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Develpoment Education Learning

7 Movie Scenes That’ll Have You Exclaim: “That’s how you have fun learning!”

Singing “Such a boring day, such a boring people…” won’t help to have any fun when you’re trying to focus on learning. But there are some scientifically not proven ways to actually add fun to your daily homework, or in getting the hang of stock trading. 

(You know, scientists too need to know these in their ‘having their own fun’ life.)

That doesn’t mean they ain’t true.

We’re here with some handpicked scenes from a few iconic movies, which you may have watched or not. Either way, let’s get started.

Rough Book—Learning Physics with a Guitar and a lot of Fun

Guitar music is so attractive to the ears, right? Now imagine your physics teacher playing it for a lecture. Actually, no don’t. Just watch this clip below.

It’s definitely not “Bum Bum Bole” to entertain the kids. It’s actually a physics talk through the musical chords of a guitar, making learning fun. 

You know, where there’s life, there’s amazement. Isn’t that exciting for your learning experience? Well, if hitting your bestie with an egg can teach you Parabola, it definitely is (ask Naina Ma’am).

A passionate teacher can see their subject through anything and everything. Thus, they can show their disciples fun and creative ways of learning the concepts. 

School of Rock—Here’s the Pep Talk

You don’t need to be the best to try, you need to try to turn out the best. And, you don’t need all in favour to go on, you gotta go on to have all in favour.”

The very first step in making learning fun is removing (dealing with) the insecurities and fears in your head that are stopping you. Stop counting the eggs or thinking of getting foul ones. Get working and put up a great show.

Dewey Finn is not here to make Math fun. But he sure makes the lives of his students real fun as he pushes them to try what they’re good at in the most practical way. In fact, that is the real freedom someone chases in a prep school.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban—The Boggart Class

See the funny side of what scares you. With a “Ridiculous” imagination, chase it just like normal. Like this

Just imagine: Trigonometry ain’t a triangle but a (playground) slide. If you’re bored to imagine yourself an engineer, let’s be ACP Pradyuman calculating a thief’s possibility of jumping off the cliff.

Professor Lupin, being a werewolf himself, trains his students to live with their fears in an amusing way and have a life in their presence.

ALSO READ: What? I see. What next? Got it. Checking my software 💬, nothing found⚠️—A Guide on Retention

Chillar Party —Fun learning through fake poop

Consume content related to your topic of study – movies, web series, unacademic books, etc. In the movie, Janghiya (the student) learns about Mahatma Gandhi through the movie, Munna Bhai MBBS 2 as his father owns a DVD shop. Clearly, he’s had impactful learning.

It’s a kids’ movie and they teach us how to innocently try everything for your purpose. Be it making fake poop to get rid of a new boy in the colony or hosting a chaddi march (march in underpants) against a minister to save that same new friend’s dog. 

Considering your learning goals, be the same fun kid to find a way. 

3 Idiots— What Is A Machine?

3 Idiots, above everything, is a story of a passionate learner. Rancho (Aamir Khan) is in love with engineering so he sees his concepts in everything he looks at. He enjoys every class as he just intends to learn the gist of everything engineering, and in his life. His passion is to explore everything all the time and experiment with his little learnings. 

Fun learning

He does not worry about the past or future. He’s just living his journey in the present at best. His aim isn’t high scores or a job, instead, he just wants to try out his ideas and create something or better, solve a problem. Just look at this scene here.

With his keen efforts, he is able to simplify the most difficult of concepts as in this scene. He exemplifies that if you wanna have fun, fall in love with what you are learning.

Freedom Writers —The Journal Scene

Do you remember being at a happening party and still feeling off? Like you’re just not able to absorb into it. It’s because you are already full inside — with thoughts and emotions; sometimes, even suffering. Until you really make peace with them, you can’t do anything no matter how strong your intent is. 

Journaling is a way to express yourself freely, just to yourself (unless you choose to share it with someone you trust). Through the course, you let your mind come up with solutions gradually. 

You know, Expression is Freedom. With a free mind, you can enjoy the most mundane of tasks. Here, Erin Gruwell intends for her students to come out of their mental misery and happily face the world out there. Moreso, focus on learning and the beautiful life they can create. 

PS: It’s a real-life story of Erin Gruwell and her students.

The Intern—The Video Resume and the Fun of Continued Learning

A fun learning advice from a senior person? Definitely yes. 

Ben Whittaker, a 70 y/o widower, is a man for life. In a world of people asking for their life to calm down, he wants it to get on his nerves again. So, he applied for an internship at an E-comm startup.

He seeks to work as much as he can possibly get and loves it too. He is ready to learn everything new because he’s got all this energy for life that he wants to invest in. His Yogi attitude towards every little big thing lets us know that fun is a by-product of self-chosen happiness. 

ALSO READ: The Art of Googling: Everything’s a SEARCH away! Is it always?

Fun learning is not that difficult

A fun learning experience is a jovial involvement in a topic or task. It mostly depends on how you free your mind enough to lose yourself in something. This allows you the room for the creative imagination needed to dive to the core and enjoy the voyage. 

Do you know what’s more fun for us? Reading your comments with your unique routes to the fun. Drop ’em down.

Categories
Education Learning

What? I see. What next? Got it. Checking my software 💬, nothing found⚠️—A Guide on Retention

Do you remember times when you read tens of blogs on your favourite car, low-carb foods, careers in PCM, Shark Tank, Squid Game, or Spiderman: No Way Home‘s box office collection? So, can you tell us the whole list of careers in PCM or every single fact about Shark Tank? Probably not. You may only remember what intrigued you amidst everything—that’s the beauty of retention.

Or can you remember having searched for word meaning on Google and still not recalling what it means? (Unless you’ve used it in your dialogue.)

We’ve all been there, right? In the digital era, we are loaded with information even about things we are not interested in. Still, we remember some of it quite well. Mostly, we are not able to remember what we do need to—be it academics or research reports in our field of work. 

How does our mind respond to first-hand information?

Let’s explore what retention means in the first place—the process of keeping something in one’s memory. We don’t press a button, of course, to store anything in. It is a natural process. 

So, how does our mind agree or disagree to cherish a fact or discard it away?

Let’s start from the start.

The First Reading

Well, the first reading is like befriending a new territory.

Remember when your teacher advised, “You all can be bright students. Read the lesson a day before I teach so that you can retain it better.

When you open a physics book for the first time in your life, you’re definitely not familiar with Motion. Your teacher may take the first lecture without the book, just recollecting your real-life motion experiences. Then, she may actually narrate the technical definition to you and help you relate those real-life examples to understand it. 

There may be a need to reread the definition yourself to fit in the example perfectly enough to completely understand the concept in your mind. But if you have pre-read the lesson, you may be able to understand it in the teacher’s lecture itself. 

The Latest Learning

You learn to cook not by reading the recipe, but by using it to cook the dish. So you learned motion not by reading the definition but by observing it in your life. 

So, learning is retention. It’s like when the understanding of something (let’s say, motion) stays with you, you can say you’ve learned it. 

You may need time and revisions to retain the exact definition. But if you have retained the understanding, you feel like you have learned it. The definition may be forgotten, but the understanding won’t. That understanding is like takeaways from the topic summarized in your own words.

To Learn or Not To Learn

Why did we learn about Motion? 

