A Paradigm Shift In The Education System
With the advent of knowledge and a revolution in technology, there has been a drastic change in Indian society. It is needless to say that,“change is pertinent,” resulting in a complete paradigm shift in the roles and responsibilities of family and school towards children.
The transformation of the Indian family system from joint families to nuclear families has totally altered the functioning and features of a typical family. There has been a tremendous change in the roles and responsibilities of each family member. With the spread of the nuclear family system where both the parents are breadwinners, an unwritten understanding has been established between the school and the parents that since children spend most of their time in school, the school has to take more responsibility for their upbringing than they had in the past.
Changing roles and responsibilities of schools
School, being one of the agents of socialization, plays a major role in a child’s life. Gone are the days when the primary role of a school was to transmit education. A child was sent to school to gain academic knowledge so as to get a job later. A family’s role was to focus on the child’s moral development. The roles and responsibilities of the family and the school were clear.
However, it is not the same anymore. Today, schools are not merely institutions where education is imparted. The transformation in schools has not only taken place in the school curriculum but also in the infrastructure and the whole functioning of the school system. This marks the birth of a new education system which is progressive, future-oriented and child-centric.
Schools need to prepare themselves to handle diverse roles and responsibilities that might come their way. To cope with such challenges school leaders must have a progressive mind with a futuristic approach to teaching and learning.
A classroom needs to be a laboratory for exploration and experimentation and not a factory producing students mechanically. Schools need to focus on developing skills and characters necessary for professional success as well as to be better human beings. Marks of students will no longer play a significant role in them getting a job. The emphasis will shift to the 21st century skills. To develop and whet these skills schools have to customize the curriculum to focus on the all-round development of the child. The syllabus should uplift the child emotionally, socially and morally.
Revamping the school as a whole
A hands-on practice curriculum can help a child to prepare himself/herself to face the real world and build a sense of creativity and critical thinking which will enable him/her to think out of the box. By giving opportunities and environments that allow students to be curious seekers of new knowledge, we encourage them to exercise their creativity. In the process, when a child is exposed to new challenges and problems, his/her problem solving and analytical skills develop automatically.
A balanced schooling is the highlight of this new era in the education system whose main aim is to create confident and responsible individuals through a combination of academic and co-curricular activities. This, in turn, leads to the child’s personality development.
A course which includes a merger of Life skills and Cross-curriculum cum Thematic Learning can always help a child to be more interactive and active at all times in the class. Along with this, special care should be taken to create a conducive atmosphere to make the child feel secure and comfortable in the process of gaining knowledge.
With so many advanced alterations in the school curriculum, it is obvious that a classroom is not the only place where students can gain knowledge. In fact, the role of a classroom is the bare minimum. Students learn more when they are exposed to the real world. Hence, through the newly modelled pedagogical approach, students are given an exposure to real life scenarios and situations which help them to prepare themselves better for the future.
A cross-cultural exposure or socio-cultural exchange for the students can be fitted to this teaching-learning approach. Such steps can develop students’ consciousness towards the society and societal issues by sensitizing them socially and culturally.
In this age of digital learning, it is pertinent that students develop the skills of computing. By introducing ICT or Information and Communication Technology in the new curriculum, students would be benefited and would become digital future citizens.
Role of an Educator
Along with classrooms, the role of an educator has also taken a different shape altogether to keep up with this new change. Teaching methods and methodology have altered the traditional teaching-learning experience. For those in the educational profession, this might seem to be a challenge but it is imperative to accept the change to deliver the best to the next generation. After all, change is the only constant. This change has brought in an important factor that plays a vital and indispensable part in the student-educator relationship. This major factor is bridging the gap in the educator-student relationship through the 7 C’s.
With the arrival of the digital world, the practice of communicating with one another has started to fade away. This has disconnected everyone, including children, from the real world and instead has guided them to the virtual one.
There is a need to appoint social workers and psychologists to build skills of leadership and also guide students during a moral or emotional breakdown. Building social consciousness and instilling compassion and empathy in students is a trending responsibility of schools as it is the need of the hour to sensitize the students towards societal issues.
