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Beyond the classroom?


As a mother of a 14 month old, I enter the dreaded world of planning schooling. Having discovered the joys of creative learning, I go through a lot of attrition when I picture my little one in a ‘class’ in the traditional sense of the word. Of course most of us went through it and we apparently turned out all right. Or did we?

I began to understand myself somewhere in my late twenties (I am still figuring out the ups and downs of being ‘me’). There were so many things I was more suited to do and probably excel, compared to what my formal education had taken me through. It was too late to start many things at a practical level, but I went ahead thanks to the belief of it being never too late. It has gotten me this far and there are no regrets whatsoever. But there are many times that I wonder “what if…”.

I have had the privilege of meeting some brilliant young children in my line of creative work . By brilliant, I mean children who are grounded, secure in themselves, but still retain their childlike wonder. These are definitely few and far between, but its heartening to know that their tribe is increasing. Despite the commercialisation of education, this attitude of letting children be natural learners, allows them to trust and hone their instincts rather than replace it with the worldly ideas that industrial revolution has discovered.

We need more such citizens of the world. We need them for a better tomorrow, for a better earth. Coincidentally almost all these children have one thing in common. They do not ‘study’ in a conventional system taught to them. They teach themselves to study in modern systems, but with original ideas. Many a times, they are just allowed to “study themselves”.

But like all things that “catch up”, there are the me-too’s too. So the make-a-fast-buck-while-saying-jargon ones are mushrooming too. It takes some discretion to differentiate.

More power to the original thinkers. After all, we only apply what we learn beyond the classroom in real life. Many a times, we learn as we live life. So why cant formal education also be encouraged be experiential?

PS: Pic – How I teach my daughter the centripetal force!! 😀

– Shridevi

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