"Why do we have to study all this?" Those who engage with school students would have been confronted with this question several times. Sometimes, we attempt to logically explain to them the connections between different subjects. Other times, we will get to know it by and by.
Studying does overwhelm students at times. Many of them are able to stick to the task and keep aside the confusions. Many others just need to figure things out before they can motivate themselves to put their energies into the task.
Not just student motivation, connections to real life experiences and aspirations also are important for internalizing what one learns at school. In the absence of concrete experiences to relate with, the knowledge keeps slipping. Moreover, the learning is possibly not available when students are faced with real-life situations.
"Learning should no longer be restricted just to the classroom and students must venture outdoors to learn how to connect with their environment"
So what can be done to establish these connections early on? The school curricula should be programmed around experiential learning. In other words, students should be learning by doing and not by just reading the information.
I feel very strongly that we need to take advantage of every opportunity to develop "real" understanding not simply looking for rote methods for marks-oriented education, which offer nothing more than mundane practice of abstract ideas. Learning should no longer be restricted just to the classroom and students must venture outdoors to learn how to connect with their environment.
Children must become life-long learners and learn for the examination of life rather than only cramming for marks. In our school, we motivate the students to gain practical wisdom via EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING by connecting learning with the 'REAL WORLD EXPERIENCES' through a wide range of innovative teaching methods like Conceptual Activities, Experiments, Demonstrations, Study-projects, Audio-visual teaching methods, School-Cinema, Theatre-in-Education, Newspaper-in-education, Excursions, Camps, Workshops, Symposiums, Quiz sessions, Training Programmes, Aptitude tests, Olympiads, Learning by doing and many more.
The school programmes further facilitate problem-solving skills from early school years. School situations have quite a variety and closely resemble real-life situations of difficulty, confusion and conflict. When teachers and families help students come up with different solutions instead of telling them what to do, students learn to think about diverse possibilities.
Self-awareness of each student should be raised. Knowing one's strengths and weaknesses is a powerful tool for our interaction with the world. Each experience teaches us something about ourselves.
The first principle of true teach-ing is that 'nothing can be taught'. The teacher has to act as a facilitator to support the students and not to impose. He/she should train the students' mind on - how to perfect the instruments of knowledge and help and encourage them in the process.
One's own mind and desire must participate in one's own growth is the second principle which says that 'the mind has to be consulted in its own growth'. The idea of hammering the child into the shape desired by the parent or teacher is a barbarous and ignorant superstition. It is the student who must be induced to expand in accordance with his/her own nature. Everyone has in themselves something divine, something own, a chance of perfection and strength in however small a sphere, which God offers to give. The task is to find, develop and use it. The chief aim of education should be to help the growing soul to draw out that in itself, which is best and make it perfect for a noble use.
Learning cannot be enforced, Learning must happen, the third principle of education is to 'work from the near to far', from 'what is' to 'what shall be'. The basis of an individual's basic instinct or nature is almost always, her/his heredity, surroundings, immediate cultural climate, country and the soil from which he/ she draws sustenance. Thus, the learning must begin from there and the new learning must build itself upon that already exists. So, we must begin from 'inside'. Learning is a life-long-phenomenon and must be offered, made to flow within and not forced upon the mind.
Acharya has a rich teaching and administrative experience. She has contributed over 23 dedicated years to the teaching fraternity. She was also honored with THE BEST MATHS TEACHER AWARD by Arvinder Singh Lovely, the Minister of Education, Delhi, in the year 2006 for her incomparable contribution to the field of education. She has been the proud recipient of AWARD OF EXCELLENCE for the two consecutive years in recognition of her outstanding contribution in the field of education at the Shishak Samman 2013 and 2014.