Progressive Education Emphasizes Collaboration and Teamwork

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Krishna Gautam is the Campus Chief at Venus National College, a reputed college situated at Jorpati, Kathmandu. Having been actively involved in the education field for one and a half decade, his dedication and commitment have led him to a formidable height as a leader of a successful institution. He is also a motivator. He spoke with College Readers about his viewpoint on progressive education. Excerpts:

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

Access to high-quality education is crucial for individuals seeking success in the modern global market. With technological advancements, it has become easier for people to access educational resources from anywhere in the world. However, there is still a significant digital divide that prevents many individuals from accessing the necessary resources to gain education. To bridge this gap, progress in ICT connectivity is essential. Governments and private organizations need to work together to ensure that everyone has access to the Internet and other necessary educational resources. This will enable individuals from all backgrounds and locations to obtain education that can help them succeed in their personal and professional lives. Another significant benefit of advanced education is that it can help in stopping brain drain. In many developing countries, individuals with exceptional skills and knowledge leave their home countries to pursue opportunities elsewhere. However, with advanced educational opportunities available at home, individuals can gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed without having to leave their communities. Education should be progressive and inclusive, starting from the early years in a child’s life, such as pre-school days, and extend all the way to the highest possible level. The idea behind progressive education is to merge knowledge and skills to create a comprehensive package that can help individuals excel in their careers. Attitude, Skill, and Knowledge (ASK) requirements are crucial for every student to succeed in today’s world. Attitude refers to one’s mindset, and having a positive and proactive attitude makes an individual open to new ideas and challenges. Skill refers to the practical abilities and competencies individuals need in order to succeed in their chosen field. Knowledge refers to the theoretical understanding of a subject or topic. Overall, access to high-quality education imparted through progressive and inclusive approaches are essential for individuals seeking success in the modern global market. With the right attitude, skills, and knowledge, individuals can achieve their goals and make a significant contribution to their communities and the world.

What are the features of progressive education in general?

Our education system has undergone significant changes in the past few decades. The curriculum has evolved to meet the demands of the ever-evolving global needs, and it now offers a range of subjects that cater to diverse fields of interest. However, the effectiveness of the education system is often questioned, and this is because of the lack of practical knowledge we expect to see in our students. Theoretical knowledge is essential but it is not enough to prepare students for the real world. Incorporating practical aspects at the same level as their theoretical counterparts can address this issue. Practical knowledge can be defined as the ability to put theoretical knowledge into practice in the real world. It allows students to gain hands-on experiences and develop the skills necessary to succeed in their chosen fields. When students learn through practical experiences, they are more likely to remember what they have learned and apply it in real-life situations. This approach to learning not only provides students with an opportunity to practice what they have learned but also increases their productivity. A few ways to introduce practical knowledge into the education system are through internship, apprenticeship, and work placement. Such initiatives allow students to gain practical experience by working in a professional environment.  They also give them the opportunity to network and build relationships with professionals in their field of interest. Additionally, these programs can also provide a pathway for students to secure employment after graduation. Another way of incorporating practical knowledge with its theoretical back-up is project-based learning. This approach involves students working on a project that requires them to apply the knowledge they have learned. It allows students to collaborate, solve problems, and think critically. This approach to learning can be applied across all subjects and can be tailored to meet the needs of individual students. Practical knowledge is essential in education system as it provides students with hands-on experiences and imparts skills they need to succeed in the real world. Incorporating practical aspects at the same level as the theoretical aspects can lead to more progressive and effective education. Internships, apprenticeships, work placements, and project-based learning are just a few ways to introduce practical knowledge into our education system. By doing so, we can ensure that students are equipped with the skills they need to succeed in their chosen fields, and increase their productivity.

Progressive education defines culture and attitude. How do these terms become applicable in an institute?

Progressive education has a holistic approach towards education, where the main focus is not just on imparting academic knowledge but also on ensuring personal development. In such a system, students are encouraged to participate in various practical procedures which help them gain hands-on experiences and apply theoretical concepts to real-world situations. Progressive education not only focuses on academic knowledge but also teaches students important life skills such as time-management, decision-making, problem-solving, and critical thinking. Additionally, students are taught about morality, civilization, and manners, which are crucial for their personal development and overall well-being. One of the key features of progressive education is the emphasis on collaboration and teamwork. Students are encouraged to work together as a family, and this fosters a sense of community and belongingness. Such collaborative approaches also help students learn from each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and develop essential interpersonal skills critical for success in the modern workforce. Furthermore, progressive education focuses on innovation and creativity, which are essential for staying ahead in the rapidly changing global economy. Students are taught to think outside the box and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems, which prepares them for the challenges of the real world. Progressive education aims to provide students with an all-round education that not only prepares them for academic success but also helps them become happy and accomplished individuals. By focusing on practical procedures, life skills, morality, civilization, and innovation, progressive education offers a comprehensive approach to education that can lead to a more productive and fulfilling life.

Are our students globally competent?

Becoming globally competent is an important aspect of education that prepares students for the challenges of the 21st century. In today’s interconnected world, students must be equipped with the skills, knowledge and attitudes that help them engage with people from diverse cultures and facilitate their understanding of the complex global issues. One way to develop global competency is through exposure to international education. Institutions like Venus that offer courses taught at top universities like Harvard provide students with an opportunity to access globally recognized education. Exposure to different cultures, acquaintance with diverse ways of thinking, and the opportunity to learn from renowned professors can help students broaden their horizons of learning and develop a comprehensive global perspective. In addition to academic training, extracurricular activities can also play an important role in developing global competency. These activities provide students with opportunities to work collaboratively with people from different backgrounds, develop communication and leadership skills, and gain deeper understanding of global issues. Another important way of developing global competency is the cultivation of attitudes that promote openness, empathy, and respect for different cultures. This can be achieved through activities such as cultural exchange programs, community service projects, and intercultural dialogue. By encouraging students to be curious about the world and to approach unfamiliar situations with an open mind, schools like Venus can help students become globally competent and live in an increasingly interconnected world.

Lastly, what message do you want to convey to parents and students?
Choosing the right institution for further studies is a crucial decision that can have a significant impact on an individual’s future, career and personal development. It is important to consider various factors such as the institution’s reputation, faculty, facilities, curriculum, and cost before making a decision. While it may be tempting to choose an institution with fanciful facilities and high fees, it is important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal of education is to acquire knowledge and skills that can help an individual in achieving the cherished dreams. It is essential to focus on one’s interests and passions and select an institution that aligns with those goals. By making a wise choice, individuals can maximize their educational outputs and pave the way for a successful and fulfilling career.

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