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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Making learning fun

Problem arrives in a society when educated people have got a world view that is completely disconnected from reality due to their education. These individuals are manufactured in most of the universities in India. The curriculum enforces a particular world view on it’s students instead of helping the students to gather information from real world, analyze them and understand how or why something happens. That is why a good teacher comes into the role for each scholar.

Administration: It is one thing to not have choices and make the best of what is available in India. But to be at top institutes, i.e. at the shores of a virtual ocean of choices and not to utilize those choices is tragic. To provide a successful framework for dialogue, you need specific places where people can discuss and argue with one another, meet and exchange ideas. To facilitate not only basic infrastructure but an positive environment by showing dynamism in bureaucratic work makes an administration cheer worthy.

Teaching : Creativity cannot be taught but it can be killed off by the system. Creativity feeds off on stuff that can indeed be taught in the institution. A professor is very much like an entrepreneur. Unlike research labs where the research problems a scientists is to work on may be guided by the problems facing the government or the industry, the research agenda for a professor is largely unconstrained and left to the imagination, creativity, and passion of the individual. Economist Avinash Dixit is praised for his teaching style as he illustrate key concepts with tales from films, books, and real life.

Dani Rodrik, professor of international political economy at Harvard, says Dixit was the best classroom teacher he ever had—he never treated anything as silly or obvious. “No matter how stupid a question seemed, he would stop, raise his hand to his chin, narrow his eyes, and think a long time about it, while the rest of us in the classroom would roll our eyes at the stupidity of the questioner,” said Rodrik. “Then he would say, “Ah, I see what you have in mind . . . ,” and he would roll out an answer to a deep and interesting question the student had no idea he had asked.”

“What makes him special,” says former student Kala Krishna, now an economics professor at Penn State, “is that more than anyone else I know, he sees economics as an inescapable part of life: from books, movies, negotiating with a taxi driver—everything has economic content. He truly loves economics, and you can see how much he is enjoying himself doing it.” [Source]


Research: To execute the research agenda, professor has to build a team of researchers from across the nation, industries, and students, who will become tomorrow’s expert, get trained in the process. Quite often, they end up working with the best minds in the respective disciplines. Funding is usually available at high levels to support the procurement of resources and supporting students who will work on the research projects.

Talent Myth: Talent compromise of the essence, existence of emptiness and qualities that are missing. The talent myth assumes that people make organizations smart. More often than not, it's the other way around. Are smart people overrated? at New Yorker will navigate in this topic.

We have to ask a very important question to us. "How does a community progress?" The answer lies in the dreams pf youth - "It is taken forward by idealists who want to serve others…”. Only a teacher can help them by arming them with  the tools of understandings to achieve and even surpass their dreams. An idealist will not create followers but create and nourish more like oneself. Let the people take charge of their lives, as they know best about their needs in each situations.

2 comments:

  1. Absolutely right. I guess , now a days, in this present scenario, we only learn to word our Utopian dreams in an all better way, rather than work on the realism of the clichés!! Professors like Mr.Dixit are very rare. I remember our chemistry teacher wasn't telling us the mechanism behind reactions, and when I asked, our classmates started making fun and he too joined!! Though that again dates back to our system promoting rote learning and all.
    But we should understand that being educated is not equal to number of formulae we know, but it's a measure of the progress we ourselves make and help our country make!!
    Thoughtful article :-D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Deboshree for visiting the blog after long time. It is indeed learning that takes individual's mind open to vast possibilities. We require good teachers in all schools and universities for making student to think different from cattle behavior.

    What you did was correct and what teacher did was shamelessly hide his faults behind ignorance and stupidity. Bravo for your efforts..

    ReplyDelete

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