How to Get Our Children to Learn

While designing any syllabus

care has to be taken that

♦ Children are not over fed information – sometimes a lot of information is not useful to them yet it is in syllabus because educators believe it should be taught. I have always advocated leaving history to higher class and to be optional. Similarly, geography can either be minimised or left for later when a student would choose to know more about the subject.

♦ Mathematics and Science too can be minimised so that the child learns only what is necessary.

♦ Let’s face it most of us have never needed chemistry or trigonometry and other such complex information in our life. Let’s leave it to people who choose to learn it and use it, like our doctors and engineers.
♦ Once the syllabus becomes strictly information that is deemed necessary then we make sure our education institutions implement a learning regime that ensures every child is actually literate when he or she completes his minimum course. Like say by the 7th standard or matriculation. This is better than having students who get certificates but are good for nothing.

Now how do we ensure this happens?

We have to overcome the problem of boredom. We have to keep them interested. We usually force them to learn but they will remember better when they are excited about what they are learning.

A reference to how it has been done earlier:

Malcolm Gladwell in his book The Tipping Point talks about the science and methodology behind the making of a television programme called Sesame Street. He details how by trial and error the channel came up with a formula to keep the children glued to the TV and at the same time learn something. They involved various kinds of scientists and entertainers to come up with a winning formula. Later another team at a rival channel – Nickelodeon, came up with a programme called Blues Clues which beat Sesame Street to the TRPs. Apparently Blues Clues was simpler to understand than Sesame Street. However this is not to say that the Blues Clues guys were smarter. They had Sesame Street as a reference point and they went a step ahead.