You get to redesign school as we know it from the ground up. Will you do away with reading, writing, and arithmetic? What skills and knowledge will your school focus on imparting to young minds?
I Love This Prompt!
What a beautiful prompt this is! I heartily thank The Daily Post for it. Education is something very dear to me. I come from a family of teachers. I am not an educator in the strictest sense but I feel I have a great interest in education. I feel young minds can be shaped by early education very easily. Even grown-ups can be shaped for better and this, in turn, can create a much better society and world at large. The power of education is beyond our wildest imaginations. It is the greatest transformative power!
The Socratic Method!
Win Wenger is a pioneer in the field of education. His book The Einstein Factor which he co-authored with Richard Poe, had a great role in shaping my thinking. I started communicating with him via mails in 2008 and he has consistently been very supportive and encouraging of my efforts in the field of education by his counselling and most precious feedback.
The main focus of his work is on Socratic Method. The Socratic Method believes that all knowledge is inside each one of us and we have to just draw it out. Unlike the conventional education system which intends to write on the psyches of students which it considers blank slates(tabula rasa,) this method suggests that we can easily turn every one of us in our optimum selves. Each one of us is a genius! By using this method, ancient Greece produced greatest number of geniuses within a very short span of time and inside a very small population. That renaissance marks a very distinct period in the history of western education, art and philosophy. Socrates had a great role to play in shaping that culture, therefore the method is known as Socratic Dialogue.
Indian and Chinese sages were also using the similar methods, albeit for an inner renaissance, many thousand years prior to Greek renaissance. I will not suggest that this current travelled from east to west and took an extraverted mode, but their nature were similar. Methods used by sages in India and China also dwelled on realizing the truth, wisdom and light which is inside us. All scriptures, texts and instructions are merely to make your energy turn inward. Rest happens inside you. You find all knowledge by getting in touch with the source of life.
I feel modern pioneers like Win Wenger, Maria Montessori, Santiago Ramon Y J Cajal and Catherine M. Cox. have done amazing work to transform our education system. Win Wenger’s new book 3 Easy Tactics has produced record-breaking gains in classroom learning. I feel the new school should be more fun! There should be maieutics method in the core of its learning.
There is a great need to have enlightened teachers. Unless our teachers are not enlightened, students can never become enlightened as a whole. A student or two, out of hundreds upon hundreds might be a great thinker, despite all what our education system does to kill the flame of curiosity and life. But if we want a renaissance, where everyone is an enlightened genius–we need a great transformation.
Enlightened Masters, Enlightened Pupils!
All teachers should be enlightened. How will this happen? They all should involve in the Socratic Dialogue and Group-Thinking. They all should brain-storm together. All of them should be calm, relaxed and composed. Unless our teachers are free from clutters of running to earn and compete, they can’t be good teachers. They should be at ease with themselves, only then can they make others at ease. Our teachers should not be burnt-out because of their problems at home and they must not throw the garbage they bring from homes onto their students.
Reduce The Weight Spare The Kids!
In the new school, learning should be fun. It should never be a rut and rat race to get some mark sheets at the end of the year, where most of us forget what we learnt by rote two months ago merely for passing the exams. Young children who are barely 40 Kgs in weight should not run the whole day with 10 Kgs bag on their back, the whole day, from school to coaching classes. There must not be the throat-cut competition. The games and competition are a must for learning and growth but they must be healthy. Students should not be discouraged and condemned if they get bad grades. They should not be exalted too much and made into heroes if they get great grades. There should be a balance so that all students feel they belong to a great community. They should walk hand-in-hand. The school should be a lovely home. Every student should love to attend school everyday and they should not hate their teachers.