Parents’ Involvement is Very Important to Enhance a Child’s Performance

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Sandeep Sharma, Principal of Adhyayan School, has been trying to establish a holistic development center in the education field for the past few years. The school focuses on collaborative values and innovative thinking encouraging the ‘thinking out of the box’ outlook in the young minds.

Mr. Sharma claims that Adhyayan School is a technology-focused school.  With this approach, the school fosters real-life problem-solving skills with technical expertise in the students. Sharma has shared his view with College Readers. Excerpts:

You are advocating progressive education in its true spirit. How do you understand progressive education?

Progressive education has been trending in most of the countries these days, but most of them have no clarity on it. It doesn’t have an actual definition but includes different features. John Dewy and other philosophers brought the concept of ‘learning by doing’ and this is how it started. Each philosopher has his or her own definition for it.  Progressive education is the upgraded replacement of rote-learning with learning by doing. Progressive education cannot be achieved 100 percent by any institution. That is why I think every institute has its own philosophy.

Traditional education only leans on imparting theoretical knowledge whereas progressive education defines culture and attitude. How have these attributes been applied at your institution?

At ours, we have three different core pillars. First, we have the Reggio Emilia Approach which we have applied to preschool. The approach originated in Italy. It gives the concept of project-based learning. It helps students adapt to technology in early childhood. Secondly, design thinking is also project-based learning and consists of systematic approach. Design thinking helps to foreground the problems of children and seeks to solve them in a group environment. It teaches that product is not important, the process is. The design thinking process slowly grooms soft and collaborative skills, critical thinking, and leadership. Lastly, technology plays a significant role. We are mostly focusing on programming. Programming is a global language and the first pillar to support progressive education.

 Parent education and their contribution to progressive education are considered quite important too. Why is this important?

Parents’ involvement is very important to enhance a child’s performance. In the context of Nepal, there is a lack of involvement of parents and they are quite busy. They don’t even have time to spend with their children. Parents’ involvement should be the first priority because parents are the first teachers and first role model. Time is very crucial. But parents need to interact with school and be informed about their child’s performance. In fact, they should be a partner in the entire process.

How does progressive education benefit the students in both the national and international market?

We are actually going with a blended approach. A blended approach is the way to go forward until and unless the necessary data is not collected. We use progressive education and traditional education together. Technology and project-based skills help children learn life skills which help them in future globally. Progressive education doesn’t lean on examinations, but we are still following it.

Lastly, what would you like to convey to the parents and students?

The major step to achieve progressive education is to change parents’ mindset. And students should be holistically exposed. For instance, if they are not good at mathematics but love science, then they need to be engaged in science. Parents should acknowledge such natural preferences of their kids and act accordingly.

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