My Educational Philosophy.
Education or Learning is the process of absorbing ideas and concepts and association of experience of the world. This process starts as soon as we are born and it ends with our Death. My experience of education in school was a mechanical moulding of us as children in one fixed mould designed using conventional thoughts for a mass of children. The idea that every child is different was not considered. Education and learning were equated with the marks that you score. No one understood the fear and the nervousness that a child goes through during exams. This perception has changed and educationalists have realized that each child is different and the child needs to develop his or her own intellect. A teacher is, therefore, a person who facilitates the child to learn and take charge of his or her own learning.
Education according to me is not merely learning techniques or understanding concepts, but it is the ability to implement the learnings to situations in life for the well being of self, family, and society as a whole. It is not just being literate or proficient but it is about spreading the trust and confidence in the society that together we can make the world a better place by spreading ideas of peace, harmony, and security. Purpose of Education, therefore, should be to enable children to make appropriate choices in life based on their true calling or Swadharma. Education in the true sense is helping a child discover his or her own swadharma. Only when there are awareness and acceptance of the self is the mind ready to be open to learning, accept, understand and reinvent their own concepts. Every individual is different and poses a unique set of qualities that make him or her shine and move towards to the purpose of his or her life or his or her true calling.
At, I am a Teacher we got immersed in the philosophy of great philosophers.
A.Sri Aurobindo and his principals of True Teaching.
1.“Nothing can be taught” Teacher is not a taskmaster or instructor, he is a helper and a guide.
2.It is he himself who must be induced to expand in accordance with his own nature(dharma)
3.If anything has to be brought in from outside, it must be offered, not forced on the mind.
The first principal of Sri Aurobindo posed a huge question. If nothing can be taught, then what is a teachers role. A teacher is not a dispenser of knowledge and a child is not an empty vessel. The role of a teacher is to facilitate and construct the learning with the child. So, a teachers role is to show you the path. The teacher is a guide and no one to impose her ideas on the learner.
B.Tagore said that “The highest education is that which does not merely give us information but makes our life in harmony with all existence”.Ideas for creating a system of education aimed at promoting international co-operation and creating global citizens. Tagore envisioned an education that was deeply rooted in one’s immediate surroundings but connected to the cultures of the wider world, predicated upon pleasurable learning and individualized to the personality of the child. He felt that the curriculum should revolve organically around nature, with flexible schedules to allow for shifts in weather, and with special attention to natural phenomena and seasonal festivities.
C.Swami Chinmayananda said children are not vessels to filled but lamps to be lit.
Discussion with experts in the field of education during the course washed away so many stereotypes about Education, Teachers, and Learning and being in the classes taking small steps each day had definitely changed our perspective of Education.
Assumptions of Education opened up in discussions with experts and policymakers of Education for the country.
Childhood is for preparation for adulthood: It was assumed that Education is to prepare a child for Adulthood, therefore a child needs to practice to be like an adult. Losing a childs childhood in the process with this assumptions.
Imposition of knowledge vs construction of knowledge: The assumption that a child cannot think of his own and therefore adults need to feed them with information. Adults hold a higher position and they know whats best for the child.
The system is capable of creating all the purposes creative, artist, critical thinkers: The Assumption that Education system created for a mass of children is capable of bringing about the virtue of thinking in children. All children learn in the same way and pattern.
Learning happens only in the years that we are in school and college: Assumptions that Learning is equal to years spent doing a formal education.All skills that are not in the curriculum of the formal Education is of no value.
The assumption of Knowledge, as presented, is more important than knowledge itself.Assessments are designed to access what can be assessed easily rather than what needs to be assessed. The curriculum is designed to make assessment easier.
Before I entered the real classroom, I always felt that if I have the content to deliver in the classroom ie.Lesson plans it will be easy to read the plan and deliver the lesson, but soon I had the plans and I realized that knowing and analyzing the content, immersing my self in the content to be able to creatively deliver the content was a key to enable learning. I felt that I will create a set pattern and master that pattern, but to my surprise, even this was not true. Every day was a new learning on how children and what different children absorb in different situations. Some learn with visual experience, some are good listeners and some others learn by experimenting. Building a connection with each child and making them feel secure about their expression helped me build bonds with my learners. Many times in the classroom I have felt so very empty within when my learners wanted to know more and I had nothing to share. As and when I was spending more and more time with the educators in the real classrooms I realized that the educators were constantly involved in planning for the next themes and experience that they would offer to their learners. The huge responsibility that the educators hold in the role of shaping young and tender minds is beyond imagination.