No schooling system in 21st century India should be about spoon-feeding and programming pre-fixed content as given in textbooks into children generally by making them memorize the same mindlessly for regurgitation in tests and examinations as verbatim as xerox machines to fetch high marks. Educationists have been saying this since the Nineties but things sadly have largely remained the same. How many schools actually motivate students to be autonomous learners who create their knowledge independently and stimulate the capacity for coping innovatively with all kinds of change?
Every school must facilitate the growth of skills, aptitudes and attitudes for learning how to learn throughout life – and that too from every aspect of the boundless multiplicity that constitutes Life and Creation. With the humongous transformation of the human universe, every person needs to develop as a deeply analytical lifelong learner and inherently creative problem-solver for success of any kind. Human beings assimilate most evocatively during their school-going years and every good school today must design its educational programme specifically to make the most proficient, purposeful and permanent learning happen.
As per research, human beings – even if differently abled – can learn and progress at their own pace and level. Also, every person has a unique style of learning to make distinctive sense of things. Learning is essential for gauging appropriately the processes of Life and Creation, the entire system of constructing knowledge creatively and the procedures of applying knowledge to life aptly. In order to achieve the most efficient learning that holds good for life, the process of learning must work upon the ‘whole person’ and engage fully all aspects of the learner – mind, body and spirit – and honour each student as an individual learner, recognise that each student has his or her own learning style, unique gifts, interests, aspirations and challenges to learning, and support each student to learn in his or her exclusive way.
Though the capacity for high levels of learning and achievement amongst school students can be profoundly enhanced through focused training for learning-to-learn skills, schools and teachers unfortunately tend to dismiss these as study skills to be acquired before entering the classroom. They hardly ensure that their students start with a clear understanding regarding their learning goals. Nor do they nurture among students the systematic growth of proficiencies to inquire competently into what they need to learn, to seek help from the right resources whenever required, to perceive the connections and patterns that meaningfully integrate whatever they learn, to have efficient strategies for managing their own time and resources for learning effectively. Learning-to-learn skills should be built into the context of subject matter taught in school. Students must learn using such skills and strategies in school itself to help them gain a deeper understanding of content, be better empowered to take risks in learning and be captivated by notions of constant improvement.