Arun Kumar Govindaraj

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What should educational systems try to bring out of every child?

Most of the educational systems around the world try to focus on the academics. But what should be the focus of schools and how should they improve it?

  • Mar 1 2013: I think the number one thing every education system should teach is how the child can teach themselves. There are too many passive learners who believe they can't learn anything without a teacher spoon feeding them.
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    Feb 28 2013: The ability to question.
    If education is the answer to a question, then the ability to seek an answer is what leads to education.

    The system itself isn't designed for all people in mind and thats where it fails (it bores most, frustrates others). Atleast giving everyone the interest in questioning will allow most people to pursue education thats more suiting, rather than be deterred for a lifetime.
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    Gail .

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    Mar 1 2013: The JOY of learning. It inspires curiosity that inspires more learning - while it makes the world a better place and the life a more satisfying experience.
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    Feb 28 2013: I'll be trite here- a love of learning and the instinct and tools to follow their curiosity and to experiment, the disposition to convince themselves of things rather than taking everything on authority, and the metacognitive skills to recognize how well they understand the ideas at hand and what open questions are valuable for them to pursue next.
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      Mar 1 2013: Doesn't seem so trite. You are "teaching people to fish instead of just giving them a fish." Learning is a journey, not just a destination. Lifelong learning, hooray!
  • Mar 3 2013: Kind-hearted,warm-hearted,love-hearted.Study hard,work hard to enjoy life.
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    Mar 3 2013: the big problem with "systems" is that they need to be able to measure things - delivery effectiveness, information learned, skills displayed. academics are relatively easy to measure.

    the important human elements and individual strengths of children that need to be encouraged and coaxed are measurable but not in any easy, practicable way from the point of view of a system.

    the first step, in my opinion, is to scrap all formalised/standardised assessment. all of it. completely.

    that would free the curriculum to be designed around the needs of the student instead of the requirements of the system yardsticks.

    also, there needs to be clear demarcation between what a school system should be dealing with and what a parent/family deals with. some things are not the domain of school systems.
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    Mar 3 2013: Two word- "their potential"
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    Mar 2 2013: Schools should inspire creativity and critical thinking. Schools should instill discipline and persistence by their structures. But they should also focus on ethics and morals; because it is not just about the acquisition of knowledge, it is about acquiring knowledge that can be useful for humanity.
    We dont need the knowledge of suicide bombers and mass murderers.
  • Mar 2 2013: Honestly... some basic general ed, logic, interpersonal skills, how to maintain healthy relationships, schools should help students know themselves, and then there should be a good 2 year period at the end of Highschool where students really buckle down and get an AA in a field they want or do general ed so they can either successfully get strait into the job market or go on to college instead of taking more highschool.

    The traditional breadth of study deal is good... I like it, it suits me. But a lot of people go to college looking to just get a job that pays decently or because society says its the thing to do. They don't end up having much use for the other 2 years of general ed stuff.

    So consequently a lot of the english, history, science (obviously not all of it though!), etc could probably stand to be dropped from school and kids could stand to be taught things that will actually directly help them to live better lives, like the Losada Ratio. Or leadership, etc.

    The biggest thing that parents and communities have to be sure to communicate to kids is that they are loved and are capable. Failing that opens one of the doors to things like Columbine and the string of others that have happened.
  • Mar 1 2013: Hi Arun,

    I would recommend you to check Ken Robinson's talk on TED.. but I believe you may have already seen as it is the most seen talk.

    you can teach anything to anyone if they do not want to be taught.
    through my experience dealing with teenagers I found out that they only way was to understand they towards and away from values.

    Toward values (goals) are the ones we want to go for.
    away from values (goals) are the ones we want to run a way from.
    we all have them...

    once I understand their goals, I create high desire in them to accomplish their goals.
    it is Motivating / Inspiring them to go for them and of course we have to Remind them about their goals - (just like the alarm clock that rings every morning at 6 AM - reminding us to get up, right?)

    but sometimes we make our away from values (goals) so big and important that we keep ourselves busy by avoiding them, and this takes most of our time without giving time to act upon towards from Values (Goals)

    but unfortunately teachers do not do that, they simply do their job, (it is paid per hour not per achievement)

    Inspire them, Motivate them, Value their goals (as their were yours) Remind them.
    Most importantly Give them a reason to learn / to know / to apply what they learned and know.
  • Mar 1 2013: Every human is born equal (of course a few could be naturally good in certain areas). As human grows - he is conditioned by family & society into certain beliefs.
    In a country like India, if a child does not get good scores at school (upto age of 15 yrs) he is conditioned as "Inferior quality". Thus he lives with "Inferiority" Stamp for the rest of his life (ie 45 yrs).
    Guess - schools could find a way to avoid this "Inferiority stamp" then "Huge amounts of human talents could be released into the economy"
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      Mar 1 2013: I must say that countries like India definitely have poor educational system. I say poor because the schools focus only in grades/scores that each kid receive.

      The grade system itself is such a shame. Will it ever get rid from the system? That is a big question now.
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    Feb 28 2013: I remember a nice quote, "every child is an artist when born" I strongly believe that education should have positive influence in shaping a child in to good human being for a peaceful world. Every time I see arrogant, violent people, I ask myself one thing 'did some one taught them the value of humanity?'

    I feel that education should focus more on bringing out the best of each individual, teach value of human life and should be as inspirational as anything else in this world.
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      Mar 3 2013: "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."
      Pablo Picasso
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    Feb 28 2013: curiosity, the desire to be educated...
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      Feb 28 2013: Well said Daryl. It should encourage kids to think in multi dimension and be an motivating factor to explore more.
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      Mar 3 2013: Ugh, what does "the desire to be educated..." even mean? Indoctrinated?
      Children are natural born learners.
      Watch Sugata Mitra's talks.
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        Mar 3 2013: I interpreted Daryl's reply to mean openness to a wide range of experiences.