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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Facilitate a productive Parent-Teacher Meeting

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It’s evident that any parent would have a vested interest in knowing about the development of their child at all times. However, when it comes to schooling, there’s a significant gap every weekday during school hours, where the transparency of information related to this development is lacking. This mandates the need to set up a parent-teacher meeting so that the parents can be informed about the performance and progress of the child in his or her respective school.

However, the parent-teacher meeting can be so much more than just that. It’s not just the teacher’s opinion that matters – the input of parents is also vital to ensure that the overall development of the child is at optimal levels. The child’s comfort level, social life, and personal growth are all factors that can be positively affected through a mutually productive parent-teacher meeting.

So, how should one prepare to facilitate a productive parent-teacher meeting?

BEFORE THE MEETING:

  • Keep track of all the developments of the child from the ground-up. Pinpoint any specific issues that you feel need to be addressed, so that you can bring up these points of discussion during the meeting.
  • Talk candidly with your child about his school life. Doing so will allow you to understand their likes and dislikes in the classroom, what they learn about all day, how the teachers interact with them, and any other relevant information.

DURING THE MEETING:

  • If you want to facilitate a productive discussion in the first place, then the first thing to keep in mind is to be punctual. If you’re not willing to respect the teacher’s time, then how will you expect them to do the same?
  • Try and maintain a positive attitude at all times. Being argumentative is okay at times, but keeping the same approach during a parent-teacher meeting is not recommended in the slightest. Make notes, listen attentively, and understand the best way to augment the growth of your child.

AFTER THE MEETING:

  • If you’ve taken notes, then read up on them and reflect on what was told to you at the meeting. Keeping these pointers in mind will help you direct the growth of your child in an effective manner.
  • Talk with your child after the meeting and go over all the points that were covered. Praise them for their strengths and mutually figure out the course of action that can be taken to overcome their weaknesses.

Attending the parent-teacher meeting should be more than just a to-do on your list – it should be a productive meetup that will benefit the student, teacher, and the parent equally.

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.

Pearson invests in an education technology company to advance learning through affordable private schools

Global learning leader focuses on increasing access to quality affordable education in India.

New Delhi, May 20, 2014: Pearson, the World’s leading learning company, has announced a minority equity investment in Zaya Labs (www.zaya.in), the school service provider delivering high-quality blended learning experiences for schools serving students from low income families.

The investment was brokered by the Pearson Affordable Learning Fund (PALF)and it marks the fifth PALF investment and its first in an education technology company in India. The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund was set up in July 2012 to support early-stage high-quality education enterprises serving weaker socio-economic groups. The PALF’s investment in Zaya Labs will be utilized for continuous product development while continuing to demonstrate superior learning outcomes in classrooms.

Katelyn Donnelly, the managing director of PALF, commented,“Zaya Labs has demonstrated an unrivalled commitment to learner-centric product development, incorporating extensive teacher and student feedback into their product iterations. This is critical when working within the affordable segments of the Indian school market, where there are often infrastructure and connectivity challenges. This unerring focus on not just product quality but successful implementation is what differentiates them from other education technology companies in this sector.”

Incorporated in 2010, Zaya Labs has developed an affordable model using a blend of online and face-to-face teaching for better learning in schools. Unlike traditional classroom settings, where a teacher delivers core content to students, Zaya Labs operates a rotational model where students divide their time between content engagement via tablets, instructional time with a teacher and peer-to-peer group work. Students build their own learning pathway and move through content at their own pace, with regular assessments to ensure concept mastery. Time spent with the teacher is used to reinforce concepts and build additional skills, such as problem solving and teamwork.

Mr. Deepak Mehrotra, Managing Director, Pearson India commented, “At Pearson India we are committed to make education affordable, inclusive and accessible to all. We believe public private partnerships and effective use of technology are two milestones that will help achieve scale and quality learning outcomes. Our investment in an education technology institution like Zaya Labs is another step in this direction.”

Zaya Labs has packaged their solution in a LabKit, which includes all the components required to set up a Zaya blended learning lab in low-income school settings. This includes low-cost tablets, a projector, curated digital content and ClassCloud, an adaptive learning platform that can store and deliver digital content in both online and offline environments. Zaya Labs also provides additional assessment services and intensive training in schools on how to effectively utilize its blended learning solution. The company hopes to implement its affordable LabKit solution across low-income government and private schools in India.

In India Zaya Lab’s network includes one owned lab and eight schools using its solution in Maharashtra, as well as seven learning centres spread across the country. Zaya aims to increase its reach to 400 learning centres and 500 schools in next four years.

Neil D’Souza, Founder and Chief executive, Zaya Labs commented, “We are thrilled to announce our partnership with Pearson Affordable Learning Fund due to their deep education expertise and focus on driving solutions that improve learning outcomes for students. We believe that Zaya can bridge the educational attainment gap for learners at the bottom of the pyramid and look forward to working with PALF to establish our market presence in India and maximise our impact.”

Earlier in 2013, Pearson launched the ‘Edupreneurs’ programme in India. The scheme, which is a partnership between Pearson’s Affordable Learning Fund and Village Capital, supported the development of the two selected start-ups (Experifun and Sudiksha Knowledge Solutions), that are concerned with serving students at the Bottom of the Pyramid (BoP) in India. These two start-ups received $150,000 of guaranteed capital investment.

About Pearson

Pearson is the world’s leading learning company, with 40,000 employees in more than 80 countries working to help people of all ages to make measurable progress in their lives through learning. For more information, visit www.pearson.com

The Pearson Affordable Learning Fund was launched by Pearson in July 2012 with $15 million of capital. Its mandate is to invest in companies that can build quality, scalable education solutions to meet a growing demand for affordable educational services in the developing world.

Learn more at http://www.affordablelearningfund.com.