#3: Teachers’ Perspective & The Challenges In The Path Towards Holistic Learning

As per Pearson Voice of Teacher Survey 2015 (an annual survey done by Pearson, the World’s leading learning company, that aims to voice the opinion of the teaching community in India), teachers seek changes to the traditional ways of teaching to adapt to the changing dynamics in the learning ecosystem:

–  57% teachers believe that students are not adequately prepared for employment.

–  There’s a collective call by teachers (75%) for industry collaborated curriculum restructuring.

– They urge for industrial training of teachers (44%) to impact employability of Indian students.

– Majority (66%) support technology adoption across levels; school teachers, specifically, consider installation of smart boards (77%) and bundled multimedia content (51%) as the key initiatives.

– Majority (52%) believe that India’s Education Assessment Framework lacks specific action points for teachers and parents to enable holistic education.

This clearly depicts that trainers, just like parents and students of today, are seeking progressive changes.

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The Challenges In The Path To Holistic Learning

According to a primary research done by Pearson that collated information from Indian schools on the basic challenges they faced in creating a holistic network for learning were as follows:

–   Lack of integrated tools inside the classroom which leads to reduction in the overall efficacy of the classroom teaching and learning.

–   Absence of an inter-disciplinary approach that helps builds stronger concepts and skills that last for life.

–     Learning tends to stop when the school gets over.

–     Parents are inquisitive to know what is happening inside the classrooms.

–     Assessment is still at a level of ‘Do more. Work hard.’

To tackle these challenges, with MyPedia, teachers are armed with a digital content & complete assessment/activity kit, so they can conduct activities smoothly, and measure the learning outcomes accurately.

Introducing Soul To The Experience of Learning

We are constantly learning and unlearning concepts in an environment where information access and knowledge are in abundance. In such a dynamic set-up, it is important that one is well-versed with the basic fundamentals of several disciplines. Across sectors, adaptability, critical reasoning and creativity are among some of the highly valued skills

The most pragmatic approach to develop these qualities in students is to catch them young and foster these skills at an early age in their classrooms. Integrating teaching tools into a scientific process of learning is one of the most effective ways to build strong and everlasting layers of skills and concepts in tender minds.

Famous Nobel-Prize and Oscar-winning Irish playwright, critic and socialist, George Bernard Shaw said:

My schooling not only failed to teach what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.

While Shaw pointed this out in 19th century, the state of affairs for education is so that millions would still relate to his story. Hence most academic experts would agree that going beyond strBen-Wiseman_brain_thumprint_arrows_RGBuctured curriculum and syllabus is need of the hour. Uncomplicated and personalised learning is the key to producing innovative thinkers of tomorrow.

It is imperative, therefore, that we embrace practices that help children break away from the monotony of rote learning. Integrated studies help children view concepts from the lens of multiple disciplines, understand and see them as they would be in real life and hence apply them adequately. This in-turn captures the interest of students as well as increases their engagement and productivity levels.

This approach also opens up windows of endless possibilities in the thought-process of a child, weaving layers of knowledge with a solid understanding of concepts. It also allows children to paint a realistic yet buoyant picture about the world and all that is there to it, without making the process a herculean task.

MyPedia is one such integrated learning tool, which is consistently working towards realising this goal and aims to transform the education delivery in schools.

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How Yoga Can Help Young Learners & Professionals Alike

Young woman silhouette practicing yoga on the sea beach at sunset.

Young woman silhouette practicing yoga on the sea beach at sunset.

Yoga is a practice, which offers a host of wonderful physical benefits that increase flexibility, core strength, and help maintain a healthier body. But Yoga also holds the power to transform our mind and spirit as much as it does our bodies.

There are a myriad of less visual effects of Yoga, which can help young learners and professionals in their education and field of work alike. Let’s take a look at some of them:

Boosts Focus

Yoga stimulates auditory processing and responsiveness, which leads to increased levels of concentration, focus and attention span. Learning to train your mind to focus aids clarity, productivity and efficiency in the learning and working process.

Expands Imagination and Creativity

Yoga boosts thinking and memory, and helps tackle problems with a fresh perspective by expanding imagination and creativity.

Builds Self-Esteem

Yoga provides building blocks to enhance self-esteem and self-confidence in young learners and working professional alike. The practice also helps learn team skills and enables social interaction.

Reduces Stress and Anxiety

Yoga calms and clears the mind by bringing it to the present moment instead of engaging with stressful thoughts of the day. It relieves tensions and can help overcome depression.

Develops Discipline and Self-Control

Discipline helps in character development and increases emotional intelligence. Self-control inspires respect for oneself and others. This can take young learners and working professionals a long way in excelling in their chosen fields.

Improves Sleeping Cycles

Yoga relaxes the body and promotes better sleeping patterns. Getting adequate sleep is  a vital part of a healthy lifestyle. It helps improve memory, sharpens attention and may even help you live longer!

