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
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
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? 

Categories
Education Learning

The Learning Systems Needs to be Updated! Here’s Why

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels

If 2020 has made one thing painfully clear is that schools and universities need to update their learning systems. Now more than ever!!

Hey, folks. This is going to be a more serious article. If I come up with some spicy jokes, you are going to see them, but I am going to try and maintain the seriousness for this one.

With 2020 and the shifting of education to a more online mode, the curriculum and syllabus were modified. However, what education needs right now is an overhaul.

Throughout the years there have been many reports of how learning systems in many parts of the world have become obsolete—most of these criticisms are directed towards the American and Indian school systems.

A tale of two learning systems

To understand the problems in these learning systems, here is an article by Students 4 Social Change, a Forum link for Quora, and one by The Asian Age.

I recommend going through the links since they expertly highlight the problems of our system.

Interestingly enough, the Indian and American systems suffer from different problems—the problems that seem to be present in most learning systems.

The problem in the American System stems from ‘the one size fits all’ mentality, where the method of teaching has not changed for centuries and the way information is conveyed has been the same.

In India, the system has changed from its European origins along with the fact that the country entertains multiple Boards of Education which bring different systems with them [CBSE, ISCE, State, etc].

The problem in India is despite the many boards, all of them follow the exam-based approach to education; not to mention the amount of corruption that has brought the system to its knees.

Both these systems have different problems. However, both sets of problems stem from the fact that these systems are OLD.

Please note that India and America were used as examples to show the problems that exist within many systems. No system is perfect but that implies that we must at least try. In many ways, the criticisms of the American system still do not reduce it from the fact that it is still one of the premier learning systems in the world.

Better learning systems

One learning system that receives a lot of praise and is generally considered one of the best systems of education across the world is Finland’s System.

Emphasis on foundational basics is an important reason why Finland has the best education system in the world. Students get time and scope to build the best foundation and basics at their own pace. This is mixed with a lack of standardized testing, the discouragement of mugging, and supportive technology with little to no homework

In short, Finland goes in the complete opposite direction from other countries in terms of Education. The results are proof that other countries need to adopt a system derived from them. Here is an article by World Economic Forum on it and why it is the best. P.S. apart from Finland, Japan is also given praise for its system.

An appointed time

There is no doubt that the current education systems are not molding the future of students in any good way. While a lot of criticisms do carry on to universities, school is where the problems show their ugly head the most.

It’s time that we change the system. With our current situation demanding change, there has never been a more important time to change the way education takes place.

It is obvious that education is not going to be the same moving forward, with online classes becoming more frequent even in a Post-Covid World and teachers using apps and expecting assignments through emails rather than hand-ins.

Conclusion

Nothing much to add here; I took examples, shared articles, and did my best to explain why we need change; and well if you still do not believe me you can just ask Elon Musk about it. Tweet him, c’mon!

There are a ton of videos available where the billionaire can be seen criticizing the system; here is an example.

Anyway, Safe Travels Friend.

Categories
Business Education

Economics of Education: Is Education a Resource?

Photo by Kelly Sikkemaon Unsplash 

The 4 M’s are pretty common in various economic platforms – man, material, machinery, and money. This speaks about various resources. Education, too, is one such resource. Let’s see how

Fundamentals of Economics 

Economics is a term that most of us are already familiar with. It is the study concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. Economics studies these aspects at an individual level and beyond, including businesses, governments, and nations, as well. It helps understand the efficiency in production as well as exchange. It also uses various models and assumptions to understand how to create incentives and policies to maximise efficiency. This helps in understanding ways to increase productivity, efficiently use resources, and improve standards of living. 

Economics helps us make informed decisions, understand various industries, connect systems from an international perspective, and in general, aims to promote growth. Since it is a study of resources and services, it has a connection to education as well. No, not the study of economics but rather, the economics of education. Tricky? Stay with me; let me explain 

Economics of Education 

Economics of education, also known as education economics, studies economic issues relating to education. The demand for it, financing, supply, efficiency of various systems, and so on. While not a broadly known subject area, this concept applies economic theories to education as a service. 

