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Refashion Curriculum on war footing

Posted on Jul 25, 2022 | Author DR. MA SHAH

In 2009, Secretary of Education USA said “to keep America competitive and to make the dream of equal educational opportunity a reality, we need to recruit, reward, train, and honor a new generation of talented teachers. The bar must be raised for successful teacher preparation programs because we ask much more of teachers today than even a decade ago. Today teachers are asked to achieve significant academic growth for all students at the same time they instruct students with ever-more diverse needs. Teaching has never been more difficult, it has never been more important and the desperate need for more student success has never been so urgent. Are we adequately preparing future teachers to win this critical battle?”

In 2014, Hon’ble Prime Minister of India while addressing a function at BHU fairlysaid that, “there is a dearth of good teachers and the whole world has the requirement of good teachers and if India can produce good educators, we can export teachers in lakhs”. There is a great demand and India has the responsibility to make its contribution. If we ask rich people, what they want, they will say they need good teachers and even a driver says he needs good teachers for his children to teach. Can’t there be a scenario where children decide early to become teachers and we should create an environment where children can decide to become teachers. going to become and the teachers can identify the passion and ambition of student at early age. The training can include child psychology, tradition, and counseling of children and it can all happen as envisaged in education policy 2020.

There are two major trends in the world that pose a fundamental challenge and many opportunities to our educational system. One is the world is shifting from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. The other is the rising generation brought up on the Internet and is very differently motivated to learn. These two forces compel us to reconceptualize education. In order to motivate and teach this generation, the school system must be reinvented to be accountable for what matters most. That means to do the work – teaching, learning, and assessing – in new ways and in new spirit. Students must acquire useful knowledge, but teachers have a role to use content to teach core competencies. Dr. Wagner (Harward) has identified what he calls a “global achievement gap”, which is the leap between what even our best schools are teaching:

· Critical thinking and problem solving.

· Collaboration across networks.

· Agility and adaptability.

· Initiative and entrepreneurialism.

· Effective oral and written communication.

· Accessing and analyzing information.

· Curiosity and imagination.

The dominant approach to compulsory education is still the “transmission” model, through which teachers transmit factual knowledge to students through lectures, lecture notes and textbooks. Through the transmission model, students have the opportunity to learn information, but typically do not have much practice applying the knowledge to new contexts, communicating it in complex ways, using it to solve problems, or using it as a platform to develop creativity. Therefore, it is not the most effective way to teach 21st century skills. estos skills can actually be listed as a group of words that begin with the letter “C” (critical thinking, creative thinking, communicating, and collaborating) and accordingly there are the four skills that students will need to be successful in this Century. As the world evolves toward greater interconnectedness, it is our students to whom we entrust the responsibility of building a better global society for greater good to society. An individual’s ability to think outside the box, find future solutions to future problems, collaborate and reach a consensus across cultural and national borders is urgently required.

A common definition of creativity is “the cognitive ability to produce novel and valuable ideas.” Creativity is prized in the economic, and global spheres because it sparks innovations that can create jobs, address challenges, and motivate social and individual progress. Like intelligence and learning capacity, creativity is not a fixed characteristic that people either have or do not have. Rather, it is incremental, such that students can learn to be more creative. Encourage your students to be creative throughout each lesson as it should be outcome based learning. Creative activities allow students to express what they’ve learned in a new way. This synthesizing and personalizing of knowledge consolidates learning, and creates an experience that remains with students long after the class is over. By keeping these strategies in mind as you plan each lesson, you will be encouraging the development of 21st Century skills. Of course, your students may also need time to adjust to this new way of learning. However, they will soon begin to feel empowered to think more critically, to ask questions and seek answers, and to express themselves creatively. Most importantly, their communication skills will become much stronger as a result, which always remains our main objective!

Thus keeping in view the challenges ahead, the PG Department of Physics at National Institute of Technology Srinagar is holding a week-long workshop on Curriculum Development from 25-29th July 2022. The eminent experts arriving here are Prof Danish Pandya Adjunct Professor Physics, IIT Jammu and Prof PK Raina, Former Head Physics, IIT Roper besides number of external delegates to visit to make the curriculum robust and fruitful. The new curriculum is not only beneficial to students and teachers, but also necessary to prepare our youth for their future careers. In an age of education where standardized tests determine the success of our schools, it is important to allow students the creativity and use the power of technology to support necessary skills and learn in unique ways. By allowing creative thinking and gauging understanding of content standards through a portfolio based system, students can display their concept retention while producing tangible and valuable outcomes.

The future of our students depends on flexibility and resourcefulness not teaching to the test. Education needs to make an instructional shift in order to ensure our students succeed as the innovators of the future. The visionary administration and chief patrons in particular Prof Sehgal, Prof Bukhari and Prof Wanihave been pushing to revamp/overhaul the syllabi as per NEP 2020 both for UG and PG programs to make students well rounded individuals. There is a big requirement for science, technology, innovation and invention where we at NIT Srinagar can play a crucial role for the rest of the institutions in UT.

(The Author is Chairperson and patron of weeklong program of curriculum development at NIT Srinagar, can be reached through shahji@nitsri.ac.in.)

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