Simply because it was part of our syllabus and we needed it to help us go on. Or because we felt that it is a crucial part of our life. In fact, Motion is what symbolizes life (a motionless person is dead; don’t say sleeping because our diaphragm moves). Having realized that, our mind subconsciously understood that we will use this information in conversation, workouts, and our day-to-day lives and especially, understanding health diagnosis.

If we come back to recalling the box office collection of Spiderman: No Way Home, the purpose may be to share our excitement with our friends or just have a say in the hangout. But definitely, we are going to retain the concept of Motion (be it only its understanding) for longer in life and Spiderman: No Way Home’s box office collection details are going to be forgotten in days as a new movie or excitement replaces it. 

Of course, choosing to learn takes a relevant purpose. But the point is why does our mind keep discarding a fact even if we need it?

Mind: “Trash it.” But Why Such Hate For Retention?

It could be due to an absence of purpose and the emotional energy needed to focus.

Sometimes, we know how badly we need to score well in our exams and thus, study. And other times we have to force ourselves because our parents find it useful to study the curriculum taught in school. But honestly, we don’t. 

Yes. It is when we don’t find it significant ourselves to learn something, our mind chooses to discard it away by alluring us into distractions (things that have our explicit interest). But if we see clearly, it only happens because scoring high is not all that matters to us every time and our mind is missing those real-life applications that make learning worth it. 

Here, discarding is one thing. But there are things like the latest car in the market which we remember only for days until it stays the latest, and there are things like “I love you 3000” from Avengers Endgame which we will recall the moment it’s newscasted again but not when casually asked about. So, how do we let go of the former and how do we suddenly seem to have retained the latter, i.e., Shark Tank pitches?

The ‘Period Of Usefulness’

We may remember Mark Cuban’s iconic line from Shark Tank season 3 “You’re not an entrepreneur; you’re a want-repreneur” for almost a lifetime. But not the companies he actually invested in. Well, the dialogue obviously has a lot of applications in real life(check Instagram for the many memes). But we have our own business to run or job to take care of to remember all business ideas. 

We may not actively remember all ideas in words, but our mind judges every little piece of information and stores it in the far-flung corners even if it is worth without a purpose. So, if we genuinely paid heed to it, it’s most probably there and may pop up in times of need as the so-called ‘smartness’. 

To create space for this, our mind refreshes the short term memory every now and then. For instance, a movie’s record-breaking box office collection that excited us in 2010 is erased from our 2022 memory. Why? It has lost its relevance.

On account of the above, one response in retaining information is the WHY behind it, which revolves around WHEN. In the digital era, we have one more aspect to retaining information i.e., WHERE.

Bookmark or Brainmark: Which is Best For Retention?

In a world where everything’s a click away, how do we decide what we need without Mobile? 

Of course, in exams—everything, but out in the world alone, our near ones’ contact details, ATM pin, accommodation, and Common Sense, for sure. But in general, what do we need to know to be called sane?

Sunrises happen in the east— yes. Language basics—yes. Car Insurance—NO. We are not going to die every day (except in philosophy). It is a rare occurrence and eligibility is for specific events. And then, we are not going to walk out thinking of meeting an accident. 

Similarly, we don’t need to memorize a new recipe, we can simply remember segments to use and watch again when needed. Nor do we need to Brainmark all the songs that were released in 2021. We can simply listen to them from the app library or by revisiting the site. 

Although your parents used to remember the whole phonebook, you can simply ask Google Assistant or Siri or Alexa. That said, there are still important things you need to convince yourself to retain.

Train to Retain🚂🚂🚂

When there’s a short circuit, you have to know conductors and insulators of electricity (unless you love shocks!). 

You see, some information is not immediately or directly usable, but you’ve got to know. When it’s time, your smartness is at stake in seconds. So, whatever our textbooks try to teach, we genuinely need to know that. It’s just that it would feel important once we proactively dig for its applications and find its unnoticeable worth. Thus, retention is vital.

These are 3 things to tame your mind for effective retention:

  • Explore real-life experiences that involve the information you are trying to remember.
  • Find your purpose to learn it, how it’s going to impact you: good or bad.
  • Understand the core essence and remember it in your own words. 
  • Share it with someone who needs to know. You will remember your experience of sharing the knowledge.

But take note, cramming like a parrot is a success in delusion. If not, short-lived success.

⚠️How Cramming Your Way Is Futile for Retention

Remember the nights before exams?

Let’s accept the fact that there is sincere behaviour studying throughout the year, carefree behaviour doing last night’s study, and amongst them, chilled-out smartness recalling examples from the lecture and nail the way to praise. But except for some blank minds, everyone gives a tough competition in scoring high. Knowingly or unknowingly, we deem the high scorers as the intelligent ones. 

Consider the words of Albert Einstein: 

“Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school.” 

We see that learning is not what we blurt out in the answer sheet. It’s what we hold on to amidst passing years and are able to explain to our siblings or children without looking into the book. 

Rote learning may give you the gate pass to a prestigious college which may help you grab a great job opportunity. But contracts are for talent. The employer believes in performance at the end of the day.

Conclusion

Don’t worry if you feel like you’ve got nothing retained. Because you do. Every time. Consciously or subconsciously. But if you want to retain more, get on the train. We took a year to learn to walk after entering the earth. That, too, was kickstarted when our parents made us long for them. So, give life a chance (thinking of the year you gave to walking). 

In the meantime, think of more fun and creative ways to learn to promote retention. We’ll get back to you when we find some.

Happy applying!

Categories
Education Learning

The Art of Googling: Everything’s a SEARCH away! Is it always?

Curiosity or the need to know? We are living in a world of quick fixes. We live in the world of Googling.

Father said, “Stop eating junk food! Build some immunity.” And son Googled, “best foods for immunity”

A new CCTV system is installed in the shop and the father says, “Set it up, son!” 

Son replies, “I don’t know, dad.” 

“You have Google.” 

On a family trip – Mom: “Where are we? Disgusting place!” 

Daughter on Google, “washrooms near me.” 

A little girl asks her father, “What is the diameter of the Sun?” Father Googled and then replied, “1.3927 million km” 

Well, well, well, these stories of Googling are endless. We all have our own, and it all starts at the moment you start to apply the learnings in a textbook, or your life nudges you with a question: “Ask Google”. (It’s the first thought in the minds of most people.)

But does everyone get the answers that quench their curiosity or take it to the next question…every time? In fact, do you even know what exactly to type in the Google query box? If yes, is every search result trustworthy? How do you even know you are reading the right answer? Or are you like this confused gentlemen below?

Let’s ponder around. (You can search this phrase too in case …)

Thorough learning is about applying things and applying starts with questions. But you don’t have a scientist around to ask the circumference of the moon or an engineer to explain engine braking. Still, someone uploaded that info on a site for you to find on the internet. That’s the power of the internet. You can share the experience of ‘A Day In The Life Of A Doctor’ through a vlog on your phone. 

So, then, it is obvious. Learning the art of Googling starts with knowing what question to ask.