Economics of education

Source: Click here 

For example, let’s look at the picture above. It analyses the resources allotted to the top and bottom 10% financially segregated population. The blue graph (towards the left) shows the bottom 10% and the orange graph (towards the right) shows the top 10%. Although not a recent graph, it gives an idea of how education as a resource is distributed. Particularly, how the distribution seems quite lopsided.

Educational development has seen a lot of changing patterns over time (Read more on the importance of education here). A few studies show that when there is economic development there usually is growth for educational development. Educational development is a powerful tool for growth if used correctly. A well-educated community indicates a community inclined towards employment and sustainable growth. A motive, so to speak, towards accomplishment and figuring out their interests 

Does it matter, though? Are there benefits from allocating these resources? Do they have any impact on the bigger picture? Yes, to all of that. 

Economics of education

Source: Click here 

Implications 

Education is slowly being recognised as a basic right in various countries. As such, it definitely should be something that strives towards equitable distribution of resources. Various countries have started to see the importance of educational development. As such, educational spending is also increasing.

Economic development looks at basic needs being met. Hence, the focus on education and other such secondary spending is increasing. Moreover, education is also seen as a means to fulfill these basic needs. 

Globalization and technological progress has also called for more in-depth studying. This also sees a higher demand for intellectual resources. Usually, the opportunity cost of education is misgauged. A common misconception is that education, when seen as an investment, takes too much time for any real returns. However, education helps an individual to not only keep track of various markets but also identify gaps that they can occupy. 

Conclusion 

Education plays an important role in development. This is pretty much established. Economics helps us understand markets better and hence, optimise resource utilisation. Applying these concepts of economics to education could mean better opportunities and providing more accessible forms of learning. This also means identifying and accommodating the learning needs of such a diverse audience 

Categories
Edutainment Learning

5 Childhood Shows With Hard-Hitting Lessons

Photo by Victoria Borodinova from Pexels

We have all grown up with cartoons. At some point, we all fell in love with at least one cartoon and wanted nothing more than to be a part of its world. Many of us still go back and rewatch some of our favorite cartoons from back in the day, and I am one of them.

That is why I wanted to write this article. Watching some of our favorite childhood shows and cartoons as an adult is different; it’s easier to not only laugh at some adult humor that the animators put in but also notice some very hard-hitting lessons that come to light.

Childhood Shows With Lessons

It happens quite often that showrunners put themes, metaphors, and lessons in their cartoons that children do not understand consciously, but adults do. However, children subconsciously pick up these lessons without any knowledge.

For instance, an episode that shows what an abusive relationship looks like (I will discuss that) subconsciously plants the idea of this is evil in a child’s mind. A child might notice something similar happening in his own house or at the neighbors, and he will understand it as being a “bad” thing.

Many childhood shows that tackle these adult themes (No, I am not going to be talking about BoJack Horseman; it’s not a childhood cartoon), and I am going to list some of them here.

Pokémon

S1 Ep11: Charmander. The Stray Pokémon

Pokémon in its first season was something else; there are episodes that criticize school systems, episodes that talk about animal abuse, sexism, failures due to laziness, etc. To call it one of the best childhood shows out there would not be an overstatement.

However, this episode is a standout, as it tackles abusive relationships, while also commenting on how difficult it is for someone in such a relationship to leave the abuser behind. The episode does all this through the perspective of a Charmander.

The Charmander is abandoned on a rock and waits patiently for its trainer. Its trainer, however, does not want Charmander since he believes that it is weak. Consequently, the Charmander shows its true strength and the abusive trainer suddenly wants it back.

The episode also does a great job of showing how hard it becomes to help someone who is in such a situation through the perspective of Ash and the gang.

Overall, the episode serves as one of the best of not only the Original Series but the entire franchise.

Here is a video that analyses the episode in great detail.

Courage the Cowardly Dog

S4 Ep7: The Mask

RIP Thea White, The voice of Muriel.

One of the childhood shows that gave us all nightmares might also have been responsible for introducing many to the concept of how Love is not bound by Gender.

