What does calculus have to do with my life? Why must I learn about crystals? How will functions and relations help me later?
All of us have asked questions like these during our school days. Learning in most schools is an instructor driven one-way process – this is a typical scenario, where students are at the receiving end of a lot of ‘information’. In such scenarios, it is perhaps quite normal for students to feel burdened by words, stats, facts, and figures and are left wondering about the relevance of all this data. Unable to find context or substance in what they learn, students become averse to the system and stop learning actively. The curiosity to know more is lost and they shift into a mechanical and passive mode, learning by rote only to forget even the chapter names the next day! Hence there is no analysis or lifelong retention and gain of knowledge. This situation requires urgent reframing!
What is the real purpose of learning?
Isn’t the purpose of learning to give the ownership of knowledge to the students – to show them how concepts connect to phenomena in real life, for instance how even geometry is relevant to nature, how reproduction is taking place in every garden, how science is just all that’s going on around us – rationalised.
Shouldn’t the real purpose of learning be to inspire students to explore, to experience and have an open mind that is full of questions? To integrate knowledge to life, to help the student to develop a mind that can churn, absorb and truly know why things are a certain way, how things work. And to develop individual interests, to know one’s own self and find future path. That leads to a successful career. Marks can be a means…and a signifier but cannot be the real end.
We looked at ways to create a holistic learning experience for PU students who are at a crucial stage in their careers. While keeping the mandated curriculum, while maintaining what has to be taught, we spent considerable time researching, analyzing and thinking about how we can help students learn. Our ‘how’ question led to design thinking, where connecting the dots and getting hands on is essential to reaching a state of learning.
Design Thinking has a “think, feel, do” approach, with cognitive activities that enable learning, A quick analysis revealed that many of the elements of design thinking are not an integral part of any of the traditional learning models that are followed. They are based on the systems thinking approach. In today’s scenario, with our renewed understanding of how students ‘learn’, all elements of design thinking gain considerable significance in learning. Design has developed powerful methods for inspiring innovative solutions. These methods can educate the next generation of doctors, lawyers, engineers, entrepreneurs etc, if we re-invent education to unlock the vast reservoir of human creative potential.
Learning to Open Wisdom Now
Pana the brand translated in Pali, quite literally means ‘to know correctly’. Seeing the opportunity to unleash the massive potential of design thinking in education, PANA and SPREAD have designed OWN/Open Wisdom Now, a revolutionary learning methodology that embraces experiential learning, design thinking and technology for PU students. With OWN, each day is full of discovery, play and reflection for students at PANA Pre-University.
OWN inspires wonder in students and churns questions, creating points of exploration, reframing, experimentation, prototyping and pivoting to arrive at answers. It is a simple and effective way for the student and the learning to become one.
The OWN method empowers students to understand, know correctly, be confident and successful. The student is nudged back to search for answers in his or her own mind, rather than fostering a dependence on teachers. It redefines the role of teachers as mentors, who guide the students on the learning journey that is inspired, full of enquiry, confidence and transformational.
With OWN, students will ‘learn to learn’ successfully.
The learning environment at PANA fosters a spirit of curiosity, enquiry, reflection and understanding. Drawing inspirations from life, learning from nature in a spirit of discovery, students actively participate in an interactive learning process, embracing technology, students are inspired to learn, process their new knowledge and ask questions.
You too could experience learning the PANA OWN way firsthand at Ownathon – a day full of exciting workshops on robotics, making music out of junk, aquaponics, and more! Meet and interact with experts – as they delve into creativity, design, entrepreneurship, science, and learning from nature. Also check out our career guidance session, designed to empower students and parents to ask the right questions and choose wisely.
Join us at Ownathon – and join the Learning Revolution taking place at PANA. www.panalearning.com/ownathon