/A Paradigm Shift – The Changing Face of Education

A Paradigm Shift – The Changing Face of Education

Capt. Rohit Sen Bajaj, School Director, Pathways School Gurgaon_new

Capt Rohit Sen Bajaj, School Director at Pathways School Gurgaon talks about the paradigm shift for the 21st century education.

“Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”- Malcolm X

While education and the educational system has evolved over the years, the basic premise that education is about transferring skill sets and knowledge to generations to follow remains the same. With the introduction of technology especially so, education is now greatly revolutionised and has paved the way for new modes of learning. The K12 concept of education is different from the conventional teaching method and involves a greater student- teacher communication. This interaction coupled with question-answers, assignments and individual and specific attention are key features. Typical classroom activity involves adding personal views and ideas, empowering students to develop learning and understanding capabilities of their own. With content, resources and teaching methods changing there is a focus on greater involvement and engagement on the part of students.

Formulating cognitive strategies such as inquiring, discovering and proposing solutions to problems; understanding, analysing and evaluating information, logical thinking, comparing and contrasting different philosophies and concepts are part of the learning today.

Content knowledge and skills qualifies students today to make rational and informed choices for the future that lies ahead. Emphasis on self-management, collaboration, communication and thinking skills are some of the approaches to learning. In a nutshell, education today prepares us with the tools to make a better tomorrow, today!

Mark Treadwell, one of the most influential educators in the world says that “the greatest gains to be made will not be in rote learning and knowledge retention, but in building the understanding of concepts and being able to be far more creative”. Concepts provide the critical foundation for creativity and innovation. Thus a concept based curriculum and teaching of key competencies can prepare and facilitate our learners at Pathways for the society and world they will enter.

New approaches to teaching and learning, curriculum design and technological advancements are the way forward. The introduction of flipped classrooms with iPad, tablets give an extraordinary learning opportunity to students today. The use of technology along with traditional teaching methods supports flexibility and choice in the curriculum, and extends learning beyond the school environment. This engages students and equips them with the skills and knowledge needed to be global citizens.

Amongst the many traits, values and ethics we inspire in our students, recognising and valuing the environment stands prime. A testimony of this lies in the accomplishment of being acknowledged as the first school in the world for having been awarded the United States Green Building Council Platinum Leeds Certification. By virtue of this certification we at Pathways School Gurgaon are recognised leaders in energy and environmental design of our building.

With greater exposure to the international curriculum, the standard of educational excellence is raised. While providing a holistic education leading to the all-round development of an individual remains the focus- we believe that there are certain crucial essentials detailed below that must be emphasized to being out the best in each of our children and endow them with the fundamentals that metamorphoses them into the finest human beings.

Life Skills :  According to Wikipedia, Life Skills are defined as a set of human skills acquired via teaching or direct experience that are used to handle problems and questions commonly encountered in daily human life.

Imperative for individual growth and development some of them are self-awareness, empathy, critical thinking, creative thinking, decision making, problem solving, effective communication, interpersonal relationships, coping with stress and coping with emotions.

As educationists, we at Pathways School Gurgaon, shoulder a tremendous responsibility of equipping, empowering and enabling our children ~ the global citizens of tomorrow to face challenges, unforeseen situations and the various hurdles that life throws out to them. To be able to think on their feet and resolve problems, to take the initiative and lead if things do not go according to plan, to encourage and support, to communicate effectively, develop qualities of  boldness and courageousness and emerge victorious  in all of the situations which may not be mapped out!

Unchartered experiences that one encounters are undoubtedly the best test in character building. The finest education is not confined to text book learning alone, but an exposure to real life incidents, situations and experiences which provide first hand know- how on dealing and coping with the unfamiliar!

At Pathways School Gurgaon,  we nurture and encourage our children to grow into well rounded, upright, strong, decisive, bold, influential, impactful, compassionate and responsible, global citizens, capable, competent and accomplished to take on anything that life has to offer and emerge as true role models.

Leadership: To quote John Maxwell, “a leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way.”

This is the vision we at Pathways envisage for our students. To be committed, dynamic, knowledgeable and competent leaders of strong character, charismatic, great communicators, courageous and generous, discerning and passionate, responsible, self- disciplined with positive attitudes, and eager to take initiatives and succeed.

The law of process says that leaders develop daily, not in a day. Leadership is learned over time. Leaders are always learners. John Maxwell opines that anyone can steer the ship, but it takes a leader to chart the course. A balance of optimism with realism and preparation is what it takes.  Education is about using the knowledge acquired to make choices-ones that benefit and impact not just oneself but others too.

The Pathways environment, culture and exposure sets the stage for all future leaders, providing the appropriate foundations, knowledge, attitudes and skill sets. Our philosophy is to equip our children to leave a mark, a lasting legacy and a valuable heritage for generations to come. Learning about networking, managerial, negotiating and problem solving skills while engaging in student council tenures, MUNs and other leadership related activities, camps and exemplary leadership preparation programmes produce responsible, confident and competent minded individuals.

John F Kennedy was quoted as saying, “Leadership and Learning are indispensable to each other.” and we at Pathways School Gurgaon are in total alignment with this statement.

Creativity Action Service: When learning is not by the book!

Education essentially can be termed as a blend of academic excellence, creative ingenuity as well as a social responsibility. Education and learning seek to nourish the good qualities and draw out the best in every student, thus looking to develop the innate inner capacities of each of us. To learn the qualities of head, hand and heart in serving the best interests of society, Creativity Action Service aids and augments in providing an all-round education.

CAS as an experience enables reflective thinkers understand their strengths and limitations. By way of undertaking new challenges and unfamiliar activities, they able to identify goals and devise strategies for growth.

I believe that CAS at an individual level serves as an ideal platform for self- discovery and exploration through others. The CAS activities not only empower one to create an impact on others but also instil in us qualities of sharing & caring, compassion, generosity, humility and understanding. By sowing the seeds of empathy and kindness, we reap a great harvest of self- satisfaction, fulfilment, achievement and accomplishment.

Participation in CAS involves collaborative working with others, reflection and introspection.   A greater sense of commitment, perseverance and responsibility sets in and is a very valuable learning outcome of CAS activities. Engaging with issues of global importance ensures a greater sense of understanding issues and its impact on society and environment. Ethical implications are also considered and understood in depth. Developing new skills, decision making, problem solving, collaboration are some of essential learning outcome of CAS.

CAS at Pathways School Gurgaon has a vision: it is a stepping stone to dynamic character building in all our students, a means for self-reflection, self-growth and giving back to society~ not limited by boundaries, it speaks a common language through the media of Creativity, Action and Service, that resonates across civilizations, cultures, countries, and continents.

“To learn is to change. Education is a process that changes the learner.” – George Leonard