Again, in a great episode that thrives more on psychological terror than the many monsters, it is famous for, the show tackles multiple sensitive topics. Love, Abusive Relationships, Prejudices, and how Anger and Hate spreads; all in one a very entertaining episode to watch.

The mask that the episode is named after in a sense represents the mask that all of us have that hides the real us from the world. The show explores the concept of people hiding behind the mask and how it just causes hurt and nothing more.

The episode also features some very dark and twisted metaphors and images, which I am not going to discuss. It also shows in its ending how Love triumphs all and how prejudices are often unfounded and are a result of one’s upbringing and/or surroundings.

It is a great watch; don’t worry it also delivers on plenty of scares and comedy.

Here is a great article that does a deep dive on this episode.

Gravity Falls

S2 Ep 17: Dipper and Mabel vs The Future:

Gravity Falls presented a very refreshing take on a kid’s show that even adults can enjoy. It had a lot of adult-centered content, and this episode features themes that every adult can relate to.

The episode is split into two halves, Dipper and Mabel. Dipper’s half serves as the adventure and action part whereas Mabel’s is the emotional core of the episode.

Mabel spends the entire episode wrestling with the reality that they are growing up. Soon everything will change; she fears that Dipper (her brother) will become distant to her, and she will lose her friends.

The episode really goes hard on this message with Mabel’s fears of her brother becoming realized; which kicks off the final three episodes of Gravity Falls.

In these three episodes, the siblings accept that they will grow up and that things will change; but the truth is that they will always have each other. Some people will go but some who care will always stick around because the more the things change; the more they stay the same.

Gravity Falls is very highly recommended; it is an example of something that is so well made that it deserves at least one viewing.

Transformers Prime

S1 Ep12: Predatory:

One really wouldn’t think of deep themes and messages when it comes to Transformers, but this is where we were wrong.

Transformers Prime had an excellent version of Arcee, one who deviated from her previous incarnations and one which the show really fleshed out and developed.

The entire first half of season-1 and bits of season 2 deals with Arcee’s trauma from losing her partner, and the problems she faces when trying to deal with her new partner Jack.

This episode in particular dives into her character, as old wounds are opened and histories are revealed. The entire show was excellent in displaying how people/transformers are affected by their past and how one should try their best to live in the present.

What happened in the past cannot be changed; it can only be accepted, and it is hard to do so. It is very hard to come to terms with reality sometimes, but what is most important are the people who are there for you in the present.

Please don’t confuse Transformers Prime with the Transformers Movies. Please!!

Avatar The Last Air Bender

A little heads up! Talking about the entire series here.

Avatar is definitely Nickelodeon’s best work; one of the most well-told stories with stylish animation, amazing visuals, and a beautiful soundtrack; rounded by one of the best cast of characters that also hides some incredibly dark themes.

One of these being Child Abuse.

The show displays this by drawing a contrast between two characters; siblings Zuko and Azula. In the show, both are victims but we see Zuko recover over time due to his loving uncle Iroh, whereas Azula’s past and her pain turns her into a monster.

The show does an excellent job showing how people can recover with love and patience, while displaying the horrors of Child Abuse and how it affects children.

 The final battle between Zuko and Azula is not considered a triumph of good over evil but rather a tragedy of a family torn apart with nothing left to salvage.

Here is a video that does an excellent job explaining this, a much better job than I can do.

Conclusion

These are just some of the examples of childhood shows with dark/adult themes. A lot of these shows had multiple episodes that dealt with these dark topics, which I haven’t mentioned. I guess it is justifiable to say that cartoons are not just for children.

I personally like animators who go out of their way to put messages like these in their shows because it is hard to write scripts and get past the censors.

And yes, this was not a conventional topic but, in my opinion, a very important one. Safe Travels, Friend.

Categories
Education Learning

Mixed Ability Classes: How Helpful are They?

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A mixed-ability class, also called a heterogeneous class, means that you have students in the same class who have various levels of language proficiency.

Mixed-ability and heterogeneous are, to some extent, misleading terms, as no two learners have identical proficiencies, especially in a language learning class. This implies that every class is a mixed ability class in a sense.

