Default teaching methods

Last updated on: August 4, 2020 at 12:10 am IST


It has been rightly said that education is the process of imparting or gaining knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning, logic, rationality and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. On the contrary academic grades can only measure the retention or memory power. But unfortunately, in present time education and intelligence are being measured by academic grades and marks, and how much marks one gets, so intelligent and creative he/she is considered. In today’s standard, good grades are the indication for an educated person and to get a good profession, which is totally unfair indication of how a person will execute or perform in the real world. If we see the current system of education total emphasis is placed on memory level approach so that he/she can print the same in examination for better results but which is not the real purpose of education. Educational system in our State is fundamentally flawed, because it is totally based on the outdated teaching methods and thereby relies very much on rote learning, grades and marks. Unthinking memory-driven learning or rote-learning is clearly one of the biggest problems in our education system today. It does not provide any space for imagination and thus fail to recognize the potential and capability of the pupils. Instead, it kills the creativity of the scholars and discourages them from thinking on their own. In such educational system, creativity is neither valued nor incentivized, while rote learning is highly rewarded. This tempts students to memorize rather than understand concepts in a desperate attempt to produce results in the face of cut-throat competition. Besides that, it sets wrong notions of success and capacities in the society, thereby turning it into a meritocracy. This meritocracy reduces a student to a mere cog in a machine, thereby dehumanizing them. In current times we see teaching takes place only at memory level not on understanding level and the reflective level, which is imagination. Such type of system hinders the intellectual growth of students by turning them into, figuratively speaking, exhausted ‘receptors’ and ‘collectors’ of information that have no real connection to their lives, and in which the individual remains a spectator, not re-creator. Nevertheless, student learning levels and trajectories are disturbingly low. Our system is known for encouraging students to memorize rather than foster creativity and independent thinking. Our brains are used as hard-disks not as processors. Unfortunately, to keep up with the competition, such vain pursuits will have to be given up, where creativity is being slaughtered and excellence is being sacrificed at the altar of expediency. The focus of the exams is often speed; success in them becomes a function of being able to do mathematical calculations faster rather than being able to apply what you have learnt better. Faster arithmetical calculations only mean better familiarity (rote learning) with the decimal number system. Now is the time to ponder and contemplate: Is the objective of education as same as we have in current system of education or is there something else from which we are still away? How can we eradicate the culture of the rote and memorization so that we can realize the real essence of teaching cum education? There must be some approaches in which the role of students and teachers will become less structured, and both will engage in acts of dialogic enrichment to effectively ascertain knowledge from each other. The teaching methods must put emphasis on critical thinking for the purpose of liberation, because the learning mind is the free mind and the objective of education is to liberate the mind. Educational system must develop those cognitive skills or strategies that might increase the probability of a desirable outcome and create thinking that is purposeful, reasoned and goal directed. Students should work on understanding the subject beyond the mere printed text. Their aspirations should move beyond gaining jobs to creating jobs. Besides this, creativity must be encouraged because it enables crafting of something original and facilitates better understanding and clearer analysis of issues from multiple perspectives. Indeed our education system must be revamped to foster a breed of enthusiastic youngsters who have their creativity and dreams intact.