“The ‘A for Apple’ framework in which our education system is entrenched in (even in higher education), needs a strong wallop… Maybe we can start by not telling how and what to learn. By not teaching – the way it stands now.”
Let me start with a firsthand story.
Long ago, still a kid, I participated in a summer workshop on theatre. We were a group of may be 20 kids – 10-15 years old newbies to theatre. Our ‘Coach/Director’ was/is a very well-known theatre personality, started the workshop with a grand ‘let us do a play’ announcement.
Of course, we were good students, well entrenched in the way Indian education system works. We waited for her to identify a play, identify the roles and assign to each of us, and, decide how the play will be enacted. We waited very obediently.
Then she threw a googly. She said ‘So, who has a story of our play?’. We didn’t know what to say. We looked at each other silently – a definite outcome of obedience. Unfazed, she continued, ‘we need a story and that will be our story and our play’. We were there because ‘parents wanted us to’, ‘get out of the house’ or, ‘get a certificate’. This was something new! We were part of the story making and doing a play!!
Some one said, ‘there was this girl who sings well and one day loses her songs and her voice’. That was it. Imagination let loose. Ideas poured in. Conversations, arguments. Each one brought in new bit of the story. And then the structuring of the play. The roles were not assigned but collectively worked out who will do what. We figured out what kind of props the play needs. Our coach/director was an enabler and a participant in all this. There were no right or wrong. The story took different paths and finally took shape and was made into a play.
Of course, we had a successful show.
This is not a new thing. It has existed for a long time in various parts of the world and continues to exist. There are many examples in India as well. And in the formal education sector (the first 12 years), policy makers are trying to bring in changes. Frameworks such as Continuous and comprehensive evaluation, Experiential learning, Immersive learning and so on. But finally, when it gets implemented, it is still within the framework of standard ‘by rote’. Or, the structure is imported (IGCSE and the like) and is elitist and expensive in terms of availability.
This is not to say that the ‘DIY Learning’ example is the only way go. It is one part of a new way of thinking that Indian education system needs.
The ‘A for Apple’ framework in which our education system is entrenched in (even in higher education), needs a strong wallop.
Maybe we can start by not telling how and what to learn. By not teaching – the way it stands now.
Ajit is a farmer and also a consultant for IoT (Internet of Things) technology. Earlier, he spent time in the IT industry for a long time. Later, along with a couple of his friends, worked on talent transformation – role transformation and student-to-professional transformation.