Instill Love for Learning and Natural Curiosity in Students

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What urged you to establish your school when there were a thousand other schools of the same kind?

Establishing a new educational institution in a market that already has thousands of similar schools may seem daunting task, but we believe that there is a need for a different kind of educational approach. Genius IB World School focuses on the 360 degree development and welfare of the child, and the education to that effect is not limited to knowledge acquisition alone but also includes the development of skills, attributes, and social and emotional well-being.

While working in the higher education sector, we have observed that students lacked fundamental skills such as researching, presenting, meaningful communication, and creative writing. We realized that this was due to a pedagogy that merely focused on imparting knowledge to the students without making them curious about learning or without understanding their ability to acquire knowledge and skills. Therefore, we felt the need to create an institution that would make learning fun, foster curiosity, and encourage students in enquiry and inference.

After researching on different teaching and learning pedagogies, we came across the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, which we found to be unique. The IB program is designed as a curriculum framework rather than a curriculum, which means that students learn the national curriculum but also have the opportunity to deepen their knowledge, learn about local-to-global perspectives, and become global citizens. The IB program emphasizes the development of skills and attributes, including critical thinking, communication and collaboration, which are essential for success in the 21st century.

Our school offers the IB Primary Years Program (PYP) and Middle Years Program (MYP). As an authorized IBPYP school working for more than 8 years and as a new MYP candidate school, we apply IB philosophy and approach in our teaching and learning. The IBPYP program is designed for students aged 3 to 12 years and focuses on the development of inquiry-based learning, which encourages students to ask questions and explore their learning through a transdisciplinary approach. The MYP program is designed for students aged 11 to 16 years and builds on the foundations laid in the PYP, with a great emphasis on developing disciplinary and interdisciplinary understanding.

In conclusion, our school follows a unique approach to education that focuses on the holistic development of the child, with a particular emphasis on the development of skills, attributes, and social and emotional well-being. Through our IBPYP and MYP framework, we aim to provide our students with the tools and resources they need to succeed in the ever-changing world and become responsible global citizens.

You are advocating progressive education in your school. How are you being responded to in this regard?

The response towards implementing progressive education in Genius IB World School has been overwhelmingly positive and highly motivating. Many educators, parents, and students are excited regarding the prospects of engaging and personalized learning experiences. We emphasize active learning, critical thinking and creativity, and seek to tailor education to the individual needs and interests of our students. This helps us to create a learning environment where students can take ownership of their learning, develop critical thinking skills, and become global citizens capable of solving real-world problems.

However, implementing progressive education in a school requires significant changes in the way that schools and classrooms are structured and managed, and depends on how the roles of each stakeholder in the school community are transformed. This transition can be challenging as it requires additional research, learning, professional development, and support. Some may be skeptical of departing from traditional models since they may not fully understand the purpose and benefits of progressive education in a rapidly changing world. Moreover, there may be concerns about how progressive education aligns with broader national educational policies and expectations such as standardized tests and admission requirements for higher education. Despite these challenges, it is crucial to engage in ongoing communication and collaboration with all stakeholders to ensure that everyone is clear, on board, and working towards the school’s vision and mission for the betterment of the child and the school community.

We believe that providing our students with progressive education will help them become well-rounded individuals who are equipped with the knowledge, skills, and attributes one requires to succeed in any field they choose.

How can we differentiate progressive education from general education?  

Progressive education is a student-centered approach that prioritizes making students lifelong learners. Unlike traditional education that emphasizes memorization and teacher-led instruction, progressive education seeks to understand the ability of individual students and works on naturing them.

One of the key features of progressive education is its focus on project-based learning. Students are encouraged to explore topics that interest them and engage in hands-on, experiential learning activities. This helps students build up critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and enhances their creativity and innovation.