Balances Energy

Whether you’re experiencing high or low energy, practicing Yoga helps balance your energy levels, bringing it to an equilibrium. Eating well, taking breaks, and managing your energy become a way to make a more significant effort in class and in office.

Increases Happiness

Yoga improves ability to be less reactive; more mindful of thoughts, words and actions. This is a skill, which can be especially beneficial when learned at a younger age. It supports a sense of universal connectedness and promotes an overall sense of well-being.

These are just a few of the reasons why students and professionals from all fields should embrace Yoga as a discipline. And what better day to start than International Yoga Day itself. 🙂

Staying Involved in Your Child’s Education

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Parents are a child’s lifelong teachers. While many parents may not have the time to be fully-involved in their child’s education, it’s imperative for them to be consistent about keeping communication channels open with their child and their child’s teacher. This will help them achieve an accurate picture of their child’s academic experience. Staying involved in your child’s education will enable you to support them effectively. Your involvement in their life is crucial to their social and educational development. These are some ways in which you can stay actively involved in your child’s education:

  • Have a conversation with them about their day at school and the homework they have received, every day. You should know your child’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
  • Designate a quiet, comfortable, and well-lit place with a study table and school supplies for your child.
  • Encourage them to develop a routine, which they feel responsible to follow. This will enable them to avoid distractions. Put away smartphones/tablets/laptops during study time.
  • While you should help them with their homework, doing it for them will slow down their learning. Instead, praise them for their efforts and help them clear any doubts, which they may have.
  • Create a small library in the house with books, magazines, and comics to encourage reading and learning from outside the prescribed syllabus.
  • Encourage your child to participate in before and after-school activities. This will help them stay involved outside of the school day.
  • Interact with their friends and their friends’ parents. Work towards developing parent groups and programs, or organizing play dates for the children.
  • Attend parent-teacher meetings, educational fairs and special meetings, whenever possible. At Pearson Schools, parents are methodically appraised of their child’s progress with the help of personal portfolios, while regular Open Houses allow them to directly interact with teachers.
  • Show your support by attending annual days and sporting events. Volunteering at your child’s school may also help you actively participate in their life at school.
  • Make an appointment with your child’s class teacher whenever you feel necessary to discuss their progress. Pearson Schools record every student’s efforts, progress and achievements in individual portfolios, integral to assessing their academic journey. They can help you set achievable goals for your child.
  • Class teachers must always be informed about any significant changes in your child’s life, such as a death in the family, a new sibling or the divorce/separation of the parents. This will help them give your child special attention, if needed.
  • Emphasise on the importance of school rules and expectations at home. Read school newsletters, follow the Pearson School’s Facebook Page, or visit the school website to keep up-to-date about what’s happening at school.

Staying involved in your child’s learning will help you enhance your child’s academic progress. You can also talk to friends or counsellors for any extra help with your child. Consequently, you will be able to create a safe, positive and nurturing environment for you child, both at school and home. 🙂 Follow our Facebook Page for more schools and parenting tips to help your child learn better.

Enhancing Your Child’s Learning With Technology

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Technology has become of paramount importance in today’s fast moving world. Parents have also come to understand that technology has become an integral part of their child’s education and it’s their responsibility to  take a comprehensive approach to education by incorporating it seamlessly into the learning process of their child.

Learning methods have evolved considerably in the past decade. Now children have multitude of ways to enhance their learning experiences with the use of the internet or gadgets and have fun at the same time.

Children these days are usually exposed to electronics at younger and younger ages. By their teens, most kids have been fully engaged in the digital world for a long time. There is no clear rule on when a child is ready for his own laptop, cellphone, or tablet.

You could start by giving your child his own account on the shared family computer. They need to show you that they are responsible before you get them their own gadgets. You can install parenting control apps on the family computer or block certain websites.

It is important to explore your child’s curiosity and show them that technology can be used for practical learning. Here are some tips that will help them combine their digital skills and real-world learning:

 

  • Make a set of rules that that he has to follow to keep him safe when he’s online. For e.g. he should only interact with people he knows.
  • Involve your child in the shopping process when you think they are ready for their own PC or phone so they learn about the specifications of the device. Make sure they read all the reviews of the product and compare it to others.
  • Don’t buy a very expensive phone or laptopimmediately. Start with a basic model and ask them to show you that they can take care of it.
  • Encourage them to watch educational videosor read blogs about innovations in technology.
  • Teach them how to take videos. They can record their friends or family members and edit the videos.
  • Ask your child to create and print posters or greeting cards using design software.
  • Photography is a fun hobby. Teach them how to use a DSLR.
  • Ask your child to help you create a database for weekly household expenses or your recipes.
  • Have them research online on a place to visit for the next family vacation.
  • Find a fun, educational website that helpswith homework and lets your child play games.
  • Download dictionary and vocabulary builder apps for your child.
  • Learning a new language has become so much easier with websites providing audio and video content.
  • Ask them to use online tools to make their projects more attractive.
  • They can create art online and share it on websites like Pinterest.
  • Making a new website has become so much easier now. Help them start one with their name which they can update it every week. They can upload all their work or add things they are interested in.

