Importance of Holistic Education

Teachers have multiple roles. They teach, they inspire and they motivate children. Often, all these functions are concentrated towards achieving higher marks in exams. This often burdens those children who are capable of being creative and are skilled at pursuits that are not examined through report cards. There is a famous TED Talk by Ken Robinson about how schools kill creativity.

Among his musings is one that has stuck profoundly, which we paraphrase: “teachers try to create more teachers”, not dancers, not singers, or not even engineers! We were therefore inspired to create this post, to remind our teachers the importance of activities that fall outside the curriculum.

Schools typically have two classes for co-curricular activities. Even that is often cut short on, during exam days, citing the need to ‘completing portions’ and for ‘course revision’. This has a debilitating effect on the children’s perspective on education. When the fun in school is taken out, education systems stand as roadblocks to children’s creativity. We must work towards bringing down those barriers. Let’s examine why, and how.

Co-curricular activities make education delightful!

What is the point of reciting a poem, if children are unable to create some of their own? Co-curricular activity should invigorate and stir the creative conscious of children. What is the use of knowing different forms of speech, if children are unable to piece together their opinions in debates? Co-curricular activity should make use of the curriculum at hand. Introduce poetry in English class, encourage children to write stories, ignite debates in class, and watch as children pick up the art of speaking boldly, clearly and smartly.

Extracurricular activities are a window to the world out there.

What would school be without a science exhibition? A shell, that’s what! Science exhibitions, English plays, Olympiads are wonderful ways of exposing students to greater heights in fields of their interest. To this end, we must also consider scholarships, which not only are the result of extracurricular interests shown by the students but something that will also help them in their higher studies. For example, prestigious scholarships such as Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) are awarded to students who take the time out to pursue extracurricular studies in basic sciences.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Playing a sport, dancing to the tunes of classical and/or popular music, singing soulfully, drawing caricatures, enacting plays, and so much more are activities that jolt children into the wonderland of studying the world around them! The pursuing hobbies is a lifestyle choice for people, and it would best be realized when encouraged throughout childhood. Hobbies such as dancing, sometimes, can even lead to careers in dance! Such offbeat careers are very much possible today, with guaranteed success. Similarly, our classrooms are probably hosting little Tendulkars who are discouraged from taking up a hobby they love. It’s the duty of us, the teachers, therefore, to allow children space and time to explore their interests and to pursue it with all their heart.

The best kind of education for the children should be a holistic one. Every child has an all-rounder in him/her. It is up to the teacher to harness the talents hidden in the children, without rules or prejudices about what constitutes education and what doesn’t. We aren’t saying all-rounders are those who can extempore with flair, who can read fiction for hours together, who can enact Shakespeare with panache, and who can score a goal in a football match are rare to come by. All-rounders are those who can enjoy all these activities, without feeling in any way less smart than children who can score centum in exams!

Let’s celebrate ALL our children; the painters and debaters alike, the toppers and footballers alike. Let’s ensure our children grow into excellent adults, with the education that’s holistic and well rounded. Let’s always remember that every child is a shining star in his/her own right. Let’s celebrate that awesomeness!

 

 

 


Summer Camp@Your Home!

Yeah!!! It is summer time again, but a very hot summer, this time, the temperature is already hitting 38°C and above already, at least here at our place.

Summer vacations always bring a smile on my face with all memories of my childhood. It used to be a great time of visiting grandma’s house, swimming sessions, family trips, circus shows, magic shows, movies, cricket, house parties and what not!

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Yes, this is how a summer vacation looked back in the 90’s and I am sure, most of my generation folks will connect with this.

Time has evolved over past few years and so are the options to spend summer vacations. academic camps and sports preseasons have become more popular and efficient way of spending summers nowadays.

Academic camps are great, as they prepare a child for upcoming classes. But personally, we feel, we should let kids take a rest from academia, at least during summers. They too deserve a break after all!! Sports preseasons is undoubtedly a great way to spend time and remain physically & mentally fit, but it may become very straining in this scorching sunlight for our kids.

Ahhh! So what to do during this Summer?  

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We believe, a summer camp must develop all the skill sets that a student needs to excel in upcoming classes and stand out in his/her group. While being a part of sports is a good option, students can also spend time into adding new skills in their skill sets.

This very thought of helping students to learn new skills apart from academia and sports made us at Vedantu to innovate a set of creative courses, which a student can learn without going out in the hot sun. Yes, when you are indoors during this hot season,  get connected with experts right from your personal computer or mobile and add new skills to your  kitty.

What’s better than to Improvising your calculation speed by learning Vedic maths; tackle mathematical word problems easily by visualizing via Singapore model method; mastering chess skills; learning problem-solving and stimulating logical thinking by taking up a course on logical thinking and puzzles; building an Android App and learn a programming language. There is so much more to explore, choose one of your favorite course and start learning from the comfort of your home. We wish you loads of luck!

 

 

This post is contributed by Sridhar R

Sridhar R is DGM – Academic operations and takes care of day-to-day academic functionalities at Vedantu. He likes to travel, read fictions and watch documentaries on ancient history and alien theories. In his free time, he also loves to hangout with friends and go on long trekking expeditions.

