Education 2.0

Why do kids find it hard or unnecessary to recall what is taught in school? What about their skills and interests? Is the struggle for marks more important than a platform for the child’s abilities?

Think back to how every time Dory had new things to remember we were afraid she would forget it all, when Neville finally learnt to disarm his opponent our hearts were one with the D.A members as they cheered him on, and our desire for time travel deepened further when Mr.Peabody and Sherman practically journeyed through history, making us wish for an equally thrilling learning experience.

What is it about these movies that make us revisit them countless times?

Besides the ethereal movements that appeal to our imagination, certain characters tend to strike home. What Dory calls “short-term remembery loss” is a state that we have accustomed ourselves to live in -a state of cognitive evanescence.

Most kids grow up learning that success is imperative for any task you take up. When they enter school, the system drills its rigidity into their minds and makes them believe that scoring top marks should be the ultimate goal. Rarely do kids find motivation (intrinsic or extrinsic) to explore their passion for learning. As a consequence, what and how much of the learnt material is remembered is directly proportional to the arrival/completion of exams.

Many students feel that a lot of what is taught in school is dispensable. Believe it or not, this trend of thought has been in existence for decades, giving rise to a number of questions – Why do kids find it hard or unnecessary to recall what is taught in school? What about their skills and interests? Is the struggle for marks more important than a platform for the child’s abilities?

Imagine if Hogwarts had to fight the Death Eaters and Voldemort based purely on what they learnt for their O.W.Ls and N.E.W.Ts. It would’ve been an utter disaster because they would’ve stepped into battle with no practical knowledge of spells, enchantments or defence. But isn’t this pretty much what we have been doing?

Our educational framework underwent massive change when it shifted from indigenous methods of learning to a highly colonized one. Even today the push for scores overpowers the urge to instil a sense of excitement and curiosity. Exams test the memory and power of ‘mugging-up’ rather than evaluating the extent of knowledge and understanding acquired by the child. We have become so comfortable with the nonchalance that comes with this system of learning that our passive acceptance of it is just another grey area that is given little or no attention.

What needs to change is people’s affected notion of education and the adoption of a more practical outlook that targets diverse spheres of a child’s development. Each of us has to recognize the value of skill-based education and work towards it.

With upcoming websites that provide a space for building a portfolio of specializations and skills, this gap between theory and application is gradually being bridged. Not only do these websites help to create a foundation for future career opportunities but the work that is progressively compiled is itself a testament to the individual’s abilities.

For example, for someone who’s into software development, a GitHub or Gitlab profile with frequent check-ins and contribution to open source exhibits their work. For a designer, photographer, or writer, a Flickr page, Behance profile, or a WordPress blog is a brilliant way to share their talent with the world. An architect’s website or a photo album of their work better communicate their ability. This way, the individual’s accomplishments result purely from experience and effort and aren’t based on a couple of answer sheets or the validation of a third person.

By working towards an academia that gives equal importance to every field of learning we move towards education that prepares the child to deal with real life situations, at the same time helping them discover their talents and aptitude. In simple words, allow the child to embrace his/her individuality and let the marks card take a backseat. Because possibilities can be found in the darkest of corners if only one remembers to open their mind to it!

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