Another important aspect of progressive education is its emphasis on collaboration and community. Students are encouraged to work together and support one another in while learning. This instills a sense of community and social responsibility in our students and teaches them important social and emotional skills like empathy and communication. In sum, progressive education emphasizes the development of a whole child. This means that it seeks to address the academic, social, emotional, and physical needs of students, and aspires to provide a well-rounded education that prepares them for success in all areas of life. By focusing on these key elements, progressive education seeks to provide a more engaging, relevant, and meaningful learning experience for students.

Education should incorporate knowledge with skill, right attitude and technology, and should be applicable to the real-life context. To what extent have you implemented such attributes in your institution?

At our institution, we believe that education should not only focus on imparting knowledge but also on developing skills, attitudes, and technological expertise that are applicable to real-life contexts. For these reasons, we have incorporated a variety of attributes into our teaching-learning approach to ensure that our students can navigate the challenges of the modern world. We work on making attributes a part of our students’ personality rather than focusing merely on information transmission.

One of the key aspects of our approach is inquiry-based learning, which is designed to foster curiosity and interest among students. We encourage our students to be active participants in their learning and provide them the opportunities to develop a range of skills, including social, research and thinking, communication, and self-management skills. By incorporating these skills into our curriculum, we aim to equip our students with the tools they need for succeeding both in and out of the classroom.

In addition to these foundational skills, we also believe in the importance of vocational training. That’s why we have implemented Workshop-Based Learning, which provides students with hands-on experiences in a variety of practical fields such as gardening, cooking, carpentry, photography, interior designing, entrepreneurship, and waste management. These workshops are integrated with the mainstream curriculum, allowing students to learn in a way that is both engaging, relevant and helping them build leadership and entrepreneurship skills.

We are committed to developing international-minded individuals who are able to think beyond their local contexts. We work to instill important attitudes and values such as empathy, courage, open-mindedness, reflection, principles, and balance in our students. We believe that these attributes are essential for students to become global citizens who can contribute positively to society and make a difference in the world.

We understand the importance of technology in modern education, and so, we have implemented a range of technological tools and resources to support our students’ learning. Our classrooms are fully digitalized, and we offer students access to an e-library and research space for both collaborative and individual learning. We believe that by providing students with access to these resources, we are helping to prepare them for the digital world that they will encounter in their future careers.

We also believe that technology should not be the sole focus of education. Instead, we use technology as a tool to enhance inquiry-based learning. By using technology to bring learning into action, we help our students to understand the purpose of their learning and to connect themselves with it in a meaningful way. We believe that this approach allows our students to develop deeper understanding of the world around them and to become active participants in their own education.

Our approach to education incorporates knowledge, skill, attitude, and technology in a way that is designed to prepare our students for success in the local and international community in a way that is dynamic, engaging, and relevant to students’ needs. By focusing on inquiry-based learning, vocational training, international-mindedness, and technological innovation, we aim to provide our students with the tools and resources they need to thrive in an everchanging world.

What message would you like to convey to the parents and the students?

Complete education that emphasizes experiential learning and interaction with nature can have a significant impact on an individual’s personal growth and lifelong learning. It’s important to develop critical thinking skills and foster a culture of enquiry and exploration, as this will help us become an active and engaged learner throughout our life. We should seek out opportunities to learn through experience and take advantage of our surroundings to broaden our understanding of the world. We must remember that learning is a lifelong process, and by embracing curiosity for the world around us, we will be better prepared to adapt and grow in life.

For parents who want to see that their children receive a well-rounded education, it’s important to encourage exploration and curiosity from a young age. Encourage your child to ask questions and seek answers, even if it means stepping outside of their comfort zone. Look for opportunities for experiential learning, such as field trips, hands-on activities, and community services. Encourage your child to interact with nature, whether it’s through gardening, hiking, or simply spending time outdoors. Provide opportunities for your child to develop practical skills, such as cooking, sewing, or woodworking. Above all, instill love for learning in your child and foster their natural curiosity. By embracing these principles, you can help your child be prepared for a lifetime of personal growth and success.

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