Friday, August 19, 2011

Transcending Generations in Education

all together

Dileep Ranjekar gives an example of a four-year-old child telling him that she loved her school, her teacher, her mother, and her grandmother but did not like it when her grandmother told her bed-time stories! After some interaction, the girl said “When she tells me the stories, I go to sleep. But she wakes me up and asks me — the moral of the story!”

Via The Hindu
I also began to think about several misconceptions that elders have about issues related to the next generations.

The children are not even at a stage to understand the “moral” of the story. They may understand it cumulatively through several stories — which would be sunk in several layers of their understanding, only to emerge later. Or their moral of the story would be different than what we understand it to be. What about the pure enjoyment of the story by itself? What about several other uses of the story — such as understanding the language, relating to the characters, imagining the ethos, the feelings, and so on?

As in many spheres of life, one of the biggest challenges in the educational system is that we have a first generation of leaders and educators that decide the education policy, the second generation of teachers that are responsible for facilitating education for the children who belong to a third generation.

Therefore, what is likely to work with them is not position, age, seniority, power and experience, but strategies that promote equality, democracy, placing before them hard data for them to analyse and infer, and where required, allowing them to take charge of their own learning.

The first step towards making this happen is to completely overhaul the teacher education agenda.

The second big requirement is to develop excellent “Teacher Educators” who have such an understanding — since the teacher educators are even more far removed from the current generation of children and hence add to the list of challenges.

The third important step is to find a method to educate parents to accept the fact that their children are bound to respond differently to situations than what the parents did when they were children.

The fourth requirement is to sensitise the educational functionaries outside the schools to appreciate the need to transcend generations, while determining and understanding the needs of the schools, the school administration and the education system.
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : Shreyans Bhansali

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