P.S – image source: Pixabay.com


5 Things Not to Miss This Summer Vacation

Summers have arrived and the best part about it is – summer holidays. You must have got your summer holiday calendars already and started with building the plans to enjoy it.  We have listed 5 things you must do this summer to make it unforgettable.

1 – Enjoy Watersports

The water looks no sweeter in any other season than summers. Make sure you plan a pool party or visit the nearest water park. Splash some water and cool off the summer heat. In case you are planning a beach holiday, do include boating, canoeing, waterskiing, snorkeling or diving on your list or simply add swimming, water aerobics, aqua jogging to your fitness regime.

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2- Read your Favorite Book

Summer break is the time of the year that gives you plenty of ‘me time’ for yourself. Use it wisely to pick up a relaxing spot and read all that you couldn’t because of the hectic school-home-tuition-school routine. Start with books from your favorite authors or indulge in reading the newspaper every day to better your vocab and reading skills. Also, summer reading would give you the calmness you were missing during all those busy days.

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3- Make a Fitness Regime

You always blamed the hectic schedule for not working out, didn’t you? Now is the time to take out some time and dedicate it to your fitness. Join a Yoga class, do some meditation or simply go for a brisk walk/jog early in the morning. You can also indulge in dancing, synchronized swimming, aerobics or gymnastics to enjoy while you work out to keep yourself fit.

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4- Go Crafty

Summers bring along a lot of creativity with itself. Also, you have a lot of time to explore your creative side during this time. Do plan on creating or recreating something by putting your creative cap on. Try upcycling some old and discarded stuff to give them a new look and make them decorative!

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5 – Enrich Your Skills

Summer is a good time to learn something extra. Enroll yourself at a hobby center to learn a new skill or just hone your skills a bit more. We understand summer makes you lazy of going out of your home, why to worry in this era of WWW. Take up an online summer course that would not only help you learn something new but would be a good utilization of lazy summer days. Vedantu is offering some interesting online summer courses that you can enroll for and get course completion certificate. Hundreds of students have already enrolled for these courses and are reaping the benefits.

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So, don’t let this time slip from your hands, use it wisely to enrich yourself and beat the heat. Don’t forget to comment your summer plans.


How To Be a Better Orator

It was a cold evening. An Indian young man stood before an audience that had pre-judged him to be an inferior. He said, in very simple language, “Sisters and Brothers of America,” and he had their attention. The man was Swami Vivekananda.

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The assembly in Chicago, to which Swami Vivekananda delivered his famous speech [Source – Wikipedia]

Being a good orator allows you to express what you want to convey effectively, it ensures your audience is listening to you, and only you. In our great freedom struggle, we have had stellar orators who have since been recognized as some of the greatest ever, in the world. Notable examples are Pherozeshah Mehta, Gokhale, Gandhi, Nehru, to name a few.

Oration, these days, is an art that can be learned, for example, Toastmasters are a group of people who practice oration regularly. The best-known orator in the world today used to stutter when he was a child! So, yes, even if you weren’t born a great orator, you can definitely become a great one, with practice and with skill.

The importance of being a good communicator

Anything that requires more than one person to work on it requires good communication between the people. Be it a football match, or a telephone conversation. If you’re not a good communicator, you’ll needlessly spend too much time trying to explain yourself. You might also miscommunicate.

Take for example, you need to tell your teacher that your parents cannot attend the parent-teacher meeting. If you tell her, “my parents won’t attend the meeting,” you will not only sound rude, but you will also be miscommunicating. The teacher might have built an opinion that your parents are refusing to attend the meeting! While in fact, they are unable to, even though they would like to.

Here, not only has the student failed to communicate, but even the teacher would be failing to communicate with the child, if he/she did not probe into the matter to understand why the parents won’t make it to the meeting. Communication is a two-way thing.

Components of effective communication are – a good hold on the language of communication, and more importantly, being a good listener!

How to communicate better

“The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place” – George Bernard Shaw.

Never assume that communication has taken place, always ensure it. Even if the person you are talking to is nodding, you must repeat yourself to ensure the person is not just listening to you, but that he or she also heard you. Likewise, if you don’t understand something, you must ask the speaker what he or she means by what he or she said!

Communication, like we said above, is a two-way thing. It really takes two to tango. For effective communication, it is important to convey your message effectively. It is also equally important to listen and pay attention while being addressed.

If you’re a bad listener, people won’t listen to you either! Being a good listener is not only important for being a better communicator, but also for building and sustaining strong friendships & relations (all those secrets and fun are wonderful examples of good communication!).

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[Source – Peanuts Comics]

In conclusion, communication is not about words being spoken, it is simply about messages being relayed correctly and quickly. Be a good speaker, be a good listener, and you’ll automatically be a good communicator. The key to being an effective communicator is, of course, cliché: Practice.

Extra and fun resources, to be an effective communicator:

Here’s a wikiHow on how to communicate with a person with the hearing disability.

To get better at communication, specifically oration, you must participate in extempores, speeches, and the likes.

Also, since the summer vacation is about to begin, some popular games you can indulge into to improve communication skills are dumb-charades, Pictionary, and similar team activities or you can also enroll yourself for an English Vocab course at Vedantu and learn the skill from the comfort of your home.