Pawan Kumar Gupta
An important objective of education is to make the student feel confident and good about herself. But in reality, this may not be the case as the system is focused on comparison. Both parents and the school unconsciously encourage comparison and evaluation of a student which takes a toll on the student’s self- confidence. Therefore the author argues that it is important to build an environment that does not encourage comparison or competitiveness of any kind if the child or the student has to feel good about being herself.
How can a school environment nurture in the students a sense of aesthetics and appreciation of beauty in all its forms? Schools can be happy and caring communities that recognize the importance of expressing emotions and learning through feelings. Through exposure to art, films, literature, music and performing arts which are normally not part of the curriculum, children have access to a rich world which can become part of their lives and help them gain an understanding of varied multisensory learning.
How can a school create its own culture? Culture can be built beginning from the students themselves. When they walk into school, they bring in their lives, their stories, their customs, beliefs, hopes and aspirations. Therefore a school should be able to absorb all the different cultures that students bring, in short, a school cannot refrain from engaging with multicultural beings. It has to be a collective growth— of teachers, students, principals, helpers, and everyone else from the school community.
Can a school have regular classes on culture? Can it be made a part of the school’s curriculum? Culture is shaped partly by our attitude and behaviours which we replicate from society. But most of this learning falls outside the curriculum. In this article which is the lead story in this issue, the author argues that there are many other things we learn along with geography, history or science or math. Students learn that not all people are equal, that some are rich, some are poor, some are capable, others struggle etc. But what they do not learn is self- awareness. It is this that must be taught to children.