The Brave New World Needs Self-directed Learners
A brave new world is beckoning present generation learners. In this equal-opportunity world, anyone can aspire to reach for the moon. Needless to say, the moon is certainly not the limit to one’s ambitions either. The rulebook is changing too; branding students using the age-old method as good, bad and average is no longer the norm today.
It is heartening to see that the world is remodeling itself to accommodate different voices and aspirations. However, thriving in this ever changing, fast-paced world is not an easy task. Today, information on virtually everything is available at the touch of a button. However, the ability to use the information in the right way is of critical importance and only a well-rounded education can ensure this.
The primary aim of education is to prepare students to face the challenges of the future, and to achieve this, the education system should keep pace with the times. It is pertinent to note that major changes have been taking place in the K-12 sector in the last decade. Contrary to popular belief, it is not technology that has driven this transformation. Rather, it is the shift in teaching-learning approaches—inclusion of innovative and latest pedagogies—that has proved to be the game changer. For instance, digital classrooms would not have made their way into schools, had the key stakeholders, teachers and students, not accepted it.
In the last decade and a half, the entire teaching-learning process has undergone a sea-change, and is viewed from totally new perspectives which offer both student-centric as well as person-centric learnings.
Self-learning is one such approach that has gained momentum recently. As the name suggests, it is a way in which students learn without direct intervention of teachers. As students get to understand the process of acquiring knowledge, they develop a love for lifelong learning that goes beyond textbooks and classrooms. Even though self-learning is not a totally new learning approach, it has received a boost today owing to the pervasiveness of technology—the emergence of edutech platforms that cater to the learning needs of K-12 students and the penetration of internet connectivity and technological devices, such as smartphones and laptops, into almost all Indian households. Thus, it is clear that technology, innovation and research on new pedagogies have to work hand in hand to bring forth a change.
The first edition of NextWorld explores the various definitions of self-learning and the important role that a teacher plays in the process. It also busts some of the myths associated with self-learning in an attempt to establish self-learning as a crucial way of thriving in this world. We have also included a brief article on online teacher training programmes to address the learning needs of teachers and emphasise the need for constant upskilling.
More than being a commentary on the current education scenario, the magazine is an attempt at initiating a dialogue among all the stakeholders of the K-12 sector. The magazine has contributions primarily from teachers, subject matter experts and product managers. We welcome contributions from experts in varied fields to make the dialogue diverse and rich.