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Sunday, March 5, 2017

LEARNING TO LEARN


Dr. Anju Mehrotra
Principal
Kalka Public School


The world has become so small that it fits into our palm. For a technology savvy generation on the move, smartphones and tablets are the most intimate companions. Touch the screen and answers pop-up. The digital gadget in their hand is a friend, counselor, guide and teacher, apart from being what it has been originally made for. There is an application for almost every requirement that can make life easier, funnier, smarter and even healthier. In this scenario, the process of learning to learn is all the more challenging.

Learning is a continuous process grounded in the personal experiences of the learner. It is actually a holistic process of adaptation to the world. Each child is born with the innate capacity to learn and create. But the problem is that children tend to lose this capacity with time and the major reason is the current fragmented system of education. The purpose of education is not only to develop the required knowledge competencies and skills in children but to develop the fundamental capacity and mind set of creation and possibilities.

Dear Children, your dreams are our inspiration and your destination is our goal. The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence. We firmly believe that young children are like tiny saplings who can be properly nurtured only if their roots are strengthened through an all encompassing education. Aristotle has said, “we are, what we repeatedly do”. Excellence therefore is not an act but a habit. Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinary well. Excellence is an ethic — the ethic of striving for perfection through continuous improvements and rework. As Ron Berger puts it in his book “Ethics of Excellence”, “If you are going to do something, I believe, you should do it well. You should do it well. You should sweat over it and make sure it is strong and accurate and beautiful and you should be proud of it” . This is excellence – that includes excellence in Thought , Spirit and Character.

I firmly believe that school and parents are partners in the education of the child. It is our responsibility to impart good values to the future generation of this nation. From a very young age children should be exposed to an environment that is rich in values like compassion, honesty, sincerity, respect towards elders, concern for the environment, empathy towards under privileged sections of the society so that they imbibe them easily. This process is a surtle process that can not be thrust upon the child, as values are caught and not taught.

An educator is the relentless architect of possibilities. We, as educators need to nurture those who enjoy working with hands and not force them to learn by rote. An honest analysis and goals need to be redefined to set the ball rolling. Dear children, your world is a creation of your own mind. You need to understand the process in which the intensions become an action. Check the raw material supplied to the mind and ensure that nothing is in short supply. Important is ”Thought’ between Intension and Action. Thought process is the basis of all your emotions, desires and sensations. Personality is developed by sanskars. The mind, intellect and sanskars function together in a cyclic pattern which determines your behavior.

Learning is a process whereby knowledge and understanding is derived from and continuously modified by the experiences that a learner goes through. To learn is not the special province of a single specialized realm of human functioning such as cognition or perception. It involves the integrated functioning of the total human being i.e. Thinking, Feeling, Perceiving & Acting. Real work in education is to keep the curiosity alive in children and for that children need to be closely connected and engaged with the real world. This empowers the children to effectively understand the local dynamics and work for betterment. Children have to apply knowledge from various disciplines to solve real life problems. They should be exposed to certain real life situations to integrate knowledge and understand in a very organic way.

There should be a clear relationship between work and life itself. What we do in life and especially how we do it determines our character. This relationship with “doing” builds and shapes the character and the productive capacities of children. Children prefer to learn from and with each other. They need enabling, caring and safe environment to learn – an environment where they can make mistakes, where failures are considered as learning opportunities and there is no fear of judgment. When this hi-tech generation learn in teams & groups, they understand the value of interdependence and respect for each other which lays the foundation for future peace and sustainability in the society at large.

The real world is a mixture of many such things that leave us troubled or ill at ease. We cannot expect a utopian world where everything is perfect. The challenge lies in learning to deal with the imperfections of this world and gradually leaving our mark on others. Therefore, let us all work creating sensitive and strong individuals out of our children who will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Thanks for your VISITs

 
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