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Skill Centric Learning

Taking back students from curriculum laden classrooms to acquiring skills through practical learning.

Photo of ashish jain
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I am a.....

  • Student

Tell us about your idea

Schools have long been dominated by fixed curriculums and class syllabi. This break has finally given students a chance to learn what they want and explore new skills. As Einstien's method of studying physics suggested that he only referenced books or lectures when he failed with all other ways he already knew, this is what Skill centered learning is about. This method focuses on teaching students through problem statements and letting them figure out the skills they want to pick while solving that problem. Students should be promoted to form communities inter-schools so that students with similar problem statements can work together and learn from each other while giving them a sense of togetherness. To give you an example, if a student wanted to learn how to make a system to draw water from well, he/she can learn the physics of it first from books, then learn to use basic mechanical skills from their family and later can discuss his/her ideas with the online community, iterate over ideas and finally can proceed to build his pulley system . This way he will not only end up learning physics and mechanical skills, but he will also have a much important feeling of developing something, this is a feeling which is getting rare and rare among students in Schools and in some cases even in college. This way students might end up enjoying mechanical physics or enjoy carpentry and can lead his future in one of these. this is just one example, but problem statements curated properly and delivered keeping all students in mind would help them explore different skills and develop new interests that would not be forced in the structure of walls. 

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

Exams based on core theory of courses, while I know the importance of theory, but the theory is only important when building upon it or using it none of them is the case then just cramming up theory to write in the paper makes no sense for student and often result in hate towards a subject which might have been his/her career option if properly evaluated.

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

I am a 4th-year undergraduate student in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India. I am inspired by the approach of IDEO towards developing products and always wondered if this was the approach of teachers towards students. If it was the case then many students would actually be more interested in solving their problems rather then cramming up till mid-twenties to solve the problems of others like banks and feeling unsatisfied later. 

What region are you located in?

  • Southern Asia

Where are you located?

I am located in the city of Jaipur in state Rajasthan in India. In Jaipur my address is A-398, Triveni Nagar, Gopalpura by-pass.

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I like the way you want the problem statement to drive the learning needed to solve it. Can be a real good way for students to learn how to deal with multiple disciplines, their fusion and their interconnections and interdependence.

However in addition to this, one may also need to develop the understanding of why something needs to be done. Most education is about how to do things and gain mastery in them. However a subtle change in priority can be to understand why something needs to be done and then how it needs to be done.

Just to give some food for thought, think about how even a seemingly simple life form like the Corona virus without a lab, without sophisticated test and measurement equipment and no complex quantum computers or internet access has managed to figure out how to make copies of itself inside our cells. It might be good to figure out what access the little critter has that we don't? ;)