For all lives, the basic things for making a livelihood are exposure, experience, skill, knowledge, understanding and action. As part of current education system, Human beings spend about one-third to one-fourth of their lifetime to gain knowledge. Parents don’t know what areas interest their child. Children are too young to understand as to what interests them, so they are forced to learn everything till the 10th standard. But every child knows what her /his interest in time and space. Their interest might vary with time as they grow. But the teachers and parents believe that the children are too young and they don’t know what they want to be in life. And they force them to choose areas, which they believe would guarantee secured livelihood. There is no system to encourage a child, have freedom to set their own goals and strive to achieve, as they grow.
Pedagogy is the discipline that deals with the theory and practice of education; it thus concerns the study and practice of how best to teach. Its aim ranges from the general (full development of the human being via liberal education) to the narrower specifications of vocational education (the imparting and acquisition of specific skills). There is a need to evolve from traditional pedagogy.
Learning is never ending and education is part of learning. There is an end to education but there is no end to learning. Only human beings get educated. But, everything on this earth can learn, even animals.
To evaluate a person’s standard, marks and grades are given in school. Standard of a person deteriorates with time and they would be strong only in few areas, which contribute to their livelihood or interest. A person never gets the same marks or grades, if they write an exam again and again. Many times they fail too. This education system tests and qualifies a person in time and space and never guarantees the ‘standard’ for a life time.
While teaching, a teacher always starts from lesson no. 1, in few subjects one need to follow a sequence. For some lessons and non-detail subjects, a teacher could begin the lesson as per the interest of the students. In that case the focus and attention of children would be high. Their learning would be faster.
The questions appearing in exams are based on probability and cycles. Many questions appear as per the guesswork. A certain percentage of students pass the exam, because the Governments cannot fail too many students. Over the years, the percentages of marks and grades have been improving, but the standard of the students has been falling down.
In real life, if someone has a problem or challenge, they apply their own learning / consult a colleague / refer literature / call a friend, etc. But in the exams one needs to write the solution by oneself, without any other external support. A student should be given the skill to find the best solution or answer to a question or problem to face in real-life situations; rather than facing the problem and struggling on their own. The evaluation of a person’s ability to do everything on their own is not real education. The writing skills constitute a major method for evaluating the students. Writing is the most painful, people seldom write in their life. If writing itself is bad, why are students evaluated on the basis of writing?Life skills are to be imparted on a priority basis as part of education. Such as sowing a seed, making clean water, catching fish, creating fire, cooking, sleeping under the open sky, etc. Sometimes, a child from a village is more alert and active as compared to children born and brought up in the cities. The people educated through existing methods are highly vulnerable.
About 7 years back, I had been the course coordinator of Environmental Management module, for MBA students. I used to teach them outside the class room – lecture on rocks, lecture while walking in an industrial area, etc. The students were very happy. I told them that the environment is an Open Subject - so for their exams, I had given them all the open options for writing the exam. i.e., refer a book, use internet and call a friend (who is not writing the exam). The students were very happy. I gave them this chance of writing the exam on one condition, that only if they are also willing to give similar options to their students in the future (if they ever become a teacher).
Art, Science and Technology are all important. Say, an engineer designs a car with good engine and structure, but an artist finalizes the design of body of good shape and colour. A car designed only by engineers may not be appealing to the common public by looks. The engine and other inner parts which constitute 80% of the cost of a car is rarely seen and appreciated by people. But the outer body which constitutes 20% of the cost of a car is more appealing to the people and even to the owner. Very rarely do we see people taking pictures with the engine of a car. One might find more and highly paid jobs, by not studying arts; but all the subjects are important, as we have seen in the above case. Therefore, arts should be one of the subjects for the engineers too. To lead a complete life, one should know many things before one dies. Dying knowledgeable is better than dying as an ignorant person. Everything on this earth and universe is interesting and worth knowing. A generalist leads a complete life as compared to a specialist.
Ignorance is sometimes bliss, because they never feel guilty, like a tribal person hunting and eating a deer. For a person who understands that it is an endangered deer, he would never do that. Feelings of guilt, righteousness and wisdom increase with the knowledge of a person; so we are Homo sapiens i.e., wise wo/man.