The foundation of any relationship is the most vital factor for its longevity and security. In a student-educator relation too, this factor plays an equally important role. This base is only created when the communication between the two parties is clear and crisp.
Apart from being a pedagogue, he/she has to play multiple roles in the life of a student. A positive student-educator bonding can create effective outcomes where the student can have improved social and academic skills and the educator can have great work satisfaction. Bridging the gap with impactful communication can help students to express their emotions which they often hide within themselves, thus making students emotionally stable. There is teamwork/collaboration in such a relationship which often leads to the shaping of a healthier future as there is constant guidance from the educator. The educator is a motivator and plays a passive role. He/She is a facilitator who shows the path and lets the student decide and choose the way independently.
There are numerous instances that prove that a positive student-educator bonding can create greater classroom productivity. In 2015, a researcher by the name of John Hattie identified a number of influences related to effective learning and achievement. Some of these influences included teaching strategies, classroom discussion, classroom cohesion, educator expectation, educator immediacy, educator credibility and classroom behaviour. Establishing a positive and supportive classroom environment, combined with productive relationships between educators and their students, will provide a platform in which students are encouraged and motivated to grow both academically and personally. (Scots College)
Collaborating with other professionals in the school system
There is a need to appoint social workers and psychologists to build skills of leadership and also guide the students during a moral or emotional breakdown. Building social consciousness and instilling compassion and empathy in students is a trending responsibility of schools as it is the need of the hour to sensitize the students towards societal issues.
A cross-cultural exposure or socio-cultural exchange for the students can be fit to the teaching-learning approach. Such steps can develop students’ consciousness towards the society and societal issues by sensitizing them socially and culturally.
Compassion is the foundation of everything we do in character education. Without compassion, the traits of strong work ethic, a passion for knowledge and creativity, and even social skills can have a dangerous outcome in children. Therefore, involving such professionals in the educational system can cater to the comprehensive and healthy development of a child, making him/her socially active by developing a sense of voluntarily participating and working towards a peaceful society.
Appointing such professionals in the school can be very effective as they focus on the child as a whole. They work closely with the parents to facilitate their support in their child’s adjustment to school or any social or emotional issues related to their child. Apart from playing a major role in the child’s life, these professionals also assist the educators to make strategies for behavior modification of each individual student in need. In fact, professionals such as social workers and counsellors act as a link between the school and the student. The parents of children feel more comfortable when they are able to approach such professionals who have displayed personal care towards their child. Hence, including such professionals in the school system can undoubtedly prove as one of the most effective elements in the new age educational system.
Ashutosh Aggarwal, B.E.(Mech). Hons, is Founder & Secretary, Sanskriti The Gurukul, Guwahati; Co-Founder, The Atelier (www. the-atelier.org), Guwahati & Bangalore; and Jt.Secretary, Happy Child High school, Guwahati. He has been awarded the White Swan award by AsiaOne Magazine, as the Most Influential Leader in Education, 2015-16. He is passionate about bringing a change in the education system of the country. He is a dedicated Maths Educator and teaches classes X-XII. He is also the Charter President, The Toastmasters Club of Guwahati. He is an able leader and administrator and believes in the empowerment of the team. He believes in 7C’s in Education: Critical Thinking, Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Citizenship, Character Building & Compassion.
Born in Guwahati, exploring life has always been Ankita Das’ passion. Holding a dual Masters degree in English with Communication Studies from Christ University, Bangalore and MSW from St. Joseph’s College of Arts and Science, Bangalore, she always wanted to work with children to motivate and understand them. Hence, to fulfill this objective, she returned back to her hometown as an English and Life Skills educator. This has made her achieve the ultimate purpose of getting to know the psyche of children and teenagers. Apart from being passionate about teaching, she is a Toastmaster and a strong believer of constant self improvement. She is also a cycling enthusiast and a nature lover who find deep connection amidst nature.