Monday, December 22, 2014

Conversations with Educators in India – Part 4 - Mrs Sunita Gandhi and the Global Classroom Program

Conversations with Educators in India – Part 4

Mrs Sunita Gandhi (Founder- Global Classroom), was delivering a talk about the Future of Education at a conference in Lucknow.

She spoke about the need for educational reform. She mentioned how we are trying to fix an age old education model. She also stated how different part of the world have developed and worked on different educational models

I noted down some interesting observations after listening to Mrs Sunita speak. They were:-

  1. Firstly everyone needs to be consulted in Education. Not every student in a classroom is going to a teacher or educator. We can get answers for education from beyond education. We can look at mythology, physics, biology, languages, cultures and learn a little about reforming education from each one of these fields.
  2. We cannot abolish the current model of education though it is obsolete, because there is no established system to replace it. Also it is important we as individuals do not wait for the system to change to get quality education. The system is never going to be just perfect.

Democratic, Open Learning Environments, Apprenticeships, Fellowships are various examples of alternate models. But each required courage on the part of the learner. We need more courageous young people!

I have my reservations against the traditional and progressive model of education.  The traditional system is too rigid and followed in countries like India and China. The progressive system tries to tweak and manipulate learning environments but curriculum is still the focus and not customized passion learning. 

A Minister of Education in India

The Minister of Education for Uttar Pradesh, had delivered a talk on education in the country. He spoke about the importance of giving the child of a farmer and the child of a wealthy person the same resources to grow. It was interesting hearing a person involved in policy making speak about educational reform. The minister made the statement that only the Ministers and members of parliament cannot change education, but educators all over the country must come together to reform educational practices. I noticed how in India, there was a need for more cooperation between policy makers and educators. Both of them needed each other’s help

The speaker from Finland, who was a policy maker herself spoke about how in Finland it was not only the policy makers that took all the decisions. But policy makers, administrators, experts from various areas, non governmental organizations, municipality representatives, parents and students all come together to work on educational reform.

The Global Classroom Program

The Global Classroom program started by Mrs Sunita Gandhi is a progressive model that is playing a vital role in changing the traditional educational model that has survived for ages in India.

It was created during the time of the British era and  even after sixty plus years of independence, we have not been able to develop, and implement an alternate system.

I visited the Global Classroom stall at the world Didactics fair in Mumbai and then attended a workshop they had conducted to share their program. I also interacted with various members of the team, who were very passionate about bringing positive change in the education system in India. The program is not the ultimate solution for education, but is a positive step forward. Some of the main aspects of the program are:-

1)         Peer Checking
2)         Group Check
3)         Experiments
4)         Mastery Learning
5)         Positive Expectations
6)         Positive Reinforcements
7)         Immediate Feedback
8)         Reciprocal Teaching or Peer Teaching
9)         No Labeling of Students
10)   Mastery Learning
11)   Worked examples
12)   Immediate Feedback

The program is also influenced by the research of John Hattie from New Zealand who did several meta analyses of all the case studies on education ever done and found the most effective determinants that have the biggest impact on student development. He comments how every program or innovation in education has a positive impact on education. It is important you take the innovations, processes and programs that have the largest impact on student development and implement them in your schools.

Photo Credit

1) Education We Want - Website - 7th Ed Leadership - Photo Gallery
2) Global Classroom Website

Let us Learn Together
Tweet @AbhishekShetty_

No comments:

Post a Comment