School of Thought


Lesson 1

a family visits our family, in middle of conversation

mom : beta, which class you are in ?
aunty : She is in 11 now, today only results came out.
my mom : yeah, I saw in paper today.
aunty : Yeah, this year her school’s result was too good. She scored 96.2% marks and still has 4th rank is class. Just 3 more marks and she would be first.
my mom : good work beta

moral : Getting marks is the sole aim of every child, whatever you score and if there is anyone with a mark more than you, the effort is not appreciated fully.

Lesson 2

On NDTV or CNN-IBN, during one of those open discussion

One Lady : “How can I send my child to the same school where my servant’s kid goes?”

moral : Even today, all kids do not have equal opportunities to study and compete.

Lesson 3

During my engineering, we used to have a subject called ‘ analysis and design of algorithms’. Our course book was ‘Sara Baase‘ but I never liked it, and tried hard but could never develop interest in subject. One of my friends from other colleges, she told me that algorithms is her favorite subject. She asked me to try Thomas Cormen. After few days, I bought it and algorithms became my favorite subject. I studied hard and understood most of the things, and even studied parts which were not in syllabus. Then came exams, went well, did excellent in algorithms. Result came, was usual got average marks, but surprisingly I barely managed to pass algorithms. Rest of papers, where my understanding was not good, but I followed books and was managed to “remember” stuff, I got good marks.

moral : understanding of a subject mean nothing, stick to syllabus and course material and marks will follow. Once again, marks are everything in life.

FYI : one of the reviews of ‘Sara Baase‘ on Amazon @ ‘Dancing monkeys can teach better algorithms than this book’

Lesson 4

This happened at one of the families I know.
Daughter was a very good basketball player, and have represented state at national level for under 18. She had a good chance to get into national team and move forward. But unfortunately she passed her 11th standard exams. Her parents did not allow her to play basketball, as she had to score more than 90% marks in 12th. She was a good student with always 90%+ score ( with basketball), but 12th standard is a very important part of life and she had to drop off basketball.

moral : once again, marks are everything and parents have all the right to comments on India’s poor performance in Olympics. and they have complete liberty to make statements like “Even with a population of 1 billion, we can’t win a single gold medal”

My Dream

My dream is to start a school, a different school. I school where anyone can take admission, all people will have same opportunity to study. Anyone who is willing to study in the way I want, will be admitted. There would be no exams, no competition for marks, only aim would be to develop the thirst for the knowledge. A school where students will not learn how to answer, they will learn how to find an answer, how to question? A student can choose whatever field he likes, there will be no importance for a particular subject. A school where Humanities would be the subject with highest priority.

Disclaimer
Any resemblance to any person living or dead is purely coincidental. All ideas are mine, but influenced by my experiences, Feynman and movies like Dead Poets Society.

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  • Rishi

    Very good thought, liked the idea too, but it’s extremely hard to implement.

  • Kavita

    have many lessons of my own too :-(

  • Tarun

    The Lessons mentioned bring to light the stark reality we face in our society/country…

    But, I guess, that should not stop us from dreaming… dreaming for betterment. Therefore, the “My Dream” section was my fauvorite out of that blog entry, fav. line being “..will not learn how to answer, they will learn how to find an answer…”. (I hope they dont do too much of googling.. :) )

    Can we add “….where students are free to choose ‘subjects’, they ‘design’ their own syllabus…”.

  • Veetrag

    @Tarun

    “..will not learn how to answer, they will learn how to find an answer…” I think you liked it, because you know what situation we were facing, same kind of problem arises almost everywhere. So, some steps have to be taken and if we do it at elementary level, it would be best.

    Yeah, surly we can add the part about, designing syllabus, freedom of subjects and all. I was trying to convey same in this line ‘A student can choose whatever field he likes…’ but I feel I was not comprehensive. I did not elaborate on it, because I feel there can’t be complete freedom, we have to draw line somewhere, but I don’t know where can we draw the line? :(

  • Kavita

    have many lessons of my own too :-(

  • http://thejeshgn.com Thejesh GN

    to that *school* I will send my kid.

  • http://www.novogeek.net Krishna

    Hats off to your school of thought! I wonder if you studied my thoughts while writing this…such a coincidence it was. BTW, I could find myself in most of the “lessons” above. I thought marks are everything and studied so hard…I was 1st in the state in 11 th with 98% (Bi.P.C stream), but soon realized dat they dont really matter (when I failed to get through medicine entrance). Then took up Chess along with B.Tech..won few state tourneys., but was forced to stop…(settlement in life??)…finally a Software Engg now…still with same passion to learn n experiment…If you start the school and if age is not a barrier, I shall join dat 4 sure :)

  • http://www.novogeek.net Krishna

    BTW, came here after reading Thej's article (http://thejeshgn.com/2009/05/05/culture-of-cont… a comment there which I think will add to this…

  • http://rahulkanna.com Rahul

    Very good thoughts! The school of the future!

    As you have said, the culture in India is too much concentrating on marks, marks and marks. At least in US after coming here I realized, academics is just one of the parameter to be a successful person. Parents also wont force kids to study, there are happy and will encourage then in what they are good at. I think the basic thinking and culture should change in India. Basically we should be more risk takers!

  • Vijay

    Nice post. We already have such schools in Bangalore. They may not match your ideas 100% but most of them. Check one of those http://bhavyalearning.org/

  • Vijay

    Nice post. We already have such schools in Bangalore. They may not match your ideas 100% but most of them. Check one of those http://bhavyalearning.org/