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Jan 06, 2006

Comments

A wonderful article on how school education should be with the changing times..and espicially in India. As India is growin in IT sector, there is also a need for arising ourselves in the school education.

Ivan Illich also talks about deconstructing schools in his book "Deschooling Society"-A revolutionary works of his times.

I have a 3+ yr. old son, Elroy Jordan [EJ]. Being the first born of parents [and a family] that is steeped up to their noses in the field of conventional education, we set out to look for a near perfect balance of starting early AND a natural individual learning plan for him. EJ is a very smart kid [and I'm not just saying it because he is my son – that too is so clichéd] we thought it best to involve him also in the decision of how he would want to educate himself. After having done the rounds of the million [actually only 7] international schools in the city and another billion [again 20+ really] conventional nurseries/ playgroups we realized that almost each one of them portrayed themselves as having a contemporary and radically new yet natural approach to education. However all of them ended up being even less conducive for children to grow their appetite for learning than the conventional Indian classroom model.

Cutting to the chase, EJ seemed excited about going to one of the international schools that had a great outdoor playground with every possible plaything that would help EJ grow strong physically and we were impressed when the principal of that school gave us a tour of the 4yr olds classroom and the kids recited numbers 1-10 in German and French!!! Eins, Zwei, Drei… We were like WHOA!!!

However, later that evening after the marketing blitz faded away we realized it still was “learning by rote”.

Needless to say the balanced education environment still remains a utopia in terms of schooling for EJ. We finally settled for a very enthusiastic lady entrepreneur who has given EJ the power to think beyond the conventional. We found her setup in the small shop in a market place a very interesting learning environment where the kids play in the space off the road right in front of the shop and learn under the trees at the side of the road. Safety was a concern at first then we realized the layout was very unique and no kid could really run-off right onto the road.

Here is one of the manifestations of all the discussions we engage in http://www.pbs.org/frontlineworld/stories/india/thestory.html. I had hoped to see something of this kind in the international schools at least; if not the conventional convents. I do wish that we can realize/translate the benefits of “learning by doing” and CMA [Critical Mistakes Analysis]sooner than later at the school level too.

Agree to what Jon refers here. However, (in brief) I must reiterate that education for K-12 is going through a transformation phase already. (And this is India Im refering to) Kids are taught much more in practical circumstamces than pouring Bookish down their tiny brains. Learning by Doing is IN. But not outright. You kiddn me, 40% drop-out rate. Literacy just about 50%. Thats India. Technology is developed and not Used here as yet. We got customers in US who pays for it.

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