Are we receiving education in isolation?

Think of education where there would be no grades or marks, but creativity would be in abundance. Education is often focused on isolation and not on integration. Allow me to quote an example:

I topped in Mathematics in the tenth board exam, but not in the twelveth. I flunked in the same subject in the second semester of my Engineering course. As I analyze this swing of from being a topper to a failure, I feel that till the 10th grade, I had an integrated approach in which learning involved correlation, analogy and collaboration with peers. A problem was solved keeping an outcome in mind that was beyond marks. This practice is very difficult for parents to comprehend with those who believe and like to look into isolation. Let us take the example of me topping in Mathematics. Does it make me a great Mathematician? Will I be seen as a scholar like, Ramanujan? What about the other subjects? Can a topper flunk in his favorite course?

Educational institutions have the capacity and capability to offer the integration. This demands all the ‘Educators’ to shed the specialization and the experts tag and then work together.

For example, two or more teachers need to come together and integrate the learning through a continual project. I know it’s hard to prepare oneself and the students, as well. However, let’s not forget that courses in isolation have never helped in the engineering course or any other graduation course for that matter. Unfortunately, the courses have been exhaustive in nature, lacking joy in learning. This has continued to reflect in the number of drop outs, failures, unemployed and also challenges, to lead an integrated life. You see the ripple effect from the isolation.

There are few things we do with integration, like the food we consume. It comes through a lot of integration. We wouldn’t agree to consume in isolation. I hope you are able to get a bigger picture on isolation and integration. The more we could explore to integrate, the more we will see the joy of being born. Exploring isn’t just about discovering, but it is about enjoying every moment of the process. This integration doesn’t have any tag of religion or beliefs. It is not from the parents point of view, but from the point of view of the child. It’s not an investment to ask for a return, but it’s an expense. It is not an expense for your desire, but it is an investment for the child’s desire.

By the way, I agree with some of the readers who do not agree with me and those who believe in holistic development in isolation.

So the question is –

Nine Year Old (2)

Santa Santosh Avvannavar

Credit: Thank you Mrs. Shobana Sagar Patil for proof reading the article

Artists and Designers are tomorrow’s innovator

art with designI believe when artists and designers come together with scientists or vice-versa it’s going to be better tomorrow. I have three reasons to this thought –

Firstly, There are perhaps ‘no’ products and services that does not consists components of Art and Science. I believe both go hand-in-hand. Even if one claims STEM doesn’t require ‘A’, but consumers first look for aesthetics. I believe art and design to STEM will enhance economic competitiveness. The tools and methods used for art and design creates space for creativity and raise interest in problem solving. The data that is often communicated through chart or graphs could appeals to non-scientific community. This could help policy makers to take decisions or appreciate the effort put in. Several such products and services have inspired consumers. Isn’t it powerful to have them together than apart?

Secondly, Let’s not forget that 21st century skill that demands critical thinking that often comes from integration of art and design. And STEAM education is promising way to promote the skills. The ‘Art’ gives and teaches flexibility and risk taking abilities that form the backbone for businesses. This also goes beyond the mundane style of working and enhancing the engagement time through unlocking the creative thinking and leading to innovation.

Finally, Art and design helps to distinguish products and places in a global market and hence create opportunity for economic growth.

I think the approach has to be integrating ‘A’ into STEM, scientists understand the kind of impact products and services offer to mankind. There are several examples to quote such as steam locomotive is an exquisite example of art in motion.

What are your thoughts on integrating Art to STE(A)M?

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