Sunday, March 7, 2010

Key to Learning and Education - How it works in our education system?

What is the state of education in our times? What is the need of the time? What is the key to learning? 

The ability to learn is innate in mankind and we learn continuously and effortlessly from surrounding and environment - flawless and speedy learning is the need of this knowledge era.This requires an instituitionalised attempt to facilitate life-long learning by adopting an educational system, which is learning oriented rather than teaching oriented.

The American philosopher, Eric Hoffer wrote succinctly that "the central task of education is to implant a will and facility for learning: to produce not learned but learning people. The truly human soceity is a learning soceity, where grandparents, parents and children are students together".

Dr Knud Illeris book, "How we Learn: Learning and non-learning in school and beyond", is a deliberation on the process of learning in humans from the persepectives of psychology, biology, brain functions and soceity.He talks about how learning leads to permanent capacity change in a human being, which cannot be attributed to biological maturation or ageing.It occurs when an individual interacts with his/her environment and develops mental schemes to capture the experience. Impulses generated from interaction transmit across the billions of brain cells with the help of chemical substances termed as "neuro transmitters". These impulses are then retained in the memory in the form of 'mental schemes' or 'neural traces' that hold the learning from interactions with environment in our brain. A recent discovery in brain research establishes that in a healthy brain, 'reason' cannot fucntion without 'emotion'. That is why the 'state' of mind plays an important role in learning. When one is angry or sad, one may find it difficult to learn.

In this way, an effective learning situation needs a simultaneous activation of three dimensions, viz., 

  • content
  • incentive
  • interaction.
A learning-orinted education system ensures that the interactions are devised and continuously assessed for their ability to engage the learners emotionally in the process of learning and to impart the contents of learning with clarity and authenticity.

Engaging learners in experimentation, experience sharing, projects and similar activites leads to development of relatively clear and permanent neural traces in the brain. Teachers, being higher level learners, are expected to devise the mechanisms of interactions with teh field of learning that engage the learners for quick and appropriate learning thereby helping learners utilise their creativity for innovation. According to Dr.Rathod an educational expert, learning is inherent to humans, but the mdoern world demands for manpower who can learn quickly and coherently about the changing world. Aforesadi insights are useful for establishing the learning system in an education system. 

Focus on 'active learning' irrespective of age, keeps brain fit and healthy. It also saves you from cases of dementia! Happy Learning!

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