These kinds of classes are mostly there for teaching Languages. However, it can go beyond language skills and also filter down to general skill sets. Variation can also be found in the age group and background of the students in a class.

After coming across this concept, the self-proclaimed detective that I am, I decided to dig deeper into Mixed Ability Classes and the challenges faced by students and teachers, while also looking at its benefits. So, let’s look at the results of my investigation.

Problems Faced in Mixed Ability Classes

Students:

It is crystal clear to see that a class like this will be a little problematic; both for the teacher and the students.

Students could find it hard to connect with their peers due to an age gap or a language barrier. They may feel alone and isolated and that the teacher is not paying attention to them.

On the contrary, some may feel that the teacher is giving them too much attention. It will also be hard to learn in a diverse environment like this.

Another major concern is bullying; which can get amplified in these situations, especially if diversity is not taught to be appreciated from a young age.

Teacher:

For teachers, these classes prove to be a bigger challenge.

How do you teach a class where everyone is so different from one another? Some students will feel left out while others may not feel challenged enough.

More importantly, how do you maintain discipline in a class like this?

Teachers can also have problems explaining things to students who are not good at language. The major part of teaching in such a class lies in the teacher’s determination and ability to adapt; since almost every student will require a unique approach to a concept.

Teachers will often find it hard to interact with students of different ages and backgrounds along with facing the challenge of getting students to participate.

 Advantages of Mixed Ability Classes

Studies showed that pupils in mixed-ability classes had an average gain in test scores of up to 7% over those taught in set classes, and suggests that “policies of setting were adopted primarily to make the teachers’ tasks more manageable”.’

Refer to this for more information in this report.

Apart from seeing an increase in grades; these kinds of classes also help students learn differently. Since everyone is of different age, mixed-ability classes allow everyone to share their experiences.

Stronger students can help weaker ones; older students can teach younger ones, and so on. It also helps teachers gain special experience which helps in their long-term careers.

Both teachers and students have opportunities to teach one another and learn from one another. Teachers also become stronger; since the task at hand is so great that it molds them into better educators.

In a way, we can say that despite all of its flaws Mixed Ability Classes are effective in helping both teachers and students.

It should be understood though that these classes need a teacher who can undertake the task. A less experienced or inadequate teacher would hurt himself and the students.

 Here is another study about the benefits of Mixed Ability Classes.

Conclusion

Well, nothing much to say here folks, the verdict from your friendly neighborhood investigator states that:

These classes are helpful, given that the teachers are ready for such a task. research has shown that mixed-ability classes help students grow. So yeah, I personally feel that these kinds of classes should exist more.

Currently, this is a popular method of teaching language but I would surely love to see it grow beyond that field and include subjects such as Math and Science.

Drop a comment if you agree and tell me how you feel. I’ll see you guys next time.

Categories
Education Learning

Relay Learning – The Future of Learning

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Relay learning is a concept that is similar to the activity, relay, itself. Confused?

Okay, first. How does a relay race work?

We have a bunch of participants who run to pass the baton to the next player on their team. This process also repeats with all the players on the team. It is essentially like a task broken down into smaller tasks to efficiently get a team to complete said task.

Now, imagine trying to implement this method with learning. Say, there are 10 people in a study group, each individual would teach someone something that they know best. A chain of lessons, of sorts. And that is what the concept of relay learning entails 

Current problems faced in learning outcomes

Do you ever wonder if our current methods of learning are maybe getting a little redundant? Classroom learning can be efficient to a certain point. However, in due course, the personalization needed to benefit these different learning capacities gets misplaced. Do you get the gist?

There’s only so much that a teacher can get a crowded classroom to learn, regardless of their educational skills. Even if we take the average of benefits received by the classroom, which indicates the mid-range, the outcomes remain unchanged. What about the extremes of this spectrum? Are they still getting the most they can out of the course? 

Yet another problem faced in traditional learning styles is the costs involved and subsequent lack of accessibility. Educational costs have gone up in recent years, making education inaccessible to underprivileged strata of society. While several scholarships and grants aim to bridge this widening economic gap in education, learning is still a privilege for many.