Keywords that can get YOUR results when Googling

As the name suggests, you need to pick the KEY words i.e., important words of your question. The popular styles (even looked after by content creators) of keyword phrases include:

  • The topic you wanna know about, or just the word you wanna find the meaning of. For example, ‘NFTs on Instagram’ or ‘demystification’. 
  • For action queries, “how do I …” or “how to …” such as “how to start online banking” or “how do I hold my breath while swimming”. You know what, there is Wikihow – a dedicated extension of Wikipedia to solve your problems around taking an action. You can even ask “how to think” or “how to love studying“. 
  • Then comes “WHYs” – the typical question when you start reasoning. “Why do I go to school” or “why doesn’t school come to me”. Or even questions like “why am I so obsessed with Netflix”. Google will get you an answer.
  • Other than the Ws, you can ask specific questions like “effects of sleeping with your phone” or “exercises for strained back/neck”. 
  • In today’s friendly internet world, we have the most auxiliary questions like “can I eat bananas at night?” or “Is Australian education better than Indian?”, etc.

Now, these questions will help in your Googling efforts when you know what you want. But what if you simply don’t know what you’re looking for exactly?

The ‘confused’ question

Let’s get confused for a second. 

Imagine: “I feel so weak today. I ate so much but still… I’m growing fat. I couldn’t do exercise today because I didn’t have the energy. I hate myself. No. Let’s do something…” 

Now you wanna take the effort to ask questions to get into a better position for yourself. But what do you need right now? “fat reducing tips”, “exercises to stay fit”, “pep talk to feel better”, or “an energy diet”? 

Lastly, you’re right. You need to calm down first and let your mind reach the solution. Yes, it’s a list of foods that can help you make slight changes in your diet to maintain energy and not get obese.

As you’ll scroll down different lists of foods, you’ll get an idea to specify your search to “low carb energy foods”. Now don’t expect Google to lead you on to this. You’ll need your own calm attention to catch the directions.

But what if you are simply clueless?

The ‘clueless’ quest of an under-confident Googling

What if you don’t remember the name of the song? You have never watched the video (what movie name and actors), and you don’t know the hook line! But it’s your favourite song from your favourite memory with a friend at school’s annual function. All you have is a sentence, “koi hai koi hai hi nahi“. Just type it on your browser. Google not only has autocorrect and autofill, but related keywords stored for your result also.

If you don’t even have this much, WAIT. Google won’t enter your mind to get a clue.

Other tips include,

  • Voice-search or voice-type 
  • Autocorrect helps with English spellings (you may be better at vernacular searches yourself)
  • Look at autofill suggestions
  • Use common sense to create keywords

Cool. You’ll hopefully get through!

Yet, What if you were in the same situation a year back and you still don’t remember the name of the song, but you remember to have searched?

The art of BOOKMARKing

Well, you can always check or even search🔎 in your browser history (also on YouTube). But it always pays off to have it bookmarked, keeping the worthy retainable data separated from endless history. 

What’s even better is to organize your bookmarks into topic-wise folders. You can directly search in that particular folder then. 

But, is everything that matters to you (from the search) worth remembering, or even considering?

Authentic or Opinionated?

Google is by the people and for the people. As such, whatever the results may be of your Googling, it is from a human being. So, if in every case the information you get is from a human (published there on a site or site cum app), how do you differentiate between mere opinions and authorized knowledge on a subject matter?

You will have to analyze the profiles of people and websites—the speakers of the content. 

  • Is the website’s domain name on this dedicated topic?
  • Is the website’s content specialized in this line of knowledge?
  • Did a professional in the same field as the content writr the content?
  • Is the writer experienced in the field?
  • Is the content coming from the writer’s personal experience or professional practice?

These are just basic parameters that need or need not be fulfilled to deem authenticity. If you go about rankings on the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), then please know that Google ranks the search results based on user behaviour around individual content and its SOP—No fact-checking. 

Pro tip: Cross-check the content on various sites; have as many opinions to widen your lens and then see for yourself! 

At the end of the day, it’s your instinct to call a source trustworthy or not. But know that there can always be loopholes or unpublicized findings that may greet you later. So, stay ready and be polite in any discussion. Whether you have something new to learn or you are actually right, you may need to go according to your human guides or have a hard time convincing them. 

(But don’t worry, if you’ll stay polite, they may soon realize the other way too.)

When Googling doesn’t work

What if Googling doesn’t work and you really don’t get your answer? Or maybe you don’t get the exact answer to your detailed question. Perhaps you want an answer from a particular category of people or you don’t trust Google and want an answer from specified sources only. Or you just wanna save the hassle of analyzing profiles for every search result.

Well, there are other ways…

The disguised Search Engines

Yes. You read that right. A search engine is basically a system that can give you organized answers to your keywords typed onto the platform. If an app can do the same in its niched capacities, isn’t it a disguised Search Engine?

We think yes. The biggest one to do that is YouTube—a video search engine. Now that we all want to vlog our own experiences and little wisdom here and there, we have together created a YouTube video for almost every little confusion we have. Overtly, it’s the demo videos from How-Tos and Whys, academic and vocational education on simply everything, learning life skills, and news amidst the vast array of entertainment.

In fact, if you are a news person and wanna know what people are talking about, Twitter is seemingly the best place to be at. 

And like Google Maps, Facebook (Meta) helps you locate friends and local places to go about along with a nice float into different cultures. Then there’s LinkedIn to locate professionals and companies. 

But Instagram is for entertainment, right? Nope. Just type a hashtag on any subject or activity and you are onto a very creative page full of different ideas. From industrial reels to flowers and photography, it has everything. 

Shall we say, creativity is synonymous with Pinterest— with a smart touch? Interior Design, Parenting, Vocabulary to Marketing and Entrepreneurship—Pins are as different as people.

Okay. Let’s come to real learning. For K-12 solutions and a discussion forum with teachers and peer students, you have Meritnation and Brainly. When it comes to case studies and research, you have SlideShare and Scribd. For books,  audiobooks, and podcasts we all know Kindle, Google Play Books, Audible, etc. And then there are endless Edtech platforms like Skillshare that provide courses on almost everything.

Uncommonly, you can even search your feelings and thoughts on Quora. From healthy bytes, poetry, and nuanced stories of everyday life to extreme experiences of work, emotions and life—it is a place of the people. There are hundreds of categories and millions of topics discussed with genuine interest. But take note, personal experiences come from unique individual situations. So they may not be as relevant in your own situation. 

We’d like you, the reader, to continue this disguised list in the comments.

Because these are just a sample of sources you can use as search engines. So don’t stop digging as per your individual interests. But know one thing: asking friends, family, teachers, relatives and strangers is more adventurous than the internet. Because you can expect the unexpected. As they are closer to you, they may be coming from a similar set of conditions to give you YOUR answer.

Now, you may realize that Google too uses similar sources to find a match for your keywords when similar demands are made. So why not save your time by having a unique source to go at for a unique set of queries?

Conclusion

The art is as distinct as the artist. Your Googling may be different than ours. But we hope you found something to go along your way and better your surfing experience. Our last piece of advice:

To be better at Googling, Google more; try to come up with more elaborate questions.

To be wiser, think more by yourself.

Categories
Education Learning

Are You Learning to APPLY?

Mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Sure, but how does it matter to you? Why should you be learning this?

Your mom cooks food every day for you when you go to school. One day, she goes on a month-long vacation to care for your grandmother. Now, you start eating snacks for a few days and manage somehow. Though you’ve learned to manage, you’re not taking your healthy diet. Thence, you start feeling tired after little activity and grow weaker day by day…

This is what happens when Mitochondria choose to take a break from generating ATPs (Adenosine TriPhosphate) and ADPs (Adenosine DiPhosphate) — the chemicals in your body that you call ENERGY.

