#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.

How to Help Your School Going Children Overcome Bullying

How to Help Your School Going Children Overcome Bullying

Bullying is one of the most prevalent social evils, and it leaves a lasting impact on the victims, especially children. In most cases, kids say that bullying takes place in school. Most cases bullying happens in school, tuitions, online or on the playground. Most of the time bullying is verbal, but sometimes it may lead to someone getting seriously hurt. If your child is being bullied, you need to find a way to put an end to it as soon as possible. There are many ways in which bullying takes place like teasing, hitting, cyber-bullying or mean gossip. It’s important to discuss bullying with your child so they are prepared if it ever happens. Let them know that they can come to you with their problems.

Identify Bullying

Being teased by a sibling or friends is not bullying, but games children play for fun. It’s not harmful if done playfully, and in a friendly and mutual way. It usually ends with both children laughing and forgetting about it very soon. When the teasing crosses a line and becomes hurtful and unkind, it turns into bullying, and needs to stop immediately. Bullying is intentionally hurting someone. It can be physical, verbal, or even psychological. Bullying needs to be taken seriously and not brushed aside as something children should deal with on their own. It’s known to have a serious effect on a child’s sense of security and self-worth. Name-calling, pushing, hitting, teasing, and, taking a child’s money are all acts of bullying. Children who are bullied are often ignored or shunned by other classmates as well.

Cyber Bullying

With the dawn of the Internet Age, bullying has moved into cyberspace now. Cyber bullying can happen anywhere, at home, email, via text, and social media websites throughout the day. For the victims, the effects can be lasting and devastating, leaving them feeling hurt, angry, humiliated, or depressed. Bullies target young, vulnerable children and taunt them to hurt their feelings. A lot of times this is done using anonymous profiles. These tips can help protect your child from cyber bullies:

  1. The first step would be that the parents should learn about the Internet and be abreast of social media & it’s use.
  2. Almost all websites have an minimum age requirement. Parents should pay special attention to this. Install parental control filtering software, it’s just as important for you to monitor your child’s computer.
  3. Talk to your child about cyber bullying and tell them it is harmful and unacceptable. Ask them not to reply to the bully and to come to you if any stranger contacts them online or if one of their friends is being rude.
  4. Ask them not to say anything online that they wouldn’t say to a person’s face.
  5. Ask them to save the evidence of the cyber bullying. Keep all the abusive texts or take a screenshot of the page, and report it to the school, parents or, the concerned authorities.
  6. Prevent any communication with the cyber bully. Block their email address, phone number, and delete them from all social media. Talk to them about appropriate internet behavior.
  7. You can even report them to their internet service provider (ISP) or to the websites they are using to bully.

Helping Your Child Cope

  1. Don’t let them blame themselves. Tell them it’s not their fault, and no matter what a bully says or does, they should not be ashamed of who they are.
  2. Help them look at bullies from a different perspective. Say the bullies are unhappy and frustrated people who want to feel good by hurting you.
  3. Tell them not to think about what the bully says or does.
  4. Ask them to talk to an adult they trust about bullies.
  5. Boost their self-confidence. Play games, exercise, crack jokes with your children.
  6. Let them focus on their hobbies or do things they enjoy to help them get over what the bully said to them.

Bullying can have a lasting effect on your child so don’t let it slide. No parent wants to see their child being bullied or being a bully, but a lot of children are involved – either as a perpetrator, victim or witness. Young children are particularly vulnerable. Work with your child and his teacher if your child is being bullied till the problem stops.

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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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Teaching Your Child The Importance of Sharing

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Children have a difficult time sharing their things, especially when they are young. Learning how to share is a very important part of the growing process. Children need to learn how good it feels to give and that it’s fun to share with friends and family.

Don’t scold your child if they don’t immediately know that they need to share. Children have a tendency to get attached to things and people. Teaching them to share can be a difficult task, and it requires a lot of patience. You need to try and understand why your child might not want to share and take it from there.

Here are a few tips to help your child learn the importance of sharing:

1. Don’t force a child to share: To you the toys don’t mean much, but to a child they are his prized possessions. Instead of insisting that they share all their things try and create an environment that encourages your child to share.

2. Take them or invite their friends for play dates: Let them plan ahead and choose some of their favorite things to share before the other children arrive.

3. Teach them how to take turns: Tell them that they can play with a toy for a while, but they will have to give it to someone else after some time. Take the children to a park with swings.

4. Be firm with them: Tell them that they will not get what they want if they don’t learn how to share.

5. Sharing requires empathy: Children find it difficult to show true empathy under the age of six. So don’t be harsh if they do not learn immediately. Be kind and generous yourself, and the child will eventually learn.

6. There are some things the child will never want to share: There is always a blanket or a toy that a child is extremely attached to. Don’t expect them to share that.

7. Let them learn themselves: If a child is does not share his things with other children or grabs a lot then children won’t want to play with him. He will automatically start sharing so he can make friends.

8. Play games: Incorporate rules that require the child to share or take turns when playing with them. Children remember what they have learned through play than what they learn through lectures.

9. Teach by example: When you are giving something to someone make it a teachable moment. For e.g. While returning something to your partner say “Mom is sharing this with dad.” or “Look, dad and mom are sharing this popcorn while we watch a movie.”

10. Be the bystander: Sometimes what they learn on their own has a more lasting impact than what you try to teach them. Give children space to work it out amongst themselves. Don’t go running to stop every fight your child gets into.

