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new REMOTE edu. - a system repainted with hope.

Reframing remote education with hope using principles of human psychology and value-based education.

Photo of Tanishqa Bobde
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  • Student

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The words 'remote education in times of COVID-19' come tainted with subconscious negativity. The common human behavioural bias of declinism (a cognitive disposition to view the past as being more 'rosy' than the future) adds to this subconscious negativity.

The framing effect in psychology teaches us that the way a concept or option is presented or worded can make or break its use and reputation by the audience. Before trying to 'fix the curriculum' in remote education, we must first change the framing around it - to enable students, teachers and parents to approach it with hope rather than doubt.

Research proves that having hope ensures the short term academic and long term educational growth of students. It is a cognitive process of planning and motivation related thoughts - both of which lie at the heart of pursuing a goal. (Yotsidi et al., 2018)

This framing of 'remote education' using hope will help frame the future of education as something that is NOT just statistical, top-down and lecture-based but one that is truly human

So, how do we do this new framing? One idea is to add meaning to each letter. This new framing of the word 'remote' would have positive effects on everyone involved - teachers, students and parents. This simple idea is easy to scale and can be a unifying, global model for how we view remote education

R = Reimagined (Emphasising creativity), E = Emotional (Emphasising softer sides of human beings), M = Modular (Emphasising the syllabus and curriculum of schools), O = Open (Emphasising freedom of speech and ideas), T = Technological (Emphasising innovation & use of technology), E = Exchange (Emphasising interaction and bottom-up nature of education)

It is important that this framing isn't done in isolation and all the aspects of this new remote education are emulated in its delivery. So, how might we do this? Here are some ideas.

The previous model of education usually involved lecture delivery in schools and then doing homework at home. Most of the independent learning was being done at home with no chance to solve doubts and get inspiration until the next lecture. In the case of remote learning, we can re-piece this puzzle. Teachers can record video classes and have options for students to view this video at their own pace, with the option to pause the video & comment their ideas and doubts - which get locked at whatever minute mark they've paused the video at. This open model would give students hope. Teachers can set one-week deadlines to watch videos to ensure some module-oriented discipline. 

The bond between a teacher and student is precious, second only to that between parent and child. Interactive sessions over video between students and teachers can be used for discussions about how the students feel, what their dreams are related to that subject and what they're struggling with - for value-based education delivery rather than for lectures. Parents can also tune in on some interactive sessions with teachers to speak about the development of their child and for sharing ideas on how education delivery can be best optimised. 

Education today and tomorrow must seek to equip us with emotional stability and the power to deal with uncertainty - the COVID situation only goes to prove the importance of this skill. The new REMOTE edu. would seek to do just that.

Remote education surely comes with some hurdles. But what makes human beings strong is our power of community and collaboration and that is what inspired this idea. With this superpower, we can overcome anything - and painting collective global hope around remote education, not just in words but in delivery can enable us to not only make the most of it but also to redefine education as a reimagined, emotional, modular, open, technological and exchange-based system. 

Did you see what I did there? Yup, that's the new REMOTE edu. Let's do this!

What part(s) of the pre-COVID school system do you wish to leave in the past? Why?

The top-down lecture delivery model which made schools go from "YES!" to "yawn :(". Education doesn't have to be monotonous and something we do for the sake of it - it should be viewed as something that helps us understand the world around us better and unite with it. In this way, we can live with abundance and contribute to the abundance of nature and society. This view is many times overlooked. Education delivery has become a "job". Teacher-student relationships were viewed as transactional rather than transformational. This needs to go. We must harness the power of human minds - whether young or old and use that to help become responsible citizens of this society. COVID-19 has slapped our society right in the face and shown us that something MUST change. A subject like maths is important and so exciting. But values are important as well - simple things like self-confidence and respect for nature. I want to leave behind a world where education meant only the former.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what inspired you to share this idea.

I'm an about-to-graduate Bachelor of Design student from India. For the last year, I've been working on my social design internship-thesis in Amsterdam. The thesis explored education as a means to make social design more accessible globally. I pride myself on being the daughter of an excellent statistics teacher and I'm also someone who played teacher-teacher every day as a child - goes to prove that education is one of my biggest passions and when blended with the magic of design, I know that it can be reimagined brilliantly. 

Human psychology and behaviour is something that's driven a lot of my work and interests and when I think of human beings adapting to any new system, my first thought goes towards biases. Human beings are irrational animals - as proven by behavioural economics theorists. The new REMOTE edu. idea was inspired by the principles of behavioural design. I also wanted to think of something simple and scalable that can have a long term effect of global unity.

What region are you located in?

  • Europe

Where are you located?

I am originally from Pune, India - a metropolitan city in India. I grew up in an affluent neighbourhood and went to a school which stressed far too much on academia. I went to study design in a locality where there wasn't much except my classmates, teachers and a forest. This was in Jabalpur, India and it made me appreciate the simple things in life and look at design in a different way. Currently, I am in Amsterdam - living in a system which is so well organised and a massive cultural contrast.

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Spam
Photo of Paul Kim
Team

Tanishqa. Thanks so much for submitting your idea and making a video. There is some great insight in your reframing and you bring up a lot of important issues. I am wondering if you have any ideas about how to make it easier for teachers to create "flipped classroom" scenarios. I know that this is a system that hasn't quite gained as much popularity as possible in the U.S. but maybe COVID-19 will change that? I am wondering if you have additional ideas to share about getting teachers to shift their practices.

Spam
Photo of Tanishqa Bobde
Team

Thanks for your comment, Paul. Well shifting to flipped classrooms would definitely be a drastic change for teachers to adapt to. One idea for helping the process go smoothly could be for 1 or 2 teachers in a school to take the initiative and practice a flipped classroom for a week and get feedback from the students to see how it went. There are different ways of delivery and style under a flipped classroom and teachers can have an 'experiment week' to play around with it and test what works best for the students. Maybe, for a few subjects, students would prefer a normal lecture delivery scenario. And in others, a flipped classroom scenario. Adding an element of fun and play to it for the teachers could make this go from a tough change to something that's easier and more of a 'serious game' of sorts. :)