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18 Jun 2024, Edition - 3262, Tuesday

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Teaching Kids to Love Learning

Covai Post Network


Learning through educational institutions provides students with compulsory and elective courses. As a student, I had questions such as, “Why aren’t all courses electives? Do I need to show the same commitment to all courses? Do I really need to like every course?”

Arguably, it could be true that courses are designed to help students develop fundamental knowledge and foundational skills that are essential for success. As a kid, it would be difficult to understand this question! The exam factor does push students to put forth effort and try understanding the material to the best of their ability, even if they do not particularly enjoy a course.

According to the engineer-turned Principal of an ICSE Green Valley School, Sandesh. C., “There must be no compulsion to like even one subject. Areas of interest and performance are a life-long process that is often enforced to be like each academic year.”

The principal of Aditya National Public School Yelahanka, Swati Achar, believes that individuals should set achievable goals based on their previous academic records to help gauge their future academic performances.
This is especially true for working professionals. We continue to pivot from the courses we loved to the careers we lead. I still enjoy mathematics, but I do not have the desire to become a mathematician.

“As responsible educators, it is important to make the child aware of systems that ask for higher education and a job.” “Ultimately, every child will perform to some extent; it is just that others will make judgements based on whether the performance makes them feel good or bad,” Sandesh observed.

“There are factors outside academics that can affect students’ interest in learning and performance, such as mental health issues, family problems, and financial difficulties,” said Swati Achar.

In hindsight, I think aversion to some courses in school or higher education is possible because the connection between student and teacher need not always be only the course. There needs to be an adult caretaker around a child. The more the child sees the connection between topics through examples, stories, or analogies, the more the course will become interesting. The teachers can help students develop a deeper understanding of and appreciation for the subject matter. The more a teacher is aware of individual needs and interests, the more teaching can be tailored accordingly.

Sandesh. C believe that the “care” component is any form of teaching that would lead to learning.

Swati Achar uses the analogy that learning in the classroom must be like giving gifts, so kids see learning as fun. This can be a helpful perspective for educators when designing lessons and teaching strategies. This would help students see learning as something enjoyable and rewarding, they are more likely to engage in the learning process, retain information, and develop a love for learning that can last a lifetime.

Positive teacher-student relationships are associated with a range of positive outcomes. As students feel that their teachers care about them and are invested in their success, they are more likely to be engaged and motivated in their learning.

The other aspect of aversion is parents desire for their child’s future. “With areas of interest broadening, ways to make a living are also changing. As an educator and parent, I have started to rethink: What is a good life?”, remarked Sandesh. C

Sandesh. C’s comment about rethinking what constitutes a good life is an important one. In today’s and future scenarios, a range of skills can help one navigate the ever-evolving job market. We all know that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to education and career. Academics and extracurricular activities or volunteer work in combination are ways to help prepare them for a range of future opportunities.

“Hands-on activities, using games and puzzles, could help suggest a good life. Aspects of it are not always easy or difficult where teachers show examples to strike a balance in life and academics. This can involve setting high expectations, providing feedback and support, and encouraging students to push themselves to achieve their goals,” Swati Achar suggested.
The quality of education is linked to the learnability and adaptability of an individual. The word “quality” would sound like some sort of “standard”. But Sandesh. C quotes an example: schools expect children to have trimmed hair, attributing it to a discipline policy, while at the same time asking them to be creative in writing and thinking, which is very contradictory.

This highlights the tension between traditional ideas of discipline and conformity, and the need to encourage creativity and individuality. Some schools of thought say to strike a balance between structure and creativity.

Santosh Avvannavar, Education Journalist QtSTEAM & Mentor QtPi Robotics

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