The final nail to the traditional learning system is the quality and quantity of teachers. Teachers are underpaid in the world, regardless of the country. As such, very few educated individuals have the motivation to become teachers. And those who take up this profession or related roles are either stuck in the box of age-old practices or underqualified. Yet another challenge is the required qualifications and experience to become a teacher. But should teaching be so complicated?

In comes Relay Learning.

Benefits of relay learning

Benefits of this style of learning include a more individually designed learner-teacher understanding. Considering that the learning takes place in a social setting, it could help with learning the concepts better.

While improving communication skills and interpersonal relationships, it could also boost the confidence and self-esteem of individuals involved.

However, the signature benefit could be that it enables learning without paying an exorbitant amount. This means treating education as a service, rather than as a commodity. It also means that the teacher can adapt to the learner’s capacity.

Furthermore, restraints on teaching professions are no longer applicable. With relay learning, anyone willing to spread knowledge can teach someone something without needing a specific degree.

Finally, relay learning makes education a communal and social activity as opposed to the isolated and independent construct we follow. Moreover, education becomes free with this learning style and no longer follows an authoritarian approach prevalent now. Meaning, you can learn and teach any subject of your choosing, as long as you have the right level of knowledge and a passion to teach and learn.

Conclusion

Relay learning focuses on a more community style of learning with the teachers and learners being interdependent. This ideology of learning helps since the approach targets and is an effective way to achieve impact at scale. There are many learning styles that are diverse and that’s important since learners are also pretty diverse. It is important to ensure that we approach learning with more personalization. This means that more learners can truly benefit from education, rather than just a few.

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Develpoment Education Learning Uncategorized

Understanding the Relationship Between Education and Well-Being

Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Education is a gateway to a Better Future and Well-Being. In this world, we need Education in order to make something of ourselves.

Education has a very close relationship to one’s well-being and serves as a very important link; think of it in this way.

With higher education, people not only become capable of solving bigger problems but at the same time, they start to learn from their mistakes. We have previously discussed how mental health and well-being lessons help students.

Today, we are going to take a look at this relationship between education and well-being.

Now, this is a heavy topic folk, the relationship does not exist in one form but don’t worry I will explain everything as we go. Let’s look at some points I have, representing some qualities that people have, which help their well-being.

1. Emotional

Emotions are what make us human. The reason I am bringing this up is to show how our emotions affect us and how education affects them in a way.

First of all, we all need positivity in our lives; here is a great article about positivity and its impact on us. Keeping a positive attitude helps increase our productive nature and also helps us to be active.

Through Education, we learn how to develop emotions; we learn how to react to situations. Later on, it is these emotions that guide us and help us make decisions in Life.

While emotions remain with us since our birth, it is through formal and informal education that we learn how to live with these emotions.

2. Physical

Education just does not come from reading books; you will never learn how to swim by reading a book. Education has a very important physical factor.

Swimming, playing an instrument, dancing, using some machine, and playing video games are skills that require a practical application to master. While most of these are necessary for survival, they contribute to the well-being of an individual by offering the much-needed social connection.

3. Textual

Who doesn’t find textbooks boring? I do like many students out there. However, you’ll be surprised to know just how important they are to your well-being.

Textual Education such as learning to read or do math is a survival skill in the 21st century. They open up avenues and allow you to find many fields to pursue as per your own desire.

They represent the foundation of knowledge and are important for any learner so that he/she can become a productive part of society. Moreover, they open a window for learners and readers into a concept that may have been unknown to them before. This constant exposure to new information through textbooks and book, in general, keep your mind fresh and healthy.

4. Experiences

Let’s look at something that can’t be taught. Experiences play an important role in shaping an individual; whether it’s the passing of a family member or getting rejected by your crush or a job.

Life Experiences teach you valuable lessons. In a sense, they are the most important, since you can’t get them from any other source and can’t get them through your own desire.

Things you have learned through experience are something you are less likely to forget, as your body creates a memory associated with the task or skill. This is why experiential learning is preferred by the current generation of learners. Moreover, learning through experience leads to an increase in self-worth and confidence in learners, which directly affects their well-being.

