November 10, 2016 5 min to read

Democratic Learning

Category : Pedagogy

Author: Mr. Ashok Singh Guleria
Email Id: ashok.guleria70@gmail.com

Connect to students’ personal interests.
Democratic learning practices in the current school scenario will be more effective if the learners at all age group are made able to see the value of what they are learning and gaining of their school experiences. There is wider consensus among educationists about connecting the course of studies to the real world implications. Getting and judging the value of the course by themselves within a broader academic framework can help students sustain motivation and persist through challenges and setbacks. The schools, teachers and parents alike can help students by exposing them to choices basis their personal interests. It is through child counseling sessions, personal sessions with children and parents that appropriate electives can be fixed for the kids. Schools taking big initiatives can group the entire school learners into different categories and assign them roles and responsibilities under different hobby clubs under the teachers’ guidance and care.

Passing Relevance to Students’ Academic Lives.
Right from the beginning of the schooling a child in his starting class grades starts showing up his capabilities, interests, likes and dislikes in academics. Consequently, it is important to explain to students how their course will help prepare them for subsequent courses in ensuing years. However, it is crucial for the school teachers and parents to develop core learning values among the learners via offering them choices in Electives to develop relevance and interests. A child doing extremely well in Elementary Maths or Drawing or Art and Craft can be directed to streamline his interests to go ahead in the same field to carry on his academic line to fulfill his professional aims. Here at this level, offering choices in relevant fields will help making children free and independent learners. A child’s academic and elective interests need synchronization through planning and participation to reach to fulfillment and achievement.

Meeting the Diverse needs of Individuals:
Individuals on the basis of their, age, class, gender and other requirements, social, religious, cultural and economic have diverse levels, status and needs. Education is the tool of fulfilling these requirements for the self and others in a way that suits to all. It is sad but true that our education system focuses on academic performance but does not help the children to decide in their early school life. The career paths that they would like to choose are set in traditional ways of guiding and instructing the school children and adhere to core subjects only. This often leads learners to go for subjects that neither suit to their careers nor fulfill the diverse needs and other concerns of life. Schools on many occasions can easily holds counseling and guidance sessions every month inviting the people of different fields, professions such as journalists, writers, artisans, potters, theatre actors, dancers, musicians etc. who would happily visit the schools. Similarly, short duration workshops can be arranged to can be arranged to help children identify their individual talents.

Electives to inspire, creativity, innovation and skills:
Good learning advances through innovation. Children learn better if schools develop new and better ideas and methods to foster creativity and innovation the demand for creativity and creative thinking is increasing and will fuel economies in the future, yet our students are less prepared to become innovative thinkers of tomorrow. Fortunately, these skills can be enhanced and taught by offering opportunities through various school based curricula. By creating a free and independent learning environment the schools can engage their children in skill development activities via indoor or outdoor surveys, projects, seminars, action research, and sports events or by organizing social awareness drives etc.

Choosing Options at Schools:

Recent innovational developments in curriculum designing by the education boards and schools itself the scope of going for electives has widened. Both CBSE and ICSE boards have recently introduced a variety of elective subjects for the learners ranging more than 40 courses under elective subject’s scheme. Besides there are variety of vocational course to meet the needs of skill development of secondary level grades ranging from; Electronics Technology, Ophthalmic Techniques, Medical Laboratory Techniques Fashion Design and Clothing Construction, Library and Information Sciences, Mass Media Studies,Media Production, Travel and Tourism, Office Secretary Ship, Banking, Retail,
Electronics Technology Etc. However, it is up to schools to provide the options judging the best choices for each learners.

Enhancing scope of Individual Life Skills:
We come across so many children who pick careers thrust upon them by their parents. Nowadays, so many new fields are opening up, offering unconventional career choices which are just as well paying as the common professions. It is important for parents to talk to their child, be sensitive to his/her natural skills and try and hone them. In recent times when there is high end cry advocating for the development of democratic values in learning in our schools. There is nothing new about the idea that students should be able to participate, individually and collectively, in making decisions. This conviction has long played a role in schools now being sophisticatedly designated as progressive, democratic, open, free, experimental, or alternatively; in educational philosophies called developmental, constructivist, holistic, intrinsic or learner-centered; and in the daily teaching –learning routine of teachers whose natural instinct is to treat children with respect love care and guidance.

Concluding Thoughts
Education in totality aims to engender fundamental capacities among children such as successful learners, self-reliant individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors. Recent emerging changes in our school systems, curriculum framework and educational programmes and policies of the governments have opened before the learners’ greater choices in deciding their courses and curriculum. This has set forth before the stakeholders the challenge of giving to the children an independent, holistic and autonomous learning in schools which is a highly desirable and ineluctable but challenged concept in education.
Ushering into this learning environment, our educational institutions and schools can bring and create a purely egalitarian learning community thereby opening the doors of democratic learning to bring one and all to grow and develop in the realm of intrinsically controlled but essentially free and independent environment. Just imagine a school or an educational system where teaching-learning experiences are directed, designed and delivered in such a way that every child finds himself/herself at the helm towards undertaking an independent, comprehensive, self-decisive voyage concerning academics as well as other aspects of life.

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