Pedagogic Research: An ongoing process to upskill & uplift educators globally: Dr. Harshita Sharma, Brainstorm International


Quality Early childhood education, restructuring school curriculum, assessment reforms, vocational, skill-based learning and teacher’s professional development can set the new benchmark of excellence in education shared Dr. Harshita Sharma, Founder & Director, Brainstorm International in an exclusive conversation with Sheeba Chauhan of Elets News Network. Edited excerpts:

According to UNICEF, Over 600 million children and adolescents worldwide are unable to attain minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics. What do you consider the issue in developing foundational skills in literacy and numeracy?

Children across the globe are denied access to school and learning for various reasons. One of the most stubborn obstacles is poverty and the home environment. Children who experience economic insecurity, political unrest, armed conflict, or a natural disaster are more likely to be excluded from education than other children, including those who are disabled or members of racial or ethnic minorities. Even gender inequality in many nations is also a big hindrance.

A shortage of qualified teachers, and poor educational resources also leads to a lack of motivation. Transforming school’s curriculum by replacing the traditional method of teaching and learning process to empowering learning for life. A perfect combination of IQ + EQ + SQ. Socio-Emotional well-being of children should be considered on priority. The lessons should be more pleasure than pressure.

English should be taught as a skill rather than a subject. A balanced literacy approach combined with Phonics and a whole language approach for teaching literacy curriculum will also reduce the number of struggling students to attain the minimum proficiency in literacy. The focus should be first on strengthening basic skills rather than focusing on all the subjects in the early years. Raising a happier and healthier child along with attaining basic literacy and numeracy skills in early years will build a strong foundation for life.

Quality Early childhood education, restructuring school curriculum, assessment reforms, vocational, skill-based learning and teacher’s professional development can set the new benchmark of excellence in education.

Some two-thirds of the world’s school-aged children do not have an internet connection in their homes. Do you think the digital divide can be a major drawback of the digitization of education?

YES!! A hybrid model acts as the fuel to energize and activate our skills. A digital divide that is of growing concern is compounding these inequities can be a major drawback as education ecosystem has undergone major revolution and still rural schools and homes are deprived of basic amenities.

An estimated 93 million children worldwide live with a disability and these children are overlooked while making educational policies. What are the programs, you have at your school for these differently abled children?

The numbers are increasing every day !!!!! Yet these children are overlooked while making educational policies, isn’t it shocking ???? The rural-urban partnership can be a big support and awareness programs for mainstream teachers and parents should be on priority.

We believe children learn at their own pace in their own style of learning. We are redefining equitable and inclusive education with immersive and engaging learning experiences for children with different needs. We need empathetic teachers who give children a place to grow and learn. The customise blended learning programs are integrated with therapy sessions along with academic needs. Effective intervention programs help children with dyslexia, learning difficulties, ADD/ADHD(Attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder) to achieve foundational literacy skills without stress. We use Arts base therapy and Emotional wellbeing intervention models for effective learning and holistic development. We need to rewire why and how we teach.

How do you see global collaboration in education? Do you think, it can help the foundational stages?

Education should be seen in the broader context of community, economy and development with global collaborations. Pedagogic research is an ongoing process to upskill and uplift educators globally to improve teaching-learning experiences with collaboration in education. We can keep up with the rapidly evolving ecosystem and focus on keeping education relevant, responsible and responsive by raising global leaders who thrive on innovation and creativity. With the adaptation and testing of new techniques that can supplement their areas of expertise, global collaboration helps teachers improve their practises and leaders enhance their professional skills.

How do you think global summits like World Education Summit Dubai can bring innovation and development to the landscape of education in India?

Global summits like the World education summit give the experience of a lifetime and bring together innovation, best pedagogies, and new edge technology under one roof for transforming the education ecosystem. It opens doors to the idea of unlearning to re-learn and make a difference in the life of students globally. Decoding International education, connecting with all stakeholders and brainstorming on transforming teaching-learning processes to be well prepared to deal with the challenges of the 21st century to evolve and revamp in perfect tandem with changing times to innovate design thinking solutions.

This will definitely bring new innovations and development to the landscape of education in India.

Holistic development was one of the major pushes of the New Education Policy. How do you implement the same at your school?

We have a track record of 99 per cent of the children in our institute are confident communicators and excelling in English reading and spelling with joyful learning experiences.

We have included core life skills that includes social awareness, self-awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision making and self management which increases academic achievement and reduce physical aggression. We focus on conceptual understanding, competencies and character learning for holistic development of children.

We have effective interventions for emotional well being of students and teachers. We use 5 step processes by introducing a topic/concept with stories and establish a connection by asking questions, exploring and experimenting. Then conceptual understanding and practice with multisensory approach, activities to apply the acquired understanding in the everyday life experiences and expanding through conversation with friends, role plays, games, singing etc. We ensure a pedagogy that is part of Prakriti (nature), Sanskriti ( Culture ) and Anubhuti (experiential learning).

We inspire and empower teachers towards creative learning, design thinking and mindful classroom management teaching strategies to raise happy rockstar readers and global leaders !!!!

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