So, you may not need to know about Mitochondria until you see someone dis-EASED by its malfunction. But the point is, it has got a real-life application only if you look beyond the words of your textbook (or imagine your cells functioning inside your body). 

Isn’t it more interesting in real life too—to visualize concepts as part of our daily life?

School subjects waste our life?!

We are on the same page when you think that learning about integers in math and rulers in history is a waste of time — because they clearly do not have any application or value in our life. But there’s a difference; we have chosen to look for their reasons. 

Think of history this way.

You remember your late grandparents with so much love. Your parents remember your great grandparents with so much pride. But how do you do that? It’s through the little stories that your parents tell or emotional accounts you hold in your memories. Now please say – Why do you learn History? 

We used to rote it. No denying there. But surely there’s more?

When the rulers in your history textbook were first remembered, they were also ancestors to some specific clans. Like how you recall your grandpa or grandma, rulers’ predecessors remembered and cherished them. But this act of recollecting your grandparents or ancients inspires some takeaways from their CHARACTER to be carried forward as cultural impressions. And so the books intend you to dissect those character traits and apply them in light of your own era – in your worldview, in your actions, and in your behavior. 

Let’s understand this better through examples.

Akbar and Maharana Pratap fought for their own reasons. Clearly, Akbar wanted endless power as he grew up seeing his Mughal ancestors, while Maharana Pratap believed in preserving and protecting his culture and people. The former was seeking fleeting pleasure at the ignorance of people’s interests, the latter was willing to sacrifice for the same people. 

Interestingly enough, Akbar was into poetry and music. He and Samudragupta were unique rulers who did soul searching through poetry and music and nevertheless allowed themselves to be challenged by morality. Each such aspect of a ruler that we learn during our history lessons teaches us how to be better versions of ourselves. Better yet, these lessons also teach us to be better leaders.

Now, you’ll somewhere agree to find meaning and applications in history (If not, ask a politician). 

If you are thinking of integers now, explore a bit in detail about civil engineering or astronomy and you will see the vital role integers play in it.

History is just nice to hear?!

You may say that learning skills like graphic designing, coding, creative writing, or data analytics, are more visibly significant as you see people around you applying those skills. But wouldn’t doing the character analysis of ancients evolve your mindset creatively and analytically? And wouldn’t solving integration problems give you the kick and teach you that any problem can be solved if you persist and challenge your intellect as you develop a new code. 

Learn vs apply

So, now one question remains. Are the concepts you learn in school useless or did you just never learn to apply them effectively? 

We already highlighted the importance of asking questions. Ask them at every step of your learning process, on every concept, and even on concepts not being taught. The best way to ask a question is to first think, “Who does it relate to?” and then ask those teachers or random people in your life. Moreso, observe your surroundings. You may find applications that even your teachers have not realized yet. 

Ultimately, IMAGINATION is the key to your findings—try to put every possible bit of knowledge to use. How about using active-passive voice to make conversation with parents a fun time? Or using accounting to understand the cash flow of your father’s business or mother’s salary? Or use physics to understand nature?

Albeit, it is agreeable that you may not find an interest in everything. But we suggest not to dismiss it as boring. A keen study in geography may inspire one person to be a geographer and someone else to use Google Maps in a smarter way to plan road trips. 

Hindsight wisdom

You know what? A naive you sitting in your classroom may not be able to grasp the whole world in your worldview. But the you in your 30s may be able to make a lot of sense of what you read or explored back in your school days. In those moments of nothingness, you connect the dots from your classroom to your life experiences and give new theories to the world to listen to. 

So, to all the students, we advise you to ask many questions and let them be answered with time. You will be surprised by the many ways your questions will be answered. Take the UPSC exam for example.

UPSC—Facts or analysis?

In India, the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) is deemed to be the most difficult exam (especially for its interview round). Amidst the varied syllabus contents, it is synonymously popular around General Knowledge. GK mostly relates to facts and current affairs. So, is that around rote learning again? NO. 

For Indian Civil Services, the demand is up for the most analytical minds. You are being evaluated on your analysis and interpretation of those facts and the impact of those current affairs in light of various aspects of society, economy, and environment. So, you can’t go on with just learning things. You have to apply them in light of India, and in light of the world economy and society at large. 

Take, for example, India approved an MoU with Turkmenistan on Cooperation in Disaster Management. This will help in strengthening the areas of preparedness, response, and capacity building in the field of Disaster Management which will lead the way for stronger societies and safer economies of both countries, and reduced impact on the Global Stock Market thereon.

Besides, foresee the impacts of those actions taken by the government or discrete individuals on our environment such as the 5G rollout announcement in the Union Budget or the Clouded Leopard, a vulnerable animal species being spotted in Nagaland for the first time respectively. This is the level of critical thinking and application that UPSC requires, which is why it is deemed to be the hardest exam to crack in India.

But does your teacher encourage critical thinking? We know for a fact many don’t.

But my teachers and friends aren’t like that…

“This sounds interesting. But my teachers just enter the class, read the book, follow their age-old methods and call it quits.” 

We understand that in most cases, you’re not provided with the right environment to explore a concept, much less ask the right questions. Instead, cramming is the way to go in many classes. However, it starts with YOU. Curiosity creates a ripple effect. When you ask a question, you start a discussion in the class and a conversation with the teacher. Not all of your questions may be taken seriously by the same teacher (even if it relates to that teacher). But you gotta keep asking as many people as you need until you find the one who can answer you. 

We understand that some teachers will persuade you to memorize the facts and worry about exams and grades. However, rarely do people remember concepts by chasing exams and grades. Instead, it is asking the whys and hows that help you truly understand something and retain the information in your brain. So don’t let your lectures be boring! Ask questions, seek applications and create a fun learning experience for everyone around you. 

A note for teachers

We appreciate your dedication to taking us to our next step— to pass through our predefined learning processes. However, let’s strive not to pass but to excel in our abilities as we look beyond the words and into the world. 

For this, let us

  • First, understand that some students might not speak up but deep down they are probably struggling to understand concepts. So, find fun ways to teach lessons.
  • Second, make language learning simpler. Let’s have a day when everyone in the class tries to speak in passive voice or indirect speech, or give them an assignment to write about their favorite celebrity using adjectives in every sentence. We can do similar activities in vernacular languages as well.
  • Third, let’s not read out history. Instead, let’s have casual plays every Saturday with a changing group of students. Let them choose their favorite personality from the past, study him/her for a week, and experience their actions in an entertaining way.
  • Fourth, math class can have simpler case studies from architecture and astronomy or something from current affairs once a week. Let students solve problems framed around real life situations.
  • Fifth, social and political studies must not be limited to the study of political structures. The future voters deserve to learn to analyze the candidates in advance. Try to have an unbiased discussion of local and central ministers, wherein students can pick a candidate from recent elections and analytically judge their records.
  • Sixth, please spare the students from reading the computer textbook in their class itself. Let them see through every single program in the computer lab instead.

Conclusion

So, are you going to apply the idea of ‘applying your learnings’? Or apply the idea of sharing these ideas with the fellow little-big learners around you? You decide. We just want to let you know that we are all ears to your ideas of applying concepts and the findings you’ve got — in the comments.

Happy applying!

Categories
Education

How Inclusive Have We Been? – A Unified Education System

“How inclusive have we been?” – A Unified Education System

In a class of 40, how many students actually score above 40?

