The bigger picture

Every great journey starts with some big questions. For us it started with “Why does India, with the largest young population in the world, produce graduates of whom only 10% are employable?”

The answer to this question – studying doesn’t seem to lead to employability!

This brings us to the next question “Why is getting a degree not the same as being prepared for employment in a specific field?”

A closer look at this question led us to the startling insight that The world has changed, the needs of the employers have changed, science and technology have made huge leaps and bounds… but our institutions are almost exactly the same as they were during our grandparent’s time. In fact they are built to mirror the great invention of the last century, the assembly line.

Even a cursory glance through some material on revolutions in education will show that the methods of teaching in India, do in fact, eerily, resemble assembly lines. All children are passed through a sort of processing machine, with no thought given to the development of their own natural talents, abilities, leanings or instincts. Worse, no adaptation is done, meaning that every child is made to fit a mould (and an outdated one at that), failing which, they are branded as exactly that – failures. It is no wonder that all children passing through this system find their own ways and means to fit that mould – whether it is through rote learning, mediocrity even in areas where they could have excelled, or in extreme cases – cheating.

Wunderbar Kids is our solution to some of the problems stated above. We know we don’t have all the answers yet, but we do have a system of rapid prototyping and deployment that is coupled with a data driven feedback system – giving us two big advantages – Insight and Flexibility.

We started our interventions in the Pre-School arena because all our research across a cross section of neurobiology, cognitive science and psychology, as well as a study of successful educational programs, is telling us – the earlier the better.

At Wunderbar Kids our pillars of learning are –

–          Skills vs Content:  In a pre-internet era, content (what) was certainly a the biggest focus area for our ducational system. However, our educational system seems to be untouched by the fact that today content is available instantly, and at your fingertips. The focus should have, by now, shifted to skills (how). It is how certain skills are deployed that will have real value in the employment game. Have you ever yourself thought about the fact that it’s a skill that leads to success? For example, it is the way that someone looks at failure that makes them creative? Or that the way certain cognitive thought processes are developed can make you a better manager?   At Wunderbar, the focus is a lot more on building these skills, instead of simply trying to spoon feed children content.

–          Natural Curriculum: It is a well-known fact that in the absence of a pre-defined goal, kids love to learn. The goal to learning should be learning in itself! Yet traditionally, we take all the fun out of learning. Remember how you learnt your mother tongue? You probably just heard your family speak and naturally started to understand it. On the other hand, think about how English is taught in our schools today. We start with the abstract like the A B C’s that have no meaning for the child. At Wunderbar we have turned this method on its head and in the process, gone back to a way of learning that’s comes naturally to kids.

–          Data Driven Curriculum: We know that each one of us learns differently, we have different interests and are differentially skilled. Yet most of our schools put us in batches based on age and hold all of us to the same standard in everything. At Wunderbar we see the absurdity of this approach and build systems that allow each child to learn at their pace and based on their interests – so that they all achieve their potential. This may either seem so ambitious that it’s off the charts, or so extreme that it is mechanical, but at Wunderbar Kids, we’ve found a way to make it work… and for each individual child.

Ask any of our parents – at Wunderbar Kids, our learning outcomes aren’t measured by the ABCs. Instead, our parents will tell you that their children love to learn, that they are confident, that they are expressive, and that there is truly personalized learning that their child benefits from.

If you want to know more about our programs, research, methodology or just a little bit more about us, give us a shout at amrut@wunderbarkids.com… And keep watching this space for more.