“A teacher is a compass that activates the magnets of curiosity, knowledge and wisdom”—-EVER GARRISON
The words of Ever Garrison, holds so true when it comes to what changes we need today in our education system and in our teachers, who are instrumental in moulding the destiny of the child. We need educators who can tickle the curiosity of knowledge in a child.
I wonder, why our education system still depends heavily on the old teaching methods/techniques of the 19th and the 20th-century, while imparting knowledge to the 21st-century generation of students. Why still the axis of our teaching is based on rote learning? Should the teachers not focus on creating a “new age genius”, rather than a student who is running breathlessly to fulfil the criteria of having high grades and fitting in the applause bracket of the parents and the society.
“Everyone is a genius, but if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”—-Albert Einstein.
Einstein, the greatest teacher of all times, so correctly beaded the whole idea of teaching, succinctly. With all sanity of reasonable thinking, why all the parents think that their child’s career should revolve around the 6-7 subjects that the standard curriculum of the education system has to offer. Why not knock the “Einstein” that is sleeping inside each child and mentor him/her to become a masterpiece of their own lives. The need of the hour is to focus on the fruitage of a more dynamic breed of youth, that is strong enough to survive and sail through the critical and demanding needs of today’s tech generation and the teachers can be extremely instrumental in achieving this.
A little, systematic and strategic shift in the way the teachers impart education can make a lot of difference in the overall development of the child.
For the ease of understanding I have divided my approach into two heads:
- Help the student to know their inherent aptitude, what comes naturally to them.
- Which new techniques the teachers should adopt in sharpening the mind of the student, in short to make learning an easy, happy task and not a war that each student is forced to fight.
HELP THE CHILD TO KNOW HIS APTITUDE
It is very important both, for the parents and the teachers to know and to understand the aptitude of the student. Every student of the class might not be a champ in mathematics or for that matter say in geography. The approach of the teachers should be in conducting such tests and in engaging the child in such projects that would help in assessing the aptitude of the child, which will not only help the student in choosing the best career option but also in knowing his heart’s desire and his area of competency. One such technique is conducting multiple intelligence tests.
Multiple intelligence test
Helps to know the aptitude of the student. Is he dominant, an influencer, steady or compliant? This will also help the teachers and the parents to know the easiest way a child understands.
Is it easy for him to understand by visuals, or by auditory or through Kinesthetic?
These tests are a strong factor in understanding the Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to the student?
In a nut shell, these tests will help him to know which stream would be the best for him, what would be his best career option.
NEW TEACHING TECHNIQUES TO BE ADOPTED
Say in a class of 50-60 students, the aim of the teachers should be that each student of the class should reach to the highest brilliance/potential of his talent. A reality check would easily show that out of these 50-60 students at least 20 students a disengaged, having low attention span and who fail miserably to understand the rote way of learning.
If these students are taught with the same Conservative old ways of teaching, it will not let the imagination, innovation and original thinking pattern develop in them, resulting in killing the curiosity of the student rather than creating one. The approach of the teacher should be to build alternate talents/ non-academic talents.
What are these alternate talents? These are alternate ways to impart learning. These talents make learning of a subject easy for the student. Some of them enumerated as follows:
Learning through Vedic Maths
Helps in speeding up calculations, which is turn would help the student in the entrance exams, where exams are to be completed in a given time.
Way to learn quick calculation
Speed writing and reading
This helps in balancing the right and the left brain of the student and also helps in developing the art of speed writing and reading.
Neurolistic programming (NLP)
Helps in programming the mind of the student to achieve the best desired result.
Teachers can conduct a short course every six months on this.
Memory Science Method
New way of memorizing things. Teach the student to learn a subject or a chapter by relating it to a story or something that interests him.
STEM ( science, technology, engineering and maths)
Made famous by Bill Gates, a stem course is one that focuses on the integrated disciplines of science, technology, engineering and maths through hands-on learning and projects rooted in real-world challenges, thus preparing students for the future job landscapes. In simple language the teachers should engage the student in giving or putting him in real life situations by giving projects, especially in science, maths, engineering and technology. This not only helps in grasping the subject easily but also it helps the student in understanding the technology behind a science, clearly.
This century, is the century of new trends, new ways, new focus and new ideas, so why not let the old ways of teaching hibernate and fresh ways of imparting knowledge be breathed in. It is time for the educators to upgrade themselves with the new ways of educating the students and help the society in the creating rainbow of “master pieces”. It’s time to brush up the old, to paint the new.
The above article has been contributed by Shilpi Chowdhary (M.A, LL.B, LL.M) who is a Lawyer by profession. The has a passion for writing. She strongly feels that schools should discard old methods of teaching. The current generation is much smarter and needs new techniques.