WHAT IS EDUCATION?
Education – the meaning of this term has changed over decades. Even today most people do not know what education really means. The standard definition according to the Webster’s Dictionary is “the field of study that deals mainly with methods of teaching and learning in schools”. Education is often confused with schooling.
As John Dewey, an American philosopher and educational reformer put it – Education is a social process – a process of living and NOT a preparation for future living. It is a process of inviting truth and possibility, of encouraging and giving time to discovery. The process of education is life-long. With constant changes happening around us at breakneck speed, we need to keep evolving and that can happen only through education, no matter how old or experienced we are.
21ST CENTURY EDUCATION
The role of educators in the 21st century is very different from those in the 20th century – simply because the definition and purpose of education has changed drastically. Along with the STEAM classes and technical training, the 21st Century education needs to be a lot more than that. Students have to be taught how to learn. Learning something is in itself a skill. It requires an open mind, curiosity and the resilience to dig deeper. Life skills such as decision making, leadership, negotiation, entrepreneurial ability, empathizing with others and coping with stress have to be a part of the curriculum. To read more on stress management, click here.
Students, today, need to be equipped with the skills to cope with the constant changes that will happen throughout the course of their lives. Many corporate positions which exist today will not be there anymore down the lane and new positions will be created. It is crucial for career goals to be skill based as opposed to corporate position-based. Education plays a huge role here.
Unlearning is the most underestimated part education. Knowing how to discard something from the memory and replace it is as important as knowing how to learn new information. It requires a degree of openness and willingness to pursue the unfamiliar. In order to stay relevant and not rely on obsolete knowledge it is vital that people (children and adults) must continue to learn, unlearn and relearn.
Education in its true sense is about learning all through life. Lifelong learning is about creating and maintaining a positive attitude to learning both for personal and professional development. Being open to learning at any age enhances our understanding of life.
With climate crisis looming over our heads, it is imperative to make green education a part of school syllabus and open conversations. This involves information on the dangers facing us, what causes them and knowledge about how we can solve them. Practices such as low waste, growing our own food, environmentally sustainable trade helps develop skills to be self sufficient. Unbiased questioning of organizations with harmful practices and challenging them to do better is one way to spread green education.
At Green Schools Green Futures, our aim is to introduce a progressive and green education system. Our dream is to nurture responsible leaders of tomorrow who will be worthy citizens of Mother Earth. To learn more about our project click here. To donate to our cause and help us build our pilot project, click here.
By Kritika Rao