Let’s say, a teacher just explained the concept of Reflection & Refraction in that class. How many can explain it back in their own terms? How many actually understood it in its complete sense? 

Now, are the other 50-70% students weaker in their abilities? Or were they not really addressed by us, the teachers, with their unique learning styles?

Well, a teacher is a teacher to all 40 students and is obliged to create a complete understanding in all 40 minds. Every teacher holds so much creativity within, which flourishes in a moment of excitement and vigor for the art. So, how do we miss out on a larger set of students? Is it really because we don’t go the extra mile or do we unconsciously lack inclusivity in classrooms?

Bill Gates once said, “If you are born poor it’s not your fault, but if you die poor it’s yours.” Going by that, if we teachers are brought up in an environment of neglect or noninclusive to all ways of learning, it’s not our fault. But if we don’t act upon our neglect, it is our failing.

The lack of a unified system

Let’s come down to an inter-school comparison of inclusivity of students. In India, Kendriya Vidyalaya & Govt. schools are both government-led institutions, and both pay similar good salaries to their teachers. But more often than not, govt. school students miss out on quality teachers. Mostly, the teachers they get lack proper knowledge themselves. Other times, they lack the sheer will to enlighten and interest the students coming from poor socio-economic backgrounds about the importance of education.

Let’s come to America. In this capitalist economy, schools have better facilities but more often than not, it sees people of color as outsiders (even if they’ve been living for generations). The government and administration view resourcing their education as philanthropy and not their unbiased duty, and consider it as straining the resources for the whites.

In fact, this form of racism is rooted in South Africa itself where the blacks in their own country have to fight for their education rights since 1955. Even now in this extremely poor country, children struggle for resources and trained teachers.

Though we see a robust education system in China with primary and secondary education backed by the government,  poor village students still lack equally trained teachers and adequate resources. Moreover, charges for food and co-curricular activities still exist in such schools.

All of this begs the question. Don’t learners of the same country from the same government deserve a unified system of quality education? Do they deserve to be led by their fate of having Government Worker parents, their skin color, financial capacities, or just an equal opportunity as children of one nation?

It’s not that there hasn’t been an effort…

NCERT(National Council for Educational Research and Training) is one initiative of the Indian Government that publishes books for classes I to XII following a uniform CBSE curriculum along with digital availing on E-Pathshala

But is having a unified curriculum an assurance to uniform efforts in transmitting that education? 

After the long-prevailing need for an update, the National Education Policy, 2020 brought in some reforms in methods of teaching such as Emphasis on Mother Tongue until class 5, activity-based learning below class 2, coding and internships in class 6, multi-disciplinary flexible subjects in classes 9-12, multiple entry and exit options in degree courses, etc. But how widely and efficiently are these changes implemented in light of an India where neither vocational and additional subjects in high school are available in more than 50% of the schools in the country nor the skill electives for class XII.

Besides, how updated and relevant is the NCERT syllabus for all such subjects in today’s fastest-growing society, technology, and lifestyle behaviors? If that wasn’t enough, there is an innate divide between schools with NCERT curriculum and those with other syllabi. With so many boards in the country, Indian students often struggle to cope with different boards.

Well, NEP does echo us somewhere and so do the Chinese Govt.’s efforts in vocational education. So do America’s efforts in guiding parents and students in high school and higher education plans

However, we, as UN Secretary-General, demand evident implementation at the micro and global levels at the same time. The UNESCO report, titled ‘Reimagining our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education,’ emphasizes intercultural and ecological learning anchored in social, economic, and environmental justice. Read about António Guterres’ message here.

COVID in action

In light of change, Covid has questioned everything. From virtual education to increased opportunities and challenges in learning, it has proved to be a true catalyst of growth in the world of learning. Be it just an awareness of what’s not right, an interest in exploring global systems and resources, or initiated actions in regard to deeper learning and practical applications by learners and teachers alike — everyone has gained something. 

The emerging E-learning supplements, hybrid schooling, and high involvement of tech have had different results for everyone. On one side, the privileged and conscious learners flourished in growing capacities, and on the other side, this left the disadvantaged drastically behind. Firstly, the access to devices and proper Internet, a sound knowledge of tech for using that technology for virtual classrooms and online assignments, and the adaptability to understand through virtual boards and lectures. All of this is still a challenge to many remote rural learners across the world. 

Moreover, consistency in imparting that education is also sacrificed. In Australia, education is governed by individual States and Territories whose jurisdiction further varied in lieu of COVID cases. For instance, the school holidays were effectively brought forward by a number of days at the end of term one in South Australia, Western Australia, and Victoria to give principals and teachers additional time to prepare for remote learning in term two. But while South Australian public school students returned to school on the first day of term two, Victorian pupils were still learning from home six weeks later.

Secondly, social isolation and the children’s need for inattention and supervision at the same time (to encourage freewheeling creativity and understanding respectively) have made it difficult for learners to engage naturally.

Simply put, the challenges that covid has brought upon has increased the need for a unified system that caters to different learning styles. Because learning is not just a monolog by a teacher, conversation with a learner, or mere reading or watching an animation – it is an experience of a complete learning process where all of the senses are well engaged to induce learning in different styles.

Global access to learning resources

What is it like to taste new waters, meet new people, and face new challenges every day (so tough that your survival can be at stake)? It’s surely a thorough experience however thrilling it turns out to be too different individuals. Well, this is the exact dream of learners around the globe intending to enter exchange programs for learning new skills in a new environment. 

In the new wave of learning, access to courses from global institutions and professionals has been a boon to ambitious and dedicated minds. Be it offline or online, it is always aspirational to have a world-class learning experience. But it hasn’t been easy either. Amidst the tedious application process, cross-country laws, financial burden, and decent accommodation in the unfamiliar world – there’s a basic challenge of University guidelines for eligibility and academic adaptability to fit in the learning environment. This makes their very first decision of Choice of University challenging enough for some adults to give up on the idea. 

This brings us back to the question of inclusivity in classrooms at a global level. All a learner is asking for is an opportunity to interact with global minds with their unique worldview on topics of common interest. They have been following the system they’re part of and are so ready to follow the new ones. Is their ineligibility their fault? Don’t they deserve a unified system welcoming them only based on their talent and a strong determination to learn and explore?

Just think for a minute…

Shouldn’t we focus on 40 under 40?

Shouldn’t we focus on EACH in a class of EVERYONE?

Shouldn’t EACH be EVERYONE (every child) across the world?

How can we be content with Finland’s education system or Chinese or Japanese or Indian or the latest amendments in America, when a larger part of the world’s children is still deprived of their basic right to get access to quality education? 

Vasudev Kutumbakam” (The whole world is our family) is a line from a Sanskrit scripture, Maha Upanishad is what our world tries to live by or at least the idealist section of the society. However, how can we implement this line in our world without striving for a unified education system for EACH and EVERY child across the globe that addresses their individual needs to nurture their minds to thrive and open the world for them?

What we are left to focus on

Inclusivity is considering all children around the world as equal humans with varied needs to cater to their diverse learning environments and unique individual skill sets. They all deserve equal support not just from their geographic governing bodies but from their world family in terms of resources and a unified system. To enable such an education, we need:

  • Trained and qualified Teachers in every little-big school
  • Equitable resources to every child and school
  • Minimized learning gap amongst students

Is this fair allocation achievable? Are we pledging to do everything to fill in the inclusion of the most unexpected? How are we doing that? Finally, can an inclusive and unified education system empower our future generations more? We’ll leave it to you to answer that.

