what is critical thinking?

Teachers treat consultants like us as a “wild animal” in their domesticated zoo (I mean school), where there is times tested rules and regulations. So when we say new jargon words like critical thinking, creative thinking, it creates more sense of uneasiness than motivation for action. “How can we teach critical thinking to kids as young as six year old?” Teachers always wanted to teach (???) and I told provide opportunities that lead to critical thinking rather than teaching critical thinking.

what makes learning fun?

We had lively interaction with teachers. Normally teachers won’t be forth coming with correct description of problems they face. But this time, they opened up. Their question “what else we need to do to make sure the students taking their learning tasks and daily responsibilities seriously?”

Customer is not the king

A friend of mine came from Canada for vacation. Assuming that apparels in India are cheaper to buy, we visited the biggest shopping mall in the town. After settling down into a store, we realized the store stacked at least a dozen brands. After checking into fourth brand zone, my friend realized that it is becoming tiring to go to each brand zone to search his size then select it. He asked a simple question. Why don’t they reorganize the merchandize according to size instead of brands? If all brand’s trousers of my size is kept at one place, it will be easy to compare and select it.

only one correct answer?

A physics teacher gave a barometer and asked them to determine the height of the building. A barometer shows atmospheric pressure of a point, where it was measured .The obvious answer teacher was expecting from his students is this: there is a relation between pressure at point and to altitude of the point. At higher altitude atmospheric pressure reduces. So by feeding the observed data to the mathematical formula, which relates drop in pressure to height, you can find the height of the building. Most of the students had done that way. Few students took very clever approach.

How to assess a student who lacks writing skill but otherwise talented?

How do we design a assessment method for a student who has good of understanding of concepts but not able to express through writing? This was question put forth by one of the teachers in a leading school, when we conducted workshop for them on teaching for 21st century learners. For long, our schools used to assess student's learning output by conducting closed book written exams. This has helped those students who are good at writing and those who are capable of recalling the answers given in the text book. It has punished those children, who had good grip on the subject matter, but poor in writing. It punished those who lacked memory & recitation skill. It also didn't care about those co-scholastic skills such as creative thinking, designing, performing art, sport and leadership skills.

why my son loves google?

My five year old son loves Google very much. He simply types name of animal and delighted to see images of animal he types. Dog, cat, lion, rat or anything he remembers. He enjoys those images coming in flash. Now he extends the category into images of god like Krishna, Siva, Vishnu, images of objects like car, camera then flowers.

speaking students & listening teachers

Last week we conducted a workshop on creative thinking skills to both parents and children alike in Coimbatore. I always feel happy for interacting with children, since when I connect with them through their thinking process; I discover my own thinking process. At the end of the day, you feel satisfied to make children to talk, to discover the concepts and to be friend with strangers like us. The event was well covered by the Print media and you can look at the write up on miyav learning here in Deccan Chronicle and in The Hindu.

what is your intelligent style?

Traditionally, intelligence is associated with logical reasoning/sort of solving mathematics faster. We always associate high caliber with those who does mathematical problems faster, good at logical problems and sort of activities. Traditional professions like engineering, medicine and research goes to those high intelligence fellows. Schools and colleges syllabus is structured to identify and foster that type of intelligent students. Admissions to higher education and government cadres are being allotted solely based on performance in those tests.

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