Raising tech-savvy kids is important if they want to keep up with the competition. Technology can be fun and a very useful tool to score better grades.

Children, now, have access to much more information than what their parents did when they were young. Let them explore the internet and you’ll be surprised at what they can achieve.

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Why Learning is the First Step to Achieving Anything

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It’s often said that knowledge is power, but in today’s world it has become a necessity.

In every economy across the globe, knowledge has become the most valuable commodity. People will get the best jobs if they are well educated no matter where they live or what they do. Every country is working towards developing their human resource and the foremost way to do that is by educating their population. It’s well understood that a flourishing career is more often backed by a rock-solid education. Our will to do well and make a name for ourselves is what makes us successful in life.

Now, let’s answer the question of why learning is a necessity:

  • Learning is needed for many things, but most importantly, it gives an individual the power to think rationally, question, reason, and see beyond what’s in front of them.
  • Humans are naturally curious and learning satisfies this curiosity.
  • Learning has broadened our horizon and has given us a better understanding of the world. It provides the base for a civilized and structured society that the world needs.
  • Education is the only thing that can reduce social and economic disparity, and allow real progress to happen. For developing countries, education is a means to alleviate poverty and achieve social change. Education is the first step to bring ourselves out of ignorance, poverty, oppression, and war.
  • Ignorance can also prove to be dangerous when it comes to our health. People need education on preventive methods that protect them from diseases. Educated people are more aware of the symptoms and take better care of themselves and their family.
  • Studies have shown that educated people have live longer because they tend to lead a healthier lifestyle. They understand the importance of making healthy choices for themselves.
  • Education makes us confident. Our lives can be better planned, and find a more definitive direction. It also improves our problem-solving skills and equips us to handle everyday decisions.
  • Education and learning are one of the main reasons for technical advancements in Science and Technology. It also helps us keep up with the latest technology.
  • Educated people contribute positively and constructively to society, and even towards the environment. They understand the consequences of their choices and actions better.
  • Studies show that children of educated parents have higher cognitive abilities as compared to children of uneducated parents.

History has, time and again, shown us that education has helped societies grow. Our lives are very different from what they were thousands of years ago. To realize the need for education we must study our past generations. It is important to understand the needs of the society and constantly strive to improve the education system for the future generations.

The sole purpose of learning is to empower our minds and soul, and to achieve the full potential of the human brain. Learning is very important, and is supported by imaginative thought. Learning makes us who we are. It helps us think, solve problems and come up with new ideas.

How Can Healthy Sleep Patterns Improve Your Child’s Learning

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A good night’s sleep is very important for all children. It helps your child stay healthy, happy, calm and ready for school or any other activity the next day. Getting ample rest is critical for brain development and it directly influences everyday functioning, performance in school, etc.

Good habits and a set routine will help children feel sleepy and ready for bed at the right time. A well rested child is likely to concentrate more in class and get better grades. It is very important for school going children to get a minimum of eight hours of sleep every day. Studies have shown that sleep is directly proportional to better grades. Children have shown signs of improvement in subjects like maths and science if they sleep on time at night.

Children suffer from restlessness, nightmares and disturbed sleep. Work towards getting your child relaxed before bedtime to reduce the chances of bad dreams and nightmares. In some cases, children may experience severe problems with sleep. Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) find it extremely difficult to sleep on time.

Follow these steps to help your child maintain healthy sleeping patterns:

  1. Make sure your child sleeps early. He needs about 10 – 11 hours of sleep every night. Children are usually tired after school or play time or homework and their bedtime can be early.
  2. Maintain a bedtime routine to help them wind down. Get them ready for bed at the same time daily, and do not disrupt this routine. An hour before sleeping make them turn the television off or pause all computer games and engage in quiet activities.
  3. Reading to your child is a lot of fun. Make them read to you when they grow older.
  4. Talk to them calmly about their day so they sleep stress-free.
  5. Wake them up at the same time daily. Even during holidays.
  6. Most children have frequent nightmares. When it happens, go to your child as soon as possible. Reassure your child that nothing will happen. Talk calmly and gently and stay with them till they fall asleep again. If your child has woken up scared you might have to distract them with another activity or make them imagine an alternative to the nightmare.
  7. Talk to your child about his routine. See if something is bothering him/her that could be causing the nightmares.
  8. Make sure your child gets enough exercise. This is very important for his general health as well.
  9. They should listen to relaxing music to help them wind down. Remove all noisy things from your child’s room, and ensure there are no loud sounds when they sleep.
  10. If your child continues to have disturbed sleep speak to a health professional or a children’s counsellor.

As the saying goes “Early to bed, early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”  A good night’s sleep will keep your child healthy, active and happy throughout the day. Learning is made easy if the child is well rested, and he has a happier and more fruitful day in school. Remember to follow these steps and your child will wake up fresh and ready for action every day. 🙂

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