#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.

Accepting New Methods of Learning & Teaching

The current education styles are mainly guided by the principle that passing a grade ensures complete learning of that level. A deeper introspection of what really fulfils the learning experience of a child is required. It is important to understand the nuances of the learning curve taken by each child. Any system that compels students to belong to a certain dominant lobby can suppress the spirit of innovation.

For students to evolve into skilled professionals of tomorrow, they need to be able to operate in a free atmosphere, exercise choices with a certain level of independence to shape their own lives. The idea is to look beyond the pass-fail binary. We don’t need just engineers, doctors and learners who attain the highest scores in an examination.

To put India truly on the global forefront, we need to nurture innovators, thinkers, philosophers, leaders and writers–to list a few–reflecting the diverse aspirations and dreams of a developing nation. For this, we need to establish newer ways of approaching education and reLauren_Rolwing_girl_reading_book_RGBdefine learning. MyPedia aims to implement these reforms, which are essential for smooth transitioning of students to skilled professionals of tomorrow.  

The first step to get closer to the vision of holistic learning is to embrace new methods of learning and teaching. It is important to familiarize teachers with newer concepts and different structures of delivering education.

Adopting an interdisciplinary approach will further substantiate classroom education and support holistic development of children as well as teachers. Introducing a framework of continuous assessments, regular and real-time feedback can drastically improve the performance of students and help them identify their interests early in life.

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Help Your Child Become A Better Questioner

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The human race is curious by nature; without the curiosity of certain human beings, we would still be stuck in the stone age. Curious minds urge people to question the why, what, how, and when of things. Asking questions opens-up a vast matrix of information floating around to dig upon and comprehend.

Students–the younger ones, especially–are the most curious of all the human beings. Students who are curious and ask questions are the ones who seriously seek answers too. It is no hidden fact that asking questions is an indispensable tool. Questioning can help learn, explore and adapt to changes.

In our educational system, we often find that while answers are applauded and questions are seen as a sign of weakness. It’s therefore the parent’s and the teacher’s combined responsibility to provide a conducive environment for kids to ask questions.

There are several ways in which you can encourage your child to ask questions in the classroom and even outside it, here are some of them:

Provide A Safe Haven For Questioning

Asking questions can be scary for kids especially when most of the kids perceive questioning to be a weakness, or an ego issue in front of other classmates. Teachers must take the responsibility to change the game by designing an environment where asking question seems interesting and welcoming, and where curiosity is rewarded. Parents must do the same at home by treating the ability to question as a strength and not a weakness.

Make Questioning The New Cool

Kids at school are under the impression that it is “cool” to know everything or ignore it if they don’t. What if parents (and teachers like they do in Pearson Schools) take the responsibility to help kids understand that asking questions is the greatest sign of intellect? Give your children (and students) examples of Sir Isaac Newton or Alexander Fleming, who were the explorers, mavericks, rebels–and the coolest of the lot.

Questioning Can Be A Playful Activity

Kids enjoy learning things if it is learnt with an element of play involved. There are countless ways to inject a game element in the exercise of questioning, like converting answers into questions, making it an open-ended question, or a closed question. Designing questions with Why, What, and How, to  encourage students to tap into their questioning abilities making it a fun activity.

Make Questioning Challenging and Rewarding

Aim to create a path for the students to find a meaningful answer to every question without Googling it. The whole point is to make students spend some time thinking over questions, grappling with them, and coming up with a result after complete understanding–something that could lead to a well deserved reward!

Make Questioning A Habit

All the above mentioned activities are to create a lifelong habit to question and learn, and to pave a path to develop it into a behaviour. People who question are the ones who learn to observe things differently. Every parent must inculcate in their children the habit to question and then articulate.

What are some ways in which you inculcate the habit of questioning at home and/or classroom?

7 Study Hacks To Help Crack IIT-JEE

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Over 10,00,000 students take IIT-JEE each year, but only a small percentile make it. The most essential step in cracking any competitive examination is to believe that you have it in you to realize your dream. With this perspective, as you prepare for IIT-JEE means you’ve won half the battle.