Categories
Education Learning

Literate vs Well-Educated

Literate vs Well-Educated is a phrase I commonly use when insulting my friends, but despite the low-hanging insult fruit, this phrase does carry a lot of weight.

Now, yes there is a basic difference between being Literate and being Well-Educated. For the sake of this article, I am going to break down the Literate vs Well-Educated debate right here and use the rest of this article as an explanation for it.

What does being Literate and Educated mean?

A Literate is someone who possesses the ability to read and write, while an Educated is a person who has acquired knowledge and skill. People often use the two words interchangeably and with reason since they do have a few similarities.

Literate vs Well-Educated:The Link

Both literacy and education require hard work and persistence, and you need both to become a functioning part of society.

Literacy gives you the tools that you will need to gain more information from the world by being able to communicate with teachers who will teach you more. Education is what these teachers will provide.

Literacy gives access to Education—a person who is not literate will have a hard time become educated.

However, it is worthy to note that you can acquire Education without Literacy; considering the fact that education is more than meets the eye.

What is Education?

Let’s get this out of the way; education is not just about your books. Learning a sport or how to use some equipment is also education. Literacy is important since you need to be able to understand the person who is teaching you.

However, it is very much possible to become well-educated without becoming literate.

Education, in a greater sense, is the development of the being whereas Literacy is a part of Education itself.

Here is an example article of unconventional but important education.

Literate vs Well-Educated: An Easy Example

A very simple example is the best way to illustrate the Literate vs Well-Educated debate. A literate can read news articles on corruption, extortion, lynching, etc., but only an educated person understands why it is wrong.

We often refer to teachers as Educators, yes even your English teachers. This is so because they educated you to become literate, enforcing my point that literacy is a step towards Education.

Why Education?

A lot of crimes happen simply due to a lack of Education. People who do not know any better, try to do what they think is best for them.

People who do not know any better often make bad/uninformed choices which only lead to negative circumstances that hurt everyone involved.

This is why education is important because it teaches us about morality and altruism; it informs us on how we can be happy. Education is a person’s journey towards differentiating right from wrong.

Education is, therefore, about becoming a Human.

The Different Kinds of Education

You can divide Education is into, several different classes. Becoming a scientist means you are educated, but becoming a public speaker is also, in a sense, the same.

The way I see it, Education is when you acquire knowledge along with the ability to apply this knowledge for the benefit of everyone [No, cheating in Exams is still not cool].

For example: If you learn a mathematical equation and are able to apply that equation beyond just the questions in the book, that make you educated.

A different side of Education is the previously-discussed human element. Think of it this way. What is the point of being educated if you do not use your education to improve yourself and others around you?

I like to believe that this mindset is the reason that we think of Education so highly. We all want improvement but not everyone is capable of improving on their own. That is why the educated person gets so much importance.

I just feel that, at some point, we confused the words educated and literate.

The Different Kinds of Literacy

Literacy also has different kinds; again, not easy to differentiate, unfortunately.

Looking at it from far away, literacy seems to be associated with having exclusively bookish knowledge of facts without having any associated knowledge towards it.

Use that as an insult for that one friend who is extremely good at trivia; we all have one.

Literacy is a tool; you need to be literate to read a novel but educated to understand what the author is trying to convey. Let us come back to the Math problem example.

 If you know a formula but do not know how to use it beyond just what the book teaches, it is pointless in the grand scheme of things to know a formula like that. Schools generally have an imbalance where they teach you to be literate more than educated.

You might have a degree but if you do not put it to use beyond wearing it like a badge of honor, then there is no point. Remember that most jobs require an educated person rather than a literate person; since you need the ability to dynamically apply the knowledge you have.

Literacy is also often associated with cramming information. Here is a great article that takes a deep dive into the world of cramming.

Conclusion

The conclusion is clear folks, I am pretty sure you can derive a few good insults at least from this article but yeah.

We should Strive to be Educated, to paraphrase a great movie.

Do not run after success; run after Excellence.

3 idiots

Of course, my article on its own might not convince you, so here is another article of the same to help you for an opinion.

In a world like ours, we/you need to be educated, simply because education teaches us to be human. What do you think? Safe Travels Friend.

Categories
Develpoment Education Learning

Paperless Education- The New Future of Learning?

Adapting to technology doesn’t necessarily mean inconveniencing oneself in the name of development. This is perhaps the biggest concern of educators all over the globe. The reluctance to adopt a paperless education method stems from multiple reasons; all of which might be justifiable. But the fact remains—technology was developed by humans to simplify tasks in their daily life. Therefore, paperless education is gaining popularity in the field of learning.

What is Paperless Education?

When one talks of paperless education, the direct ideas that pop in one’s mind are perhaps difficult to grade papers, a lack of practice of penmanship, and an overall reduction in the growth of aptitude. Old-school educators feel that if they let technology invade education like it has invaded other aspects of a human’s life, they’ll hamper learning. But is this fear valid? Let’s do what is done best in such daunting situations—create a Pros and Cons list!

Pros of Adapting Paperless Education

As an advocate of the healthy use of technology, paperless education is the revolution in education we urgently need to adapt. And the reasons for this urgency is listed below:

1. Going Paperless Means Easier Track of Learning

Paperless education makes tracking easier
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

In every aspect of human life, we’ve let technology help us. Be it accounting, record keeping, data tracking, or any other tasks that were tedious as hell five decades ago. Nobody can deny the efficiency and accuracy it has granted us. Students deserve to learn through the same level of efficiency that the current era runs on.

Converting the system of learning, even gradually, to accommodate the paperless vision of education can mean that a great level of efficiency can be achieved. Just imagine the time, effort, and energy it is going to save if every essential teaching and learning resource, administration, execution, and feedback, come together through a systematic interface.

The quality of learning and education is dramatically going to improve, and the progress will be evident. Oh, one thing that perhaps is the biggest pro for teachers is that, with paperless education, no students can go on with the excuse that they forgot their homework back at home! (oops)

2. Efficiency in Cutting Costs and Reducing Staff Work Load

Bulks of copies of worksheets, assignments, heaps of books, references and sheets, and about any other resource that uses paper. Therefore, education requires money. These are regular in today’s learning system. But imagine reducing all that and storing it all in one single digital space. Calculate the amount of extra money and costs that would be cut down by making this simple transition for paperless education.

Paperless education makes teaching easier
Photo by CoWomen on Unsplash

Teachers all over the globe have a singular common complaint. Too many students and too few teachers. The teachers have a tremendous workload and average pay. Now going paperless would significantly reduce the extra work that a teacher has to go through, like preparing copies, collecting assignments, etc. This undoubtedly would add to improved quality in learning, as the teachers would finally have time to focus on what’s important—imparting education.   

3. Promoting A Sustainable Learning Environment (My Favorite Pro Ngl)

Just think back to all the stacks of paper you’ve used in the past month for your schoolwork. Now multiply that to the thousands of students in your school and even more in your city. The amount of paper being used, printouts lying forgotten, assignments reviewed and stacked away, is a growing point of concern. The way we are moving forward is if we don’t work out a more sustainable mode of learning and of living, humans aren’t going to have much to live on with.

