From the desk of a psychologist!

Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Is learning only retaining?

With each passing day, I am getting more & more convinced that what we test is the merely the retention power of our students. Is that what real learning is?
To be honest we don’t know better. Stuck with the teaching skills of the 70s, we blindly follow.We claim that we are preparing students for the 21st century but refuse to equip ourselves for the same.

You would be shocked to know that instead of empowering our students, we are crippling them more. We try our best to make them the best learners but restrict them to become inadequate rote learners .

To understand this, lets first try to understand what is learning?

The most simple explanation is very well depicted through this diagram.

 

We have conveniently stopped ourselves in the first step of procuring. I strongly think the biggest hurdle, in our smooth movement to the next phase, is our own RESISTANCE. We are so comfortable in checking the procuring ability of our students that we refuse to change and move forward. We are failing to make learning meaningful.

I don’t think that our students are failing us, but it is we who aren’t able to make them understand their own potential & worth.Go ahead, challenge yourself…get out of your comfort zone. You have the power to make life long learners, making relevant transformations.

TIME TO CHANGE US!!!

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Indisciplined Demons

 

If we don’t shape our kids, they will be shaped by outside forces that don’t care what shape our kids are in. ~ Dr. Louise Hart

This lead to me reading and working on understanding discipline and annotating it in a positive aspect. Authors, Psychologists,Researchers have shared their profound knowledge & experience with us. They have provided us with various ways for positive discipline. It is definitely insightful and empowering, gearing up with these useful tools.

Parents & educators feel ready & groomed to take the plunge. They, equipped with their new found understanding  start implementing these strategies to the tee but most of the time their skills & efforts go in vain. The real change in behaviour is a far cry from the expected guaranteed one. Often blame goes to the expert but the simple reason is our naivety in not being conscious of the relevant protocol.

Read books with a plethora of strategies and ways to positively discipline your kids or students but realized a major ingredient of a successful recipe missing from the best there. You expect individuals to implement the strategies but what happens to the flavors they are bringing with them. There can’t be a blank sheet as we are human beings with our individualities, our strengths & our challenges.

How do we expect to implement the strategies with our subjectivity?

Our life’s journey fill us up with resentments, anger, grief apart from tons of other emotions. We carry the baggage. If we aren’t able to identify and deal with the things in our baggage, our perspectives will be colored. We will deal with our children with these shaded emotions making the questionable behaviour worse if not better.

I feel the sharing on discipline and behaviour modifications are great but for doing so one needs to deal with one’s demons first. One has to think, if I have my own insecurities, how am I going to be non judgmental in my approach which is the biggest pillar of positive disciplining. hqdefault

I would say learn, imbibe, implement but be aware of your own challenges otherwise your education is futile. Your angels & demons live inside you, choose to excel or fail. When there is no enemy within, the enemies outside cannot hurt you.

“We like Batman – we understand him, we suffer with him. On the other hand, we want to be Superman. But they’re conflicting philosophies. Let’s bring them together in one movie and see how we, as an audience, wrestle with our inner demons.”-Wolfgang Petersen

 

Its only the mould which breaks them!

Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You. – Dr. Seuss

I am a true believer of the uniqueness of each and every individual. We differ in a lot of ways from each other and this certainly affects our learning too. Some lessons work for us while some fail miserably, why is it so?  1for-a-fair-selection-everybody-has-to-take-the-same-exam_787144ec8906c416d5b842d5d9412257

I won’t give the whole credit to the instructor of the class but the power is in the hands of the learning environment. I am going to explore three learning environments, which according to me is instrumental in deciding the future of an individual learning outcome.

1. **A learning environment which encourages the right way of using multimedia**:
This environment provides educators with an opportunity to engage learners in an immerse and interactive environment that requires knowledge, decision making, and information management skills.

( http://www.educause.edu/eli/programs/learning-technologies)

The world is changing and how? Being in India, we are living with technology. I work in a school where we are preparing our kids to be successful in the next decade. We still have no clue what advancement in technology would be there by then but one thing we couldn’t deny is the growth of multimedia.

I have seen children who learn genuinely through games, simulations & virtual world. They are excellent in it and any given day could teach you skills you can use life long. But they aren’t learning the way we are teaching them. We become too instructional with something which is made to be explored & experimental.

I have seen special students doing fairly well and learning effectively when given the opportunity with multimedia.

My only, but not trivial concern, with this learning environment is the inability of children to stop and draw the line when requires. It still needs vigilant supervision.

2. **Learning through Nature :**

My next environment is just the opposite of the first one. I have never seen the happiness and contentment in learning than when students return from a field trip or external learning environment.

Play expert Stuart Brown ( 2009) provides compelling evidence that a ” play deficit” exists. It is sad but true and if you are blessed to be in an educational environment you can actually feel it.

The brain develops in a healthy way and it also enables creativity. The addition of fantasy also encourages students to role play and conquer their fears. The flip side actually emerges from here when it goes beyond learning and the child is unable to come back to reality and the practicality is lost.

3. **Sociocultural Learning environment:**

To meet the goal of “preparing people for an ever-changing world”, instructional programs need to apply strategies that focus on the development of critical thinking, problem solving, research, and lifelong learning.

Every day you learn something due to your individual, social & cultural factors. The best learning is when you recognize these factors and make full use of it while most of the time sadly it goes unnoticed. If properly used and made an aide to learning, it impacts our growth for life.

So, my whole point is wear the suit which suits you the best. No need to run after what works for the people or what is in these days.

Remember most of the time ““Its only the mould that breaks them!!!”

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