5. Upbringing

Someone’s upbringing plays an important role; life experiences often influence educational choices (ex: Son of a doctor becomes a doctor). In a way, upbringing is part of the informal education that individuals get before they enter schooling years. Having a strong base in these years can contribute to the future well-being of a learner and the kind of student they become.

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Education General Learning

5 Revolutionary Teachers Who Changed Education

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Teachers have always been the driving force in inspiring students to make a difference. Still one amongst a million is a teacher that envisions a different route than the one prevailing. These teachers see education as what it truly is, a means to learn.

Such teachers, better termed as revolutionaries, institutionalize the system in their reign. They are responsible for encouraging students who are yet to discover the potential in themselves; someone who turns the ordinary into extraordinary. The world has seen multiple such revolutionary teachers who are responsible for bringing out a change in their time and inscribing their names into the very history books they teach from.

Amongst thousands of such names peppered over history, here are five-

Confucius- The oldest teacher to bring education revolution

Confucius, a Chinese educator and philosopher, is one of the oldest known teachers to have brought about a progressive change in the methods of traditional education. He was a legend of the Chinese golden age. His teaching and philosophies have become a paragon for much of east Asian culture and society and pose relevance even today.

His popularity rose to such heights and accumulated under Confucianism. Confucius was responsible for teaching a lot of everyday social and political teaching to Chinese society. His lessons circled around justice, freedom, kindness, governmental morality, human relationships, etc.

Confucius not only devised theories for education for the Chinese but also gave importance to promoting education to the poor and underprivileged. The general public, during his time, lacked access to education. Therefore, to break the shackles of this feudalism, he opened private institutions for the people, which were open for all irrespective of their caste or social standing.

He was one of the pragmatic revolutionary teachers of his time and revolutionized education through his philosophies. Alongside, he also strived hard to purge the feudal mentality from the elites of his era. Moreover, his Meritocracy system, which designed exams for each important official position, allowed candidates from any class or background to apply for these posts.

The system gained worldwide recognition and has been inculcated since. Thus, Confucius is one of the earliest philosophers and educators who have managed to stay relevant thousands of years after their life. His philosophies and methods of teachings manage to give valuable lessons to educators and teachers to date.   

Maria Montessori- Self discovery in revolutionary education

Revolutionary teachers: Maria Montessori
Wikimedia

Maria Tecla Artemisia Montessori, a famous Italian educator, changed the system of education as we know it today. She believed in the system of education through self-discovery. She theorized through her observations that children were smart enough to learn on their own if their teachers provide them a suitable environment for it. Her education theory, named after her, is still implemented in a wide number of private schools and institutions.

Montessori’s designed coursework was developed on the basis of her everyday observations of young children. Her theories suggest using small furniture for young children’s classrooms. It also encourages students to learn the habit of greeting their teachers and doing little tasks on their own. These tasks could be arranging their own chairs or cleaning up after themselves, putting back their toys, etc.

Classroom inspired by the Montessori method
Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

As a child develops and progresses in school, different such techniques are implemented for them to develop and grow on their own. She felt that students could learn independence and self-motivation in the early stages through such methods. A skill much essential after they grow up.

Revolutionary teachers like her were inspired through her techniques. Her teaching methods allow children free choice of choosing activities, freedom of movement, and uninterrupted work. Teachers are mere observers who are supposed to ensure that no student stays passive while directing the students’ innate psychological and behavioral growth.

Friedrich Froebel- A revolutionary for younger minds

Revolutionary teachers: Friedrich Froebel
Wikimedia Commons

Imagine a young developing mind staying at home and learning without any kind of social development. That was the case before Friedrich Froebel introduced the concept of Kindergarten. He was a middle school headmaster of an all-boys school before he found his true calling with pre-school children. At the same time, he invented the concept of Kindergarten and opened the first one in Blankenburg, Germany, his birthplace.

Frobel believed that young children learned through self-activity, and methods of talk and play. Friedrich had always felt that the pre-school kids had a very sharp brain that absorbed habits and behaviors quicker. So, he devised a system of education specifically for them, highlighting their needs and requirements.

