We were keen to feature views of School Leaders and Educators on 'The Evolution of Learning Environments: Building the Indian School of the Future'. The excitement was palpable. Educationists across the country were preparing to gather at the ScooNews EdBrainstorm with Professor Sugata Mitra on April 2 in Mumbai. In preparation for this exercise to discuss the building the Indian School of the Future, ScooNews invited key delegates at the EdBrainstorm to share their vision on the Evolution of Learning Environments. The result was a smorgasbord of ideas and beliefs, a melange of thoughts and concepts, lively agreements and livelier arguments!
The complete story featured in our April 2018 issue, we are reproducing this online as a series of articles to make it comfortable and easier for our online readers, read this concluding episode for some more amazing insights into the vision of building the school of the future…
Learning is an ongoing process - as all things evolve, so has learning. Let us look back and see the learning processes as of the past 50 years and as of now. A change is always brought when things evolve for the better and learning is focal.
Human beings have always been seekers of knowledge. When we discover something new we share it with others and move ahead for the next achievement. This is Evolution. We will now be talking about building the Indian school of the future. When we talk about a school, the basic concept will always be the same–the student, teacher, and classroom. To renovate this to enhance the changes in the world today is challenging.
Technology today is an empowerment and to use this for the learning process is the change which is happening today. The Indian Schools of the Future need to focus on teaching basic skills combined with problem-solving creative routes for all students. The goal is to learn through all the different kinds of resources that real life offers. We talk about the purpose of schools today and tomorrow – well it’s very logical and simple: to develop citizens and humans, to inculcate social and moral responsibilities, personal growth and self-improvement and lastly occupational preparation.
Now, we look into the new skills to be acquired in terms of comprehension, communication and computing. Reading is a complex, cognitive process; it is a means of language acquisition, communication and sharing information and ideas. Reading is a very creative art form of a student’s learning process. The school and the parents too need to join hands to help our students develop this positive habit.
Communication skills include reading, writing and listening. The art of good communication skills builds confidence in a student to step up and speak. In today’s modern world, a student’s speaking skills serve as the cornerstone for any programme preparing young people. These skills should start with the collaborative efforts of parents and the school to motivate the students.
When we talk about computing skills – well, these are the basics in today’s tech-savvy world – presentations, PPTs for the students and in general gathering knowledge with the help of computers. Adaption of technology at an early stage will be helpful for an easy inflow of knowledge to the students.
As educational researcher, Sugata Mitra’s Hole in the Wall project demonstrates, even in the absence of any direct input from a teacher, an environment that stimulates curiosity can cause learning through self-instruction and peer-shared knowledge. For all this, self-organized learning environments have to be encouraged and brought forward by the teachers.
All these ideas, changes for the betterment of school, students and parents needs to be revisited by the parents as to what the programmes and sessions ahead are and to equip themselves.
All of these need to be corroborated with portfolios and project works. Alternative assessments determine what students can and cannot do, in contrast to what they do or don’t know. These assessments help the students to demonstrate their ability, perform a meaningful task and receive feedback from a qualified person. This focuses on the students’ performance and the quality of work performed by the students.
To conclude – change, an evolution is the essence of life and learning is an integral part of life. To prepare learners for the new world of work, the dynamic in the classrooms needs to be more reflective of the real world out there. Interestingly, it is not only about bringing technological changes into the classroom but also about embracing social shift – the way we think about and relate to the world and each other.
About the author:
Taruna Kapoor is the Vice Principal, Wisdom Valley Global School.
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