Education in these uncertain times: need for a paradigm shift

Anindita Bhattacharya
Oh god is the virus raising its head again? Will I get a job tomorrow? Am I too fat? Will I pass the exam? What am I doing in life? Anxieties seem to be the order of the day – both real and imagined. Even everyday living seems like a herculean task. Under these circumstances what we need is a powerful weapon to help us deal with our problems, education can become that tool. Not only does education help us seek knowledge and gain information, but more importantly it can help us understand ourselves and give us the skills to live complete and full lives.

Covid-19: Tussle over fee structure clouds online schooling

Shawn Sebastian
A dominating aspect of online school education post-Covid-19 is the lingering conflict between parents and managements over the existing school fee structure and very often it is the teachers who are seen mediating among the stubborn stakeholders.

Waste management: It just takes a bit of will – and vision

Shipra Agarwal
Waste disposal and its management have become a humungous problem that cannot be ignored by anyone anymore. While some of us are still processing this fact, many schools across the country have got into action to tackle this problem. Children in these schools are doing such wonderful work with waste that they are changing the definition of what waste is.

A ride full of crests and troughs

Fiona Vaz
Time management is a strategy that we all are constantly learning and improvising. Sometimes we are able to stick to time and complete tasks, and sometimes we tend to procrastinate. In actuality however, the more time we have, the more we delay. The pandemic too has been a testing time for all of us, more so, teachers and students. For teachers, managing housework and teaching online has been a tough ride and for students, with a whole lot of distractions, staying focused can be hard. Teacher Plus spoke to a few teachers to find out how they are managing and how they are trying to stop students from procrastinating.

The continuing (r)evolution

Sheela Ramakrishnan
A close look at the history of education will tell us that amidst all the different thinkers, systems, ideas and practices that evolved over the decades, the one thing that remained constant is change. From a gurukul system of education to mass learning during the Industrial Revolution, to inclusive education in a cognizant society, to multiple intellingences in a society that celebrated differences and now self directed learning in a society sensitive to individual needs, education is constantly adapting to serve the needs of a dynamic society.

Education that enriches life

Disha Jain
How can the contents of a course be made relevant to students? Can education foster students’ choice and voice? By seeking knowledge from our surroundings, can learning be made pertinent? Ultimately, all learning must have some utility value so that students understand the relevance of what they are learning.

Choice and accountability

Yasmin Jayathirtha
As schools shut down amidst the heat of the pandemic and classes moved online, students and teachers became aware of a new reality–if learning was to be achieved, students would have to become more responsible, purposeful and disciplined. This awareness led to questions about choice, freedom, responsibility and integrity. Questions about how to let go of our students’ hands so that they can walk on their own, how to trust our students, how to break down the existing structure and build something new. Have these questions crossed your mind? Have you found any answers?

A new beginning

Anand Krishnaswamy
How will learning and education be in the coming days, especially against the backdrop of Covid 19? While imagining such a situation, the author questions some of the assumptions of the education structure. He asks: What if every child, every student is thoroughly capable of ascertaining what he or she wishes to learn, what if every child can extract learning from anything and everything he or she touches, sees or feels? What if a child can learn at various levels and all of that was acceptable? In trying to expand on these questions, he lists four facets of education of the future.

Reshaping education during the pandemic

Sanjhee Gianchandani
It seems like the ant and the elephant story playing out in real life. A microscopic virus has wrecked havoc in the lives of human beings worldwide. Like everything else, education systems across the globe have been disrupted. How are the various stakeholders in education coping with this crisis? Have we found ways to adapt? Is online education the solution to our problems? Are we listening to the voices of the digital have-nots? While the situation we are in is unprecedented and therefore scary, perhaps we should also look upon this as an opportunity to rethink what education should actually be like and work towards more permanent solutions that will help us withstand future crises.

When students’ voices take centre-stage

Fiona Vaz
Active Learning engages students in two ways – doing things and thinking about the things they are doing. In order to learn, students must do more than just listen. They need to read, write, discuss or be engaged in solving problems. But why do most schools and teachers resist adopting Active Learning methods in their classrooms? The reasons are many, ranging from a vast syllabus to class control and even time management. This month’s Cover stories explore the relevance of these methods and even highlight some strategies that can be adopted.