Tag Archives: education change leadership

Pragnya Suma: Education. The change it needs. (Deconstruction)

I have encountered prodigious number of videos on outdated education presented by people from various countries and background: from a secondary school student to Bill Gates. We can see this problem from different perspectives and that is great! They provide examples based on true stories and, indeed, they imbue us but not the government or policymakers because everything remains the same. The only thing entire talks lack of is the real strategy to ameliorate the existing education. Pragnya Suma’s talk on changes education needs is one of the mentioned examples but what attracted me is…with the whole respect to this Indian educationalist, I even do not know why it merited my attention.

Miss Suma starts her speech with the difference between “being educated” and “acting educated”. The difference is that the first refers to attending school and degrees people receive, whereas the latter one is about successful application of knowledge in life. I think there is nothing new because it is becoming more like a cliché. And her example of watering a plant to make it grow just espouses it.

Continuing to discuss on education system failure, Pragnya Suma draws on the situation depicting her travelling by train. In short, a mother and a son were sitting next to her and they had a conversation about people working in the field they saw in the window. The boy started to ask what they were doing and the mother responded that people were harvesting rice. Then the boy replied “Don’t we just get it in supermarket, why are they getting it from here?” Miss Suma alleges that in this story the system failed, not the boy. However, I refute her statement because I would expect that kind of answer from a five-year-old child because she mentioned his age in the beginning. Why does not she think about his life experience and that he probably did not attain school at that time? How does he know where rice really comes from if he has not encountered it beyond the supermarket? Moreover, she herself seems not to know where rice comes from if she says “whatever it is coming from”.

The following example is the picture of an article named “Enjoying Childhood”. What the audience can learn from it is that she wrote it in Hindu in 2009, and “children must experience certain things rather than just learning them with books”. Which things is she talking about? Why did she decide to put it as an example? I have no clue because the example is vague and it is hard to read from what is being showed on the screen. But it is not obscure like the next one.

She moves on to the topic of “processing the entire what am I driving it, what is the entire top driving it”. Any ideas which process? There is a slide “Let’s Process it!” with five stages from learning to success on the screen. No doubt, without this visual aid we could not understand what process she is talking about. You would say, may be it is language barrier problem but there is no barrier to call spade a spade. Personally, these types of examples are not enough mature for me.

Next, she delineates self-learning. As an example, she talks about notifications came to her phone once in the morning. One of them was about 21 things people doing wrong. She admits that 15 of them she has been doing wrong. The picture of bottle of juice with the nozzle upwards is being showed on the screen and the speaker tells that she always pours juice with the nozzle downwards. As a result, juice is splashed. This time she applied the use of those five stages to education mentioned above. Firstly, she learned about the right way of pouring juice, even she is not passionate about opening bottles every day. Secondly, she is still educated. Thirdly, she will apply this knowledge and be successful for the entire life. This example seems very useful and simple to be fitted into the process of successful learning Miss Suma has presented earlier.

The final example the speaker provides is the photo of Lego blocks used to teach fractions in Math. It is an excellent way to make students passionate through colorful blocks which have clear vision of fractions. I even pressed pause to look at every detail in the picture and wondered why we were not taught that way in the 5th grade. This example also fosters students’ involvement and interest towards Math.

To sum up, I guess I have answered why I watched this talk till the end. I wanted to see where the first examples would lead us to. Frankly, I have not found anything new in this video but I would say that the video is worth to watch due to the last couple of examples. Everybody speaks about upgrading education but there is no result. However, despite top-down policy in education, every day teachers make their lessons interesting and involve their students into the learning process. But it is not the final destination…