Going paperless will not only help you reduce your carbon footprint and do your bit for the environment, but it will also encourage students. Students who are leading towards a future where resources have already been plundered, and the need for sustainability will be at an all-time high.

4. Changing the Teacher-Student Dynamics (But in A Good Way)

Paperless education changes teach student dynamic
Photo by Xin Wang on Unsplash

A typical traditional classroom setup has been pretty similar for centuries. A professor or teacher or educator is leading the class, with students as attentive (and not so attentive) subjects. This system is religiously being followed to date, with some minuscule changes to it.

But gradually, as individuals and generations have grown, its effectiveness is seemingly reducing. The reason? The current generation doesn’t seem to thrive under the thumb of authority; they need the freedom and space to be expressive. For that reason, the teaching styles and patterns of teachers are gradually evolving.

Through paperless learning, a teacher wouldn’t necessarily have to be at the centre of the class. They can delegate students and at times, learn alongside them, as well. It can be visible that letting technology take over is not always a bad thing, especially if it assists in a more progressive style of receiving education.   

Cons of Going with Paperless Education

Everything that seems to have unbeatable pros do have a trail of cons that follow. How significant and difficult they are to work around, I’ll let you be the judge of it.

1. Affording the Conversion from Traditional to Paperless

In a lot of countries across the globe, classroom education has seen a significant improvement in terms of technology. The use of projectors, white screens, computers, and other electronic gadgets have been slowly yet gradually been introduced to the patterns of learning. But on the other hand, some do not have the funding necessary for going through such a major transformation. There are a vast majority of institutions in economically backward countries that have students who barely can afford books to study.

The polarization is extreme, I agree, but also necessary to consider. Unless extreme philanthropists are lurking around to sponsor millions of these kids with technology to go paperless, the paper would pretty much remain their medium to study. Sometimes, in our glory of privilege, we fail to acknowledge others who do not share similar opportunities as us. Therefore, to them, as titillating as paperless education sounds, it can’t be a possible reality.

2. Making Your Brain Lazy by Taking Too Much Help from Technology

Oh, if it isn’t the favourite argument by almost every boomer educationist out there—too much dependency on technology has made your brain lazy. They aren’t wrong on that aspect, are they? This is the same brain that used to memorize phone numbers a few times after dialling them. We were experts at roads and directions because Google Maps wasn’t an alternative in case we got lost. So now that we study ourselves, we cannot deny the fact that we indeed are turning into comfort-loving beings that dumps all the hard work on technology.

Now, in such times, the only solace was the training our brains get in the formative schooling years. Through vigorous learning and practising everything in real-time, at least in the developmental stage, students are learning to exercise their brains. With dependency on technology, we won’t have even that.      

3. Constant Need of Active and Dedicated Tech Staff in Institutions

This one’s a no-brainer. If you need to smoothly work out day-to-day school interactions with paperless education, then your altercations with technology will be a lot. The resolution of most technical errors requires the help of some qualified IT professionals. This means hiring full-time staff dedicated to handling the technology in the school. At present, most schools that have ‘smart classes’ (a projector, computer, and a screen) might have someone on the payroll to ensure that the tech is up-to-date.

Can hamper learning if tech fails
Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

But when transforming into an entirely paperless system of education, dependency on this technology increases tenfold. This means that if for any reason the tech fails, it will hamper the learning for an entire day. To avoid that, technological reinforcements are necessary, and that means more investment. It ultimately looks like a vicious loop.

Summing Up

Do the pros outweigh the cons? Or does paperless education have too many cons to consider it as a viable option? I’ll let you be the judge of that. What I do know is that nothing is constant, especially the world around us. Education will keep progressing and the methods of learning will evolve. How we take up to that change and adapt to it is the real question. Education essentially needs to be relevant for it to be effective for the coming generations. But the process of imbibing that relevancy needs to be easy and accessible with a wide variety of communities, cultures, and people. And that is something that shall be the defining factor for the quest for paperless education.

Categories
Current Affairs Education General

The Reservation System: A Disgrace or A Necessity?

Photo by Alfred Quartey on Unsplash

Reservation systems occur in various countries like Nepal, India, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. It is available in slightly modified forms in MANY other countries—the policy of affirmative action in the USA, Brazil’s vestibular policy, quotas for Swedish speakers in Finland, and so on. The idea behind all these initiatives is pretty much the same. They aim to give racially discriminated groups additional numbers in order to ensure equal representation. 

What is the reservation system?

Reservation is a system meant to provide historically disadvantaged groups representation in education, employment, and politics. It involves a process of reserving a certain percentage of seats for certain groups perceived as availing lesser opportunities than those more privileged. It aims to empower them and ensure their participation in the decision-making of various important sectors. 

Putting the reservation system into perspective 

Let’s say you want to read more about the implications of the reservation system. Or about the green star. What would you do? Maybe run a quick search on any search engine, read TutorHere blogs, or the likes.

What if your internet is down? Maybe a quick run to the nearest café. And if you live in an area not very technologically advanced, maybe a pit stop at the library to read up on it. Either way, you use to access resources more easily available to you. 

Growing up, not all learners have access to the same amount of resources. Some have access to resources that have very little (or even no) value, as such. Some individuals from these disadvantaged communities come from homes that aren’t used to dreaming or having goals. Homes were becoming a doctor or an engineer seems like a dream just too good to be true. Or they just struggle due to a general bias against them in a specific society. 

Enter the reservation system. 

The reservation system sets aside a specific quota for these groups. Or takes these disadvantages into account so as to give them more opportunities. However, the big debate revolving around this is if it takes away the merit from ‘merit’. 

Researvation: A discredit to merit? 

The criticism against the reservation system has a few points of argument. To quickly break this down and give you an overview, the reasons include: 

  • Reservations generally benefit just a small fraction of the groups intended to benefit from it 
  • They tend to make these groups feel inferior, less motivated to work hard to achieve their goals, and create animosity between the groups that don’t have a reserved quota 
  • It perpetuates division and further makes the demarcation against these groups clearer 

Summing up, the argument against reservation focuses on the fact that trying to provide opportunities to support certain groups is in turn, fueling this division that disadvantaged them in the first place. It also gives room for politics to come into play and create animosity from those who have a higher merit score but can not get a seat. 

Reservation: An opportunity to dream? 

There are also quite a few points speaking for the reservation. And a brief look at these include: 

  • The reservation system quotas aren’t filled with those meant to benefit from it. Thus, this could be a sign that we need to work on the system
  • This protects the supported groups from privatisation of educational institutions and contractualisation of employment 
  • Reservation systems helps the social and psychological integration of these various groups 
  • Reservation is merely an entry criterion and does not compromise on performance of the individual 

Overall, it’s an argument that privilege stops us from really understanding what the reservation system is aiming for. Studies also show that “gains in learning are higher in elite institutions compared to non-elite institutions.” So while the reservation system may not be the solution to discrimination, it could be a temporary makeshift until we can improve our systems of education to ensure everyone has access to equal resources. 

reservation as an opportunity
Photo by Alexis Brownon Unsplash 

Conclusion 

Many countries still continue to debate the implications of the reservation system. While some struggle to keep it in place, others think it to be a disgrace to economic progress. However, the question is, if the economic progress is substantially benefitting all (Read more on the importance of education for all, here).

