Primary education continues to be a puzzle for thought leaders around the world. Everyone acknowledges that the children are the future of our society, yet we often don’t take action to help them develop. Lack of opportunities for independent thinking, combined with the inability to offer personal attention to individual child’s learning characteristics, are major challenges in the current method. Rote based learning has been a challenge though attempts to switch to Activity based learning and Application oriented teaching methods are trying to address the issue. When we look at the current educational models and the outcome and analyse the lives of past students to assess impacts of their education, few interesting thoughts emanate. Typical ways of teaching involves stating the subject/topic that is going to be taught, defining and explaining it. That’s stating ‘never heard of’ terms and terminologies and attempting to familiarise them to the students. Often students fail to relate to these unknowns, let alone placing them in the right context. What a child needs to learn is compartmentalized by dividing into Subjects, Year wise syllabi, Text books, Modules and Chapters. Tutors often take up the topics with an orientation towards exams, standardized tests and immediate need of coverage. The larger picture of ‘learning’ is lost in the process and the students, most often, fail to appreciate the process of education. Life changing innovations and scintillating creations which are proud assets of humanity, become unavoidable liabilities for the kids.
Alternative schooling methods like home schooling which address many of these issues, are not able to scale up as reliable options. An interesting initiative has propped up during last decade along with the advancements in Information Technology. Online classrooms are offered, through well explained videos on different subjects and automated knowledge assessments. The method offers several advantages in terms of standardization of teaching, easy explanation using digital tools, learning at own convenience, self-assessment etc. The system takes away fundamental teaching from teachers and expects them to work on value added areas. However the digital class rooms undermine one of the most important aspects of schooling: teacher – student relationship. Absence of subjective interventions (because everything can’t be analysed quantitatively) by teachers, is a challenge. The issues of compartmentalization and lack of holistic approach remain unaddressed. A completely new approach to learning that combines the personal touch of teacher-student relationship with all the benefits of e-learning and address the core issues in fundamental learning methods need to evolve. That is what we are attempting at GrainEd.
GrainEd is a socially responsible education startup, aimed at addressing these issues by complementing school education. We intend to develop holistic, logically complete, educational courses that reinforce the fundamental concepts of curriculum. These courses would be delivered to students, teachers, parents and knowledge enthusiasts. Core to the GrainEd philosophy is the pedagogic methodology “Known to Unknown”. GrainEd intends to encourage students to look at known terrains and help them reach conclusions by logical thinking and land them in newer horizons of knowledge. A host of tools including role plays, experiments, videos, visuals, site visits etc. are expected to be used for achieving this goal. Objective is to augment the current education system and make classrooms more enjoyable.
The practitioners who apply what is being taught, realise the gaps in learning process but seldom get opportunities to return to teaching and correct the process. Professionals in various spheres of life gain valuable knowledge and inimitable exposure, but don’t get the opportunity to share their experiences to next generation. When such professionals revisit academic subjects which align with their areas of passion, they come out with innovative explanations and excellent delivery mechanisms to complement the school education. GrainEd expects to attract a host of practitioners from various walks of life as teachers . We are in the process of designing a few courses in line with the GrainEd pedagogic methodology. The courses would typically be delivered to a class of max 30 students, in 5-10 classes of 2-3 hours each. A digital platform is getting ready which would provide video content to supplement in-person classes. Remote classes would be facilitated through the digital Learning Management System. We expect GrainEd to evolve into an education eco system which facilitates crowd sourced educational content.