Now, let’s find out how to win the other half:

  • Plan a study timetable. One of the challenges aspirants face is the problem of managing their time effectively. The best way to do this is to plan your study well in advance, and then to stick to the plan consistently. Pay judicious attention to the three subjects: Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics.
  • Start with the basics. Take special care in ensuring that all your basics are clear. Focus on topics you have trouble with, and be persistent in getting the basics cleared for the same.
  • Time yourself. This will help you be mindful of the time barrier. Every question that you attempt should be completed within the stipulated time.
  • Practice self-reliance and never leave a question half-solved. Don’t jump to the solutions section before trying to get the right answer yourself a few times. This will teach you self-reliance, and help you with any problems you might have in the basic understanding of the question and concepts.
  • Have a conceptual approach. While reading a question carefully before attempting is expected, it’s also important to look for the concept the question needs you to apply when attempting to solve it. This will help you understand the problem to be solved in a leveled and proper manner.
  • Avoid burning the midnight oil. Our minds are the freshest after we sleep, and studies have shown that we retain information better when we study after a good night’s sleep. Rise at 6 AM and sleep at 11 PM. This will keep your brain activity at maximum in the mornings, and will help you on the day that you take the exam.
  • Take 2 hours each day to do something you enjoy. Unwinding after long hours of studying is as important as regularity and consistency in preparation. Giving yourself time to relax with a hobby or sport of your choice will help you de-stress and avoid anxiety before the exam.

With these 7 steps, you’ll be better prepared to take the IIT-JEE exam. Do you have any personal favourite study hacks of your own? Share them with us in the comments. 🙂

10 Ways To Raise A Child With A Creative Mind

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As a parent it’s only natural to want your child to reach their full intellectual and creative potential. While doing well in academics will without a doubt give your child a huge advantage all their lives–what’s more important is that they derive lifelong joy from learning, exploration and natural curiosity.

Raising a child with a creative bent of mind can be both challenging and fun for young parents. The first step is to understand that creativity is more skill than inborn talent, and one that you can help your kids develop through the years.

Here’s how you can start:–

  • Find answers together. As your child grows older, they will ask questions that you might not necessarily have the answers to. Rather than guessing the answer, a better response is, “I don’t know” and add, “Let’s find the correct answer.” Then you could do some research with your child in order to find the answer.
  • Teach them how to cook. Cooking, and especially baking, is an incredibly creative process. Once your kids learn the basics–making cookies or frying an omelet–let them experiment. Don’t correct them beforehand unless they are endangering themselves, others or your kitchen. By experimenting and seeing what happens, they will learn a valuable creative process.
  • Encourage them to make mistakes and fail. If your child is afraid of failure and judgment, it will curb their creative thoughts. Tell them about the mistakes you’ve made recently, so they get the idea that it’s okay to mess up. Laughing at yourself when you do is a happiness habit that will take your child a long way.
  • Encourage them to participate in the arts and read for pleasure. Limit their TV and other screen time in order to make room for creative activities like acting out a play, reading fiction, learning to sketch, crafting knick-knacks for the house, designing their own clothes, etc.
  • Provide them with resources that will help in creative expression. You can start off with having a basic inventory of art supplies at home–blank papers, crayons, oil paints, fresh markers, glue sticks, etc.
  • Designate a space for them to use–their study table for crafting/painting or a corner in the family room for their Lego, where they are free to make their creative mess.
  • Provide them with unstructured playtime. Instead of telling your child what activity you want them to do, let them take the lead. Your child needs the “white canvas” time in their day where it’s completely up to them to CREATE the activity they want to do.
  • Take them outside! There’s no greater source of inspiration than the great outdoors. Cut out the computer/TV/video-gaming time, by taking your child to the park, the zoo, or a heritage site on the weekends. Encourage them to use their visit as inspiration for their next project–a short story, drawing, poetry or skit.
  • Don’t correct immediately. Ask why instead. If your child pronounces a word wrong or uses bad manners at a dinner party, don’t immediately correct them. Ask them “why do you think that?” or “why did you do that?” instead. You will teach them how to question things this way, which is important for a creative mind.
  • Get creative yourself! No one understands your child’s personality and interests better than you. So, don’t hold back when encouraging them or gently nudging them towards intellectual and creative pursuits that are best suited for them.

With these fun steps you can raise a child who’s intellectually creative, excited about learning and curious on every level–for the long haul. 🙂

Pearson India Wins At The Indian Education Awards 2015

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We’re excited to share some great news with you! Pearson India has won at the Indian Education Awards 2015 for the 2nd consecutive year at the glorious ceremony held at Vivanta by Taj in Delhi on June 10 and 11, 2015.

The awards conferred were in 3 categories, namely, Best Educational Use of Social Media, Best Education Webinar Series, and Best Vocational Training Institute of the Year. The awards were received at an event brimming with the nation’s best minds, intellectuals and entrepreneurs in the education sector.

Known as Asia’s biggest education show, the Indian Education Awards 2015 by Franchise India draw attention to best practices and promote innovation to capture consumer interest, and aid the growth of the Indian Education Sector.

The jury considers standards, ethics and best practices at the top of their agenda. Through positive recognition of those that lead the way, the Indian Education Awards are seen as the education industry’s top accolade. As India’s foremost publisher education segment, we at Pearson India, proud to receive this honour.

Click here to know more about the awards: <http://www.educationbiz.in/congress/award_winners.php>

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.