As usual, the takeaways from this article are entirely yours. What’s the verdict? The reservation system – A disgrace to modern society or a necessary plow to even the playing field? 

Categories
Education

Grades: Dictators hiding in disguise

Photo by RODNAE Productions from Pexels

Schools, colleges, or any educational institution, including coaching classes play a pretty crucial role in all of our lives. Those are the grounds where a lot of ideas and concepts come into light; we form our opinions, base judgments, our morals and ethics build a foundation, catch up on gossip, etc. But what does education have in common no matter the level of it?

Grades, as mentioned in the title (If you guessed something different, I’d like to guess what you guessed).

Ughh grades..?

Each human being on this planet is familiar with the concept, use, importance, and aftermath of grades. I think even your pet (a theory based upon my pet dog) senses the importance of grades not just in your life but in the people associated with your life, as well, including the milkman (let’s not forget the newspaperman, mailman, etc.).

Consider grades as the least-liked character in your favorite movie or web series. Your feelings towards that particular character act like a chameleon, and your feelings towards your grades are no different. The relationship that we have with grades is subjective. It is dependent on the student and the professor, and the effect of it is dependent on the mood of your respective guardians (unless you burn it if it’s not enough).

The hate-love relationship

Our journey with grades officially begins when our parents leave us at an unknown place full of other kids and some adults. The seed of ‘progress is directly related to numbers’ is sown somewhere deep in the mind. With time, along with one’s physical and mental growth, the seed starts to develop as well. Are you able to imagine that grade plant somewhere in your mind whose life and death are connected to your life?

The plant cannot be perceived as a virus but that doesn’t make it an antibody as well. So what is it? 

The plant is nothing but the byproduct of human’s desperate efforts to measure things systematically, to give each and everything a rank, so that it could come under our nomenclature. It does sound a bit dramatic but have you ever analyzed the effects of such simple concepts? Now is the time.

The never-ending debate over grades

Have you ever come across statements like “I wish they forget to release the results,” or “They should conduct exams but not the evaluation process”? I don’t know about you, but I remember saying the first statement at least 4-5 times in Xth. But does that mean I hate the grading system? I don’t (because I got good grades).

+

If there was no relationship between education and evaluation, it’d be an impossible task for the students to understand their strengths and weaknesses in a particular subject, or skill, or sport. That’s how we’ve been improving our weaknesses for a long time.

The grading system proved to be an efficient, systematic, quick, and easy way for the professors, students, and their guardians. It certainly had a complete opposite and drastic effect on a student’s mental health. Indirectly or directly, the grading system or the measuring system of today made students absorb this idiotic fact that numbers define one’s success.

Readers, I’ve observed a woman, who’s a laborer, smile more than I do and that smile was real and pure. I could feel the degree of contentment in her single smile. So, numbers or grades only have power to an extent.

Adults, don’t you think it’s your responsibility to save the little ones from being suppressed by concepts like grades like you or your friends must’ve experienced? We cannot modify the grading system that is being used since the 18th century in just ten days or ten years. What we can do is teach our students this simple thing that,

‘Numbers are never going to leave you. They’ll follow you in every aspect of your life (even when you’re asleep). But that doesn’t mean they can control you. The reins are always in your hand. You just have to buckle up, stop being scared of the results or the outcomes and just focus on the working part. It is going to be a ride worth remembering.’

Conclusion

Some of you might be thinking that numbers/grades do define success, and I agree, they do. But allow me to remind you that these concepts or things are formed by us. We are to control them and not the other way around.

If you or your child, your friend, your student, or your neighbor is struggling and suffering because of grades, you’re not allowed by humanity to say ‘work hard or grow up’ or something that will make them more miserable. Help them by just being there, and let them contact a therapist if needed.

Let’s support each other not just by wearing clothes that say ‘being human’ but by actually meaning it from the heart!

Categories
Develpoment Education Humanities

The social context of education: Are we doing enough?

Photo by Tim Marshallon Unsplash

There’s a marshmallow in front of you. 

No, this isn’t a promotion, and you aren’t getting samples (sorry!), but imagine I keep a marshmallow in front of you. Of course, I will give you the classic catch. If you wait till I come back, without eating the marshmallow, you get TWO of them. The choice seems obvious, right? Wait and get two marshmallows. Or maybe you’d rather carpe diem with that one marshmallow. Either way, what does it have to do with education?

Am I merely grabbing your attention by mentioning a fluffy, sugary treat? Maybe. BUT, did you know that the decision you would make in this actual marshmallow situation could tell quite a bit about your personality? Skeptical? Good. Allow me to elaborate. 

The Marshmallow Test and Education

‘The Marshmallow Test’ written by Walter Mischel elaborates on his famous experiment with marshmallows. Not to get into too much detail, but the author discusses how those who chose to wait for the second marshmallow had higher SAT scores and better social as well as cognitive functioning. They are then seen to have a better sense of self-worth. The comparison between those who could wait, and those who couldn’t, were characterized by different brain scans in areas relating to addictions and obesity. 

So a “no” to eating the marshmallow? Nope. That’s a personal choice. But notice how behavioral patterns in children sort of projects themselves onto adolescence and above? That’s what we’re focusing on in today’s blog. 

Social context of education 

The social context of education refers to external factors that affect a child’s educational opportunities. These factors include social background, family structure, socio-economic status, the learning environment, differences and diversity in school, resource equity, and so on.

For instance, parents’ education is seen to be associated with student achievement. Likewise, the poverty levels of the school also decide the quality of education. Public school teachers in high-poverty schools are also more likely to report student misbehavior as interfering with their teaching than teachers in low-poverty schools. Students in mathematics classes in low-poverty public secondary schools are more likely to be taught by teachers who majored or minored in mathematics than were students in high-poverty public secondary schools.  

As discussed, many factors can affect the learning process. The social context in which schools operate can influence their effectiveness. Changes in social context present challenges that schools must address to enhance their effectiveness and ensure that educational progress can occur. 

The impact of social context on education

The point to focus on is that the social environment that the child is subject to in education has a holding on their personality development. This social environment can consist of various levels such as family, institutional, community, and society. An environment in which children don’t feel safe or are victims to be bullying will have an impact that carries on into adulthood.

The mental health of the learners and their ability to deal with emotions does make a connection to this. A survey shows that 13% of students in America are stressed, 22% suffer anxiety, 20% have sleep difficulties, and 14% have depression. All of this has a direct influence on the performance of a learner. (Read more about the link between mental health and students here

Is this the social context we want in our education systems? What are we subjecting our children to?

Imagine 12-year-olds consuming content on social media where they think beauty filters are the new norm. Or teens on apps that scam them of money. Even the shady man trying to befriend an unknowing adolescent by “sliding into the DMs.” Families making learners believe that their value solely depends on education, or vice versa—that education has no value. All of this comes under the umbrella of social context. And if it is not safe, we are directly subjecting learners to the negative impact that it can have. 

Are we really okay with learning in this environment? 

social context of education
Photo by LUM3Non Unsplash

Conclusion 

While we can’t micromanage the system, we can influence it. Promoting a healthier social context in education, general check-ins, being empathetic of the learner, and not putting them in a tight box roped with expectations are some ways to give them room to grow. This environment is shaping them in numerous ways—how they interact with other elements of the community, survival systems, ideologies, and so on and so on. 

Should something so impactful get so little attention? Are we doing enough?