“Your son is a failure. With these kind of marks, I am not sure what kind of future he is going to have,” said the teacher. Mom immediately asks the boy “What do you have to say for yourself? You are supposed to graduate this year.” Then in a combined tone with a woofer/boom box sound, they both ask ” What kind of future do you think you are going to have ?”
The above are the opening lines of a 6.06 minutes youtube video titled student vs teachers. As of today it has 2,231,740 views. I happened to see this video in TILT WA group. In the video the young man challenges the status quo and demonstrates why he is not a failure.
The above clip generated a lot of responses on our social TILT tribe WhatsApp group. One comment was that “a good teacher or a coach has to be a listener, learner, and an adapter.” The student also had the courage of his convictions to research and understand the changes around him. This video is another wake-up call to the new reality. Also, we had comments that our education system needs an overhaul! I loved the way the boy shared his perspective to teacher and mom without hurting their sentiments thereby enrolling them into his perspective. I commented that I liked the way the teacher decided to become a student by changing his mindset from fixed to growth.
The most important 21st century skill is creativity. AI will take over everything that is routine and process oriented. My wife immediately came up with this question , “Is our current education system stifling creativity”? That pointed me to do a little bit of association on the current schooling systems and notion of creativity.
One evening my wife said that my daughter wanted to go for a TEDx event in the school. We have to decide as she has a tuition class on Saturday. Without blinking an eye I said, “Let her attend TEDx. We will work out with the tuition teacher.” Then she said , “Today was the last day to enroll with the amount and I am not sure it will be possible”. That night I told my daughter to go ahead and see what best you can do to get yourself enrolled for the same. I knew if she badly needs it she will go the extra mile and make it happen. That is what happened. She went that Saturday. I whatspped her during the day to make a list of speakers whom she liked the most. That night just before dinner I was touched when she showed me the notes from TEDx . She went on to describe what she felt about each session and that made me feel good about the decision which we made for her to attend TEDx.She mentioned about Dr. Shreesha Maiya’s speech with some great quotes and referrences like Arthur Benjamin to look up.
There was a litany of speakers like Mrs Shazia Khan (Masterchef season winner) , Mr. Syed Sultan ( MD LXL Ideas) who spoke about how to make Education Relevant with work, Mr. Tathagat Verma ex-Computer Scientist with Defense Research and Development Organization, was youngest member of the 13th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica in 1993-95 and Archana Kapoor Nagpal an avid blogger and writer with 6 novels to her credit. She also shared some great quotes she picked from the session like “You only see stars in the dark”, ” If you want to heal yourself, heal others first” and “Faith is the step of the staircase you cannot see”. It was a good learning for me as I had the chance to look up all the speakers and it was interesting.
My 7 year old daughter asked me the other day “Why is 6 scared of 7″? I didn’t know the answer. She then forced me to admit and commit to ” pass” . She said , “because 7 (8) 9 in other words 7 ate 9!” She has a lot of puzzles to puzzle me. This one was just a tip of the iceberg. We had a good laugh. As Albert Einstein once said, “To stimulate creativity, one must develop the childlike inclination for play.” So, what exactly is the link between childhood and creativity? How can we generate more creative energy in adulthood?Which begs the question: Why do we often struggle with this same ability as adults? the answer is “Blame the frontal cortex“. The frontal cortex is the part of the brain responsible for cognitive skills, including problem-solving, language, and rule-based behavior. As we enter our early 20s, the frontal cortex becomes more “rational,” allowing us to make better value judgments and decisions. One side effect is that we start to lose our ability for divergent thinking, which can be a real creativity killer.
As Ken Robinson says , ” We are living in revolutionary times literally not metaphorically. There are two big giants of change one of them is technology and other is demography.”
Whether our schools teach creativity or not, we as parents can create a creative environment. As Dr.Shefali Tsabary, child psychologist, says , ” All we need to do is model. When our children realize we are perfectly okay with our okayness, it encourages a feeling of competence within them. By delighting in our follies, we teach our children not to take themselves too seriously. By being willing to make a fool of ourselves as we try new things, we teach them to explore life with little care for how they “look” or perform.”
I was happy that my elder one made it to TEDx as she explored a world of icons she had not met before, I was happy to “pass” myself, failing to give my younger one a correct answer. In the process I figured out , ‘Children are not things to be molded, but are people to be unfolded.’