Children have an abundance of curiosity for all things around them. Haven’t you seen children exploring, playing, discovering, and asking questions about the most mundane things? A pair of spoons, bits of paper, rusty old tyres and lots of space is exactly the kind of playground that a child wants. Such fondness for open ended exploration is an evolutionary advantage we have enjoyed. Curiosity and an in-built love for learning helps us think, innovate, experiment and grow, and has basically neabled us to be where we are today.
But have you parents realized that the typical education system in India absolutely kills this love for learning?
It starts right from preschool. We teach writing to our kids by forcing their hands to make standing and sitting lines, we make them sit in one place and listen to the teacher when actually, they want to DO things. We expect them to follow instructions and our will when all they want is a voice ,and a choice! As they enter school we ask them to follow only what the textbook says, learn only what we have chosen for them, and eventually, we subdue their individual interests and abilities in a sea of confirmity!
Just for a moment, go back to your own childhood.
How many of us actually had teachers that encouraged us to ask questions in class, no matter how trivial? How many of our lessons were about games, activities and stories? Did the school care about our interests at all? I’m sure that most of us remember being told to ‘Do this’ and ‘Do that’ instead of being asked ‘what would you like to do?’ or ‘what do you think? ’.
Take a simple example. When we were in school, every question had one right answer – and this was the answer given in the textbook. I remember we had to underline the answer in the textbook and reproduce it word for word in our notebooks, and then again in the exam. What if we were given the tools to search for an answer ourselves, and the freedom to voice it? For instance, History lessons could have been about interviewing our grandparents about their experiences during India’s freedom struggle. Wouldn’t it have been much more interesting and enabled us to have a deeper understanding of the subject?
So at Mindseed, when we started to think about education, we realized that this is really what we want to do – Create a love for learning in each child. Once we were clear about this goal, all the other pedagogical answers easily fell into place. Since each of us is wired differently, we all naturally learn in different ways, and so learning must be personalised. At Wunderbar Kids, our children get to learn the best, most natural way for each of them. Since we love exploration, novelty and choice, our classrooms must be child-led. At Mindseed, our classrooms aren’t full of boring desks and chairs and blackboards. They’re interactive, fun, thought-provoking places that encourage children to learn… and eventually to lead.
Over the last 2 years at Mindseed I’ve become fascinated with the kind of hieghts children can attain when we encourage them to love to learn. So follow my space on this blog to view my own curated version of – How Mindseed gets children to #Lovetolearn.