This Children’s Day, let’s pledge to eliminate rote learning

By | November 14, 2017


Written by Arghya Banerjee | New Delhi |
Printed:November 14, 2017 2:23 pm


childrens day, happy childrens day, bal diwas We should promote pondering and talent constructing in our curriculum

Yearly, on Youngsters’s Day, we discuss how particular our kids are – how harmless, how curious, how artistic, how filled with potentialities. Then, throughout the remainder of the 12 months, our faculty system works relentlessly in direction of destroying the identical curiosity, creativity and immense potential. This occurs as a consequence of our system’s emphasis on memory-driven studying – referred to as ‘rote-learning.’

You could suppose that memorizing was one thing that was carried out previously period. In our era, we eradicated it. Now we have repeatedly mentioned that studying have to be joyful. Our educationists have routinely theorised that kids should suppose for themselves.

Why is it then our schooling system remains to be not instructing our kids to suppose? Why will we rank on the backside of worldwide assessments like PISA or TIMMS? Why do most of our younger inhabitants stay unemployable?

It’s as a result of rote-learning is a broadly condemned, however poorly understood evil. We might pay lip service about eliminating it, however it’s nonetheless very a lot current in each classroom, textbook and examination paper. Learn | On lake, inside container, listed here are 5 uncommon colleges in India

Rote-learning goes deeper than what most individuals perceive. It’s not nearly memorizing dates of battles and formulation of science. Each time we swap off our brains and carry out an exercise with out pondering, it’s rote-learning. After we recite info however don’t query them, it’s rote-learning. After we can solely clear up particular issues that we encountered earlier than, however can not draw a common lesson from them, it’s rote-learning as effectively.

Proper on the KG stage, in case you educate your baby to repeat numbers neatly in good handwriting – it’s rote-learning. We see quite a lot of kids of age Four-5 who can spell ‘forty 9,’ however can not inform if 61 is greater than 49. In most colleges, numbers usually are not taught as amount – however as footage or phrases.

On the major stage, the identical drawback continues. Multiplication tables are memorized as rhymes. Memorising three fours is 12 is identical as memorising Ba Ba Black Sheep. In English too, college students can learn the tales that got here of their textbooks, however can not learn unseen passages of comparable problem stage.

childrens day, happy childrens day, bal diwas No matter be the topic, we should educate our college students to query, slightly than memorise info

In case your baby is aware of the names of the capitals of nations, however have no idea why international locations want capitals, then it’s rote-learning. In case your baby can learn ‘Elephant’ as a result of that phrase got here in her alphabet ebook, however can not learn a less complicated phonetic phrase like ‘Simply,’ that too is an indication of rote-learning.

When you’re celebrating the winner of a quiz present, you might be in impact celebrating rote-learning and glorifying the custom of memorising trivia. When a dad or mum asks his four-year-old to recite a poem to impress the kin who got here for a go to, we’re subtly furthering the rote-learning tradition. Learn | All you could learn about Bal Diwas, Jawaharlal Nehru

Rote-learning goes past memorizing info and figures. We see quite a lot of dad and mom obsess over their kids’s handwriting. Handwriting is a repetition-driven exercise that doesn’t require pondering – so that’s rote studying as effectively. Extra importantly, in future we might not have a lot use of that talent, so why obsess over it?

Simply as rote-learning has many sides, it has many forms of ill-effects. Killing the enjoyment of studying is the obvious one. However extra importantly, unthinking, memory-driven studying rusts our mind – and the society pays the price.

After we develop up and turn into a part of society, we unthinkingly imagine in prejudices. After we be a part of the workforce, we don’t suppose and innovate. After we turn into dad and mom, we topic our kids to the identical unthinking quest for marks and levels – as a result of we by no means learnt to query established practices.

We get simply brainwashed by media, promoting and authorities propaganda – as a result of now we have been advised in our childhood that printed phrases are sacred, to not be questioned, however to be dedicated to reminiscence. In consequence, we dwell in an period of pretend information and WhatsApp forwards. We can not turn into significant individuals in a democracy, as a result of now we have learnt to comply with, to not query.

Usually our younger are unable to affix the workforce, as a result of their childhood have been wasted in unthinking memorisation and never in gaining helpful abilities. Poverty and large-scale unemployment are sometimes causes of social unrest and petty crimes.

To counter these, we should promote pondering and talent constructing in our curriculum. The primary talent we should prioritise, at our houses and in colleges, is studying. As lecturers and fogeys, we should encourage our kids to learn broadly.

As a substitute of studying a 50-page textbook many occasions over the 12 months, allow them to learn 50 totally different story-books all year long. Now we have all learnt to learn by studying newspapers, magazines, novels – why not replicate that course of in colleges and at house?

In math and science, we should cease pushing legal guidelines and formulation down the throat of kids. We must always slightly educate them to suppose. Why not get them to unravel Japanese puzzles like Shikaku and

Nonogram which might stimulate their mind? The main focus must be on fixing new issues daily, slightly than practising routine issues for exams.

No matter be the topic, we should educate our college students to query, slightly than memorise info. As a substitute of speaking about dates of battles, we are able to clarify why battles occur between international locations. As a substitute of asking them to memorise the title of Russian forex, why not inform them how currencies developed, from gold cash to bitcoin?

As adults, we be taught so much from good literature and nice films. We be taught from different folks. We be taught by travelling to distant locations. Why not replicate a few of these processes? As a substitute of utilizing boring textbooks, why not use films as a studying instrument?

Textbooks are the enemy of true studying. Whereas instructing Indian historical past, why not present our college students ‘Bharat Ek Khoj,’ the celebrated sequence made by Shyam Benegal? Whereas instructing about Russian Revolution, why not use George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’?

If colleges refuse to be artistic, dad and mom ought to take the lead. As a substitute of taking your baby to a different non-public tuition, speak to her about at present’s information, watch a film along with her, or learn a ebook collectively.

This Youngsters’s Day, let’s pledge to be extra conscious of this evil. Let’s work in direction of eliminating it. If colleges usually are not doing their job, we as dad and mom should do it ourselves. We owe it to our society. We owe it to our kids.

The creator is the founding father of The Levelfield College

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