“If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday, we rob them of tomorrow.” These words of John Dewey stand as strong guiding pillars whenever educators plan the accomplishment of curriculum. Even before that, there has to be an organized curriculum in place. Do we have that? The answer is simple yet emphatic, evident in the objectives enumerated by the CBSE. These include:
Each of these are appropriately designed and executed grade and age wise. Thus, when students reach the stage where they have to face competitive exams and challenges outside of their own institutions, they aren’t appalled by the expectations. Any competitive exam requires a blend of regular study, planned routine, group discussions, mental peace, and activities. And the goals being set by the students need to be SMART.
S - Specific
A - Attainable
R - Relevant
T - Time-bound
Taking a quick look and comparing these goals and the objectives set by the curriculum are quite in sync. The methods and techniques adopted by educators include this sync in discussion. There is insistence on understanding as the first step and moving on from there instead of memorisation. The teaching-learning strategies are designed to fit this criterion. The CBSE has introduced and developed several pedagogical requirements, guiding material and handbooks in order to achieve and execute strategies for effective outcomes. Any exam, competitive or otherwise requires hard work blended with smart work. Each of the strategies need to be carefully filtered as per the student’s strengths. And there comes the important role played by the educators. Once the students get a grasp on the most appropriate and suitable method and strategy, they are able to apply that when it comes to preparation for competitive exams. It might involve more time and extensive syllabus. But if there is surety in approach, then what is required is taken charge by the abilities nourished and harnessed earlier in the schooling process.
Benjamin Franklin’s words, “tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn”
Echoes the importance of practical learning. A student’s ability to grasp an idea is enhanced by doing or practicing it rather than hearing it. Practical learning helps in understanding, reducing the fear of enormous amount of content to be retained. Highlighting text, reading and re-reading material, and trying to memorize are methods limited by time. And huge possibilities of easily forgetting. Putting the knowledge into action will have far reaching effects. For example, learning a language. Knowledge of the handbook isn’t enough, unless one actually speaks it. Speaking helps in understanding and getting familiar with the context which cannot be provided by the handbook alone.
The concept, “muscle memory” is highly underrated. When there is learning by doing, there is greater retention and understanding. Once there is understanding, the students are able to compartmentalize the information in ways suitable to them. This in turn helps in retention and recollection when time demands. This does not end at the schooling level. Once this routine is habituated, students are ready for learning throughout their lives. Their approach is set, their vision is clear and goals become attainable. Competitive and beyond, students are equipped with the confidence that no matter what the requisites, they would be more than capable to achieve.
The ability to discern, is a very important one and is often overlooked while trying to convey the concept. This ability highlights having and showing good judgment. An ability required by every individual in any walk of life. Incorporating critical thinking into the prescribed pedagogical method has brilliant results in the way students respond. Any learning is incomplete without the knowledge of why it is required. Students, when they think and ask questions about the concept, are curious about the reasons, are eager to know more, then we know the direction and approach is right on track.
The CBSE schools provide ample scope for all the points discussed above. The fact that there is a strive for inclusive education clearly amplifies the aim of attention to all kinds of learners. Not only pedagogy related innovations but also including technological innovations that keep pace with the global trends is a key objective.
It is also more preferred keeping in mind competitive exams.
Locally, let’s take a look at one of the best CBSE schools in our city.
The Orbis School, Keshavnagar/Mundhwa. The motto being – Celebrate learning, it provides a holistic education, be it in the areas of academics, sports, drama, dance, music, public speaking, debates etc. And believe in opening young minds rather than filling them.
Choosing a CBSE school would help in easing the constant worry of parents whether their child is learning and growing in a conducive environment.
Subha Vithal Gobburu, TGT social Science