Our Approach to Transform Education

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So far we have discussed various aspects of what about our current approach to education needs transformation, but we’ve said very little about how we wish to do something about this.

Here’s a list of some of the tenets of our approach to transform education:-

  1. Promote learning to learn — We must create independence in students early on, so that they are comfortable with taking initiative and operating independently in their lifelong journey of being a learner. We must remember that education is not about teaching. Education should be about initiating one into the lifelong quest of being an unbridled learner. Education is just the initial stages of one’s learning stages where a more advanced learner initiates them into the process of learning. With this outlook it must be noted that the most important thing that anyone can learn is how to learn. A new, transformed notion of education must place this among the central tenets of its objectives.
  2. Promote learning by doing — It must be noted that the human brain keeps getting better at doing whatever it is that it is made to do repeatedly. And so, if sitting in front of someone and taking notes and orders is all we do, then sitting in front of someone and take notes and orders is what we’ll ever be good at. We must shape education around the idea of helping individuals build their own models of the world and that is done best by helping them do things and get better at doing those things and consciously guide them in their process of developing their own mental models of the world through that process. Only if individuals exercise their volition and agency in doing something, they can have ownership over their understanding that arises out of the outcome. So education must be filled with activities and projects and student-led initiatives that lead to learning as a consequence of those actions.
  3. Promote autonomy for educators — One of the biggest changes that need to happen is to liberate educators who are held captive by a highly constricting system of regulations. Instead of teachers/educators being puppets of boards or school administration or other centralised institutions, which are often plagued by the the pressure to perform and generate measurable results, educators need to be given the requisite autonomy to ensure that they can focus on having the most optimal impact on their students. There must be a framework that allows them the necessary flexibility and innovation in instruction to ensure that their wisdom that is gathered from being at the ground level can come to full use with minimal collateral damage. This can only happen most efficiently when there is a direct relationship between the educators and the students, and the educators are individually held responsible for the efficacy of their methods.
  4. Promote portfolio-based assessment mechanism — One of the most agonising aspects of the current education model is the method used for assessment. Assessment is critical in measuring the usefulness and the impact of the educational experience that the student underwent. However, the current assessment practices are incapable of placing any weight on the creative self-expression of the student or their ability to take initiatives or their leadership or their ability to communicate effectively. Each of these are skills that are actually required to operate successfully in the world. And an optimal assessment mechanism must incentivise these skills. A public portfolio system would do this adequately and painlessly. The reason why portfolio-based assessment would take education in the right direction is that it will keep assessment open-ended, as in there will be no upper limits on how much effort a student can invest in their portfolio. The student can either do the bare minimum necessary to get by or invest significant amount of effort in doing something wonderful. And whatever they do, will fall on them as achievements or failure to achieve anything significant. This places the onus on the individual student to perform for the sake of their own interest and edges them to take initiative for the sake of their own benefit. And all their achievements are recorded and available for the world to see. It can make the investment of effort exciting!

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