel. Moderated by Dr. Neeta Bali, the panel comprised Meera Isaacs, Shukla Bose, Sonal Ahuja and Vasudha Neel Mani. Opening the discussion, the ‘yes men’ of today were identified as the standardised personalities or the students with no assumption, very flexible, who will move ahead staidly but will do nothing very significant.
Vasudha Neel Mani described the student’s need today as anthropogenic based learning where the student is the centre of learning and teachers don’t use traditional methods of learning. She also emphasised on the self-directed learning approach where the students create what they love rather than following the traditional approach and be trend setters, empowering teachers for new learning methods.
Leading the discussion further, Meera Isaacs said that whatever approach we may use, the final analysis is what matters and that is the marks the student scores. With the degree of standardisation and customisation today, the flexibility in teaching is not possible. Here Dr Bali pointed out that various modes of assessment could be introduced and a moderate curriculum can be applied.
Shukla Bose emphasised the fact that teachers should stop glorifying history so that the students shouldn’t follow it and become ‘yes men’; rather they should stress on respect but no reverence. In this way teachers will develop individuality in the students. She suggested that questions be allowed to be raised to get the students more open minded and innovative.
Sonal Ahuja said that creativity and spontaneity can only be reached if there is flexibility in curriculum. Let the teachers first be human beings and each child should be treated as separate individuals. Given the mode of learning, knowledge should be first inwards and then outward. Learning should understand, acknowledge and relate to the individual child.
Vasudha Neel Mani answered an audience question that in school curriculums are revised every two years but the skills are same for the teachers because we are working for the students. Complete analysis in all the areas of progress is needed to ascertain what he wants and excels in.
The discussion was concluded by the statement “Attitude is everything, let’s change our attitude and great learning will happen to our children.”
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