Frobel was the one to introduce activities like art and craft, paper cutting, clay modeling, etc., in the curriculum for very young children. He firmly put emphasis on the fact that self-learning and self-discovery is the fastest route for young minds to understand concepts. He was amongst the first revolutionary teachers who theorized the relevance of school in a societal structure. Thus, changed the way school was perceived forever.

The Kindergarten Concept

Kindergarten is recognized as the best method of learning and development for young children, away from their homes. With activities like play and creative work, learning while creating and social interactions are what’s responsible for helping a child grow in a social environment. This kind of growth is important for the child to adapt to living in a school environment. And also develop habits at a stage where it is easier to inculcate them.

The miniature society concept for kindergarten has revolutionized early education for children. By introducing them to the social norms and helping them grow through themselves. The teachers or practitioners, again, should merely be facilitators of an environment where kids learn by themselves.

It is important, though, that the teacher understands the different needs of different children. While some might be ready to make choices on their own, without some elder hovering, other children might need a superior. Being left on their own could overwhelm these kids might feel overwhelmed. Therefore, a teacher in kindergarten needs to assess these needs and act accordingly, as per Frobel.

William McGuffey- A textbook revolutionary teacher

Revolutionary teachers: William McGuffey
Wikimedia Commons

The simplest way of teaching a child any language is by making them understand the alphabet, and then introduce sentences and assist vocabulary through subsequent reading. William McGuffey, a leading name amongst revolutionary teachers, developed this method of enhancing and establishing reading in schools.

His revolutionary thinking began when he first realized that the standard education system did not have any concepts of promoting reading for young children. There was nothing but the bible available for them to read. This realization led him to develop something that would soon change the entire way of seeing the activity of reading and learning through it.

McGuffey became the professor of Language at Miami University in Oxford, where his ideas for language learning were extremely popular. His colleagues encouraged him to publish his readers, a series of books that could assist the students in reading.

McGuffey’s readers, titled Eclectic Readers, set a standard for the future of textbooks. To date, we follow the patterns of the written work, with necessary modifications made to keep it contemporary. The Eclectic readers gained widespread popularity within a few months of its release, with almost all immediate institutions clamoring over to adopt them in their curriculum.

About the Eclectic Readers
Eclectic readers
Wikimedia commons

These readers, written at different levels, were suitable for different age groups. The first level introduced basic phonics and simple alphabets. This progressed into small sentences and gradually led to poems and stories. These readers did not teach vocabulary as a list of words.

Rather, the texts accompanied new words to provide meaning and context to them alongside the reading. The presentation of these readers was extremely engaging, with pictures and exercises like questions and read along. This not only boosts their confidence to represent themselves in social settings, but also enhances their quick thinking and responding abilities.  

McGuffey Primer
Wikimedia Commons  

Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan- India’s revolutionary educator

Revolutionary teachers: Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan
Wikimedia Commons

The First Vice President and the second Prime Minister of India, Dr. Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan was an Indian teacher and educator. His contribution to Indian Education was so profound that Indians celebrate his birthday as Teachers’ Day.

He earned his post-graduate degree at the age of 21 and since then set off to fulfill his passion for teaching. An extremely humble and pragmatic educator, his education policies and methods. garnered him respect from peers

His philosophy for education was that it should not be the dogmatic book learning. Nor should it be of complex theorems that are unrelated to real life. He was a revolutionary teacher who also believed that if education does not lead a student to experience a spiritual awakening, it wasn’t that effective in teaching. Moreover, he worked towards educating students passionately, believing that it was essential for national integration and for increasing the productivity of the citizens of the country.

According to Dr. Radhakrishnan’s teaching philosophy, “the process of education should be able to create mental detachment and objectivity, which are the essential prerequisites of a well-balanced personality. The importance of education is not only in knowledge and skill, but it is to help us live with others….”   

Conclusion

These revolutionary teachers and educators have unequivocally changed the prevailing perceptions for education, bringing a revolution in their times and for the centuries to come ahead. While some of these revolutions may seem outdated, these teachers weren’t orthodox or traditionalists—the purpose of education has changed and evolved over time. Today, we need more revolutionary teachers like them to take the next step in the education sector.