A child gives as he is given to. Teach your child to communicate his needs to his friends. If the child is fighting with his sibling, don’t take sides. Just take away the thing causing the argument so no one wins. The child may sulk at first, but will forget about it soon.

Learn to respect the attachment the child has with his things. At the same time teach them that sharing is very important. Show them how happy the other person becomes when they share. They will start sharing just to see a smile on the other person’s face. 🙂

How To Make A Career In Market Research

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Research has always been an integral part of Marketing-it helps companies stay competitive and avoid the high costs of poor decisions based on unsound information.

There are many different roles that you can assume within the field of Market Research. To secure a job, you must have knowledge or experience in the field, and know how to demonstrate that knowledge to employers. As a market researcher, you gather information about the competition or the market and then analyze it to find the best ways to gain an advantage over the competitors.

Remember that a job in Market Research involves a lot of fieldwork. So, be prepared for the run-around. Here are some tips that will help you prepare for a career in Market Research:

1. The main task of a market researcher is to gather and analyse the market so take all the Marketing courses you can.

2. Take courses in Statistics and Quantitative Methods.

3. Acquire internet and computer skills. Knowledge of programming languages is an added asset.

4. Take courses in Psychology and Consumer Behaviour.

5. Acquire effective written and verbal communications skills.

6. Learn to think creatively.

7. You can get a job in Market Research with a Bachelor’s degree, like BBA. You don’t always need an MBA, but many employers prefer it.

8. The most common entry-level position is of an Operational Supervisor or a Junior Research Analyst.

9. There is a lot of scope to learn on-the-job. The field requires a lot of people from a variety of backgrounds.

10. Technical posts like statisticians require a strong background in statistics.

11. Some of the positions available include Vice President of Marketing Research, Research Director, Assistant Director of Research, Project Manager, Statistician, Data Processing Specialist, Analysts, Fieldwork Director, etc.

12. Some research jobs require you to study the effects of a product’s package or advertisements on consumers. Or you may have to analyse market statistics or even asked to develop completely new products.

13. Getting some related skills and experience will help you stand out in interviews. Try and get an internship that helps you learn about the field.

For the best preparation for a career in Marketing Research refer to “Careers in Marketing Research by Naresh K Malhotra and Satyabhushan Dash”: bit.ly/1Cf5QD6.

This book helps to master skills related to Marketing Research, from assessing information needs to providing the company with relevant, accurate, reliable and current information, and assisting marketing decision-making in a very effective way. The research process discussed in the book is not limited to just marketing, but applies to any area of management.

Raising Entrepreneurial Kids for Tomorrow

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All parents dream that their children, one day, will be successful in what they do. In this pursuit, they send them to the best schools and colleges, so they can secure good jobs. Most parents tend to look at a stable job as the best career option for their children, therefore overlooking the importance of encouraging their child’s entrepreneurial tendencies.

Our children are the future, and we can help them become tomorrow’s leaders by nurturing their entrepreneurial spirit from a young age. So, what makes someone an entrepreneur, and what can you do to help your child become one? You can begin by honing these skills and qualities in your child early on in their lives:

1. Confidence: Children who are confident often stand out in the crowd. Give them challenging tasks, and drop hints that will help them if they get stuck. The feeling that they were able to finish something difficult will give their confidence the boost it needs.

2. Passion: Entrepreneurs are passionate about what they do. Encourage your children to do what they love. Teach them to follow their dreams.

3. Creativity: It is said that a child’s imagination is bigger than the universe. Children are extremely creative. Parents must nurture that creativity, and channel their energy in the right direction.

4. Communication Skills: Teach them all types of communication. It will help them share their vision with others. Learning different languages will help your child in many fields.

5. Risk taking: Children need to be taught how to take calculated, well-informed risks. They need to be comfortable with the idea of risk taking from the beginning. Don’t try to over shelter your children. Teach them that any failure is a learning opportunity to do better in the future.

6. Perseverance and hard work: “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Everyone works hard, but it is important not to give up when you fail. Boost your child’s problem-solving skills. If they face any problem help them by brainstorming with them.

7. Optimism: Teach your children that failure is just a part of life, and that they should not fear it. They should learn to look forward to their future. It is important to have a positive attitude toward failure. When they fail, ask them to think about how they could have done things differently.

8. Initiative: Teach your children to be go-getters. Let your children be independent and take their own decisions sometimes like what to have for dinner or what to wear for a picnic. As they grow older you can trust them with bigger decisions.

9. Leadership: Your children can be leaders from the beginning. A good leader not only thinks big, but also motivates others to do so. Teach your child good interpersonal skills.

10. Planning: A great way to help your child is to teach them the importance of planning. If they face any problem ask them not to jump on it, but to think about it and make a plan. Don’t give them a solution. Let them figure it out themselves.

11. Exploring: Let your children explore through books, games and the internet. Closely monitor what they do. The internet offers many tools like prezi.com, weebly.com or canva.com that can help children learn new skills like designing, editing, even making their own websites.

Encourage your children to be curious, and let them know that no idea is a bad idea. As a parent, you can inspire entrepreneurial skills in your child by letting them be themselves and leading by example. Teaching your children these skills will help them solve problems, lead others, ask questions, learn from mistakes, and more importantly it will remind them to never give up, be creative, save money, ask for help and find solutions instead of problems. 🙂