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Education Learning

Relay Learning – The Future of Learning

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Relay learning is a concept that is similar to the activity, relay, itself. Confused?

Okay, first. How does a relay race work?

We have a bunch of participants who run to pass the baton to the next player on their team. This process also repeats with all the players on the team. It is essentially like a task broken down into smaller tasks to efficiently get a team to complete said task.

Now, imagine trying to implement this method with learning. Say, there are 10 people in a study group, each individual would teach someone something that they know best. A chain of lessons, of sorts. And that is what the concept of relay learning entails 

Current problems faced in learning outcomes

Do you ever wonder if our current methods of learning are maybe getting a little redundant? Classroom learning can be efficient to a certain point. However, in due course, the personalization needed to benefit these different learning capacities gets misplaced. Do you get the gist?

There’s only so much that a teacher can get a crowded classroom to learn, regardless of their educational skills. Even if we take the average of benefits received by the classroom, which indicates the mid-range, the outcomes remain unchanged. What about the extremes of this spectrum? Are they still getting the most they can out of the course? 

Yet another problem faced in traditional learning styles is the costs involved and subsequent lack of accessibility. Educational costs have gone up in recent years, making education inaccessible to underprivileged strata of society. While several scholarships and grants aim to bridge this widening economic gap in education, learning is still a privilege for many.

The final nail to the traditional learning system is the quality and quantity of teachers. Teachers are underpaid in the world, regardless of the country. As such, very few educated individuals have the motivation to become teachers. And those who take up this profession or related roles are either stuck in the box of age-old practices or underqualified. Yet another challenge is the required qualifications and experience to become a teacher. But should teaching be so complicated?

In comes Relay Learning.

Benefits of relay learning

Benefits of this style of learning include a more individually designed learner-teacher understanding. Considering that the learning takes place in a social setting, it could help with learning the concepts better.

While improving communication skills and interpersonal relationships, it could also boost the confidence and self-esteem of individuals involved.

However, the signature benefit could be that it enables learning without paying an exorbitant amount. This means treating education as a service, rather than as a commodity. It also means that the teacher can adapt to the learner’s capacity.

Furthermore, restraints on teaching professions are no longer applicable. With relay learning, anyone willing to spread knowledge can teach someone something without needing a specific degree.

Finally, relay learning makes education a communal and social activity as opposed to the isolated and independent construct we follow. Moreover, education becomes free with this learning style and no longer follows an authoritarian approach prevalent now. Meaning, you can learn and teach any subject of your choosing, as long as you have the right level of knowledge and a passion to teach and learn.

Conclusion

Relay learning focuses on a more community style of learning with the teachers and learners being interdependent. This ideology of learning helps since the approach targets and is an effective way to achieve impact at scale. There are many learning styles that are diverse and that’s important since learners are also pretty diverse. It is important to ensure that we approach learning with more personalization. This means that more learners can truly benefit from education, rather than just a few.

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Education General Learning

Is Our Education System Molding Us For Failure?

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The concept of an education system is more of a subjective one, if you think about it. Yes, it involves systematic methods of giving and receiving information. However, it also has way more to it like the learner’s inclinations, the teacher’s methods, the learning environment and so on.

Education aims to prepare individuals to become a part of the economy and society. It also helps them develop a value system, practice critical thinking, and of course, inculcate problem solving skills. It’s something that evokes mixed feelings, though. Some love it, some detest it and some are doing all they can to get access to it.

However, it’s pretty clear that our education systems have a foundation accumulated over the years. The question is: does it encourage following hierarchy and obedience rather than critical thinking and formulation of individual perspective? 

The “ideal” education system 

Let’s take a look at what an ideal education should look like.

  • A course that allows students to explore various fields to understand their interests better
  • A system that encourages them to follow these interests, rather than having multiple courses imposed on them
  • A more personalized learning because every learner’s needs are different 
  • An educational journey that challenges the learner to bring out the best in them, rather than shut down their learning

Education should be a catalyst in a learner’s discovery process, rather than an active element.

Our current education systems, while slowly adapting to these different learning needs, still have room for growth. At present, it builds on systems that make the learner seem more employable. This means focusing on book knowledge that is coerced into the learner.

However, rather than treating education as a commodity, it would do better to see it as an essential service. Instead of enclosing learners in a box, encouraging them to explore out of it could make the learning process more efficient

The issue with this system is that it stimulates compliance and disappoints questioning of the system. This eventually just grooms citizens who want to encourage the current system and accept all information displayed to them, rather than exploring topics and having their own say in it. The latter would also act as a change enabler.

The bright side of it, however, is that we do have an elaborate education system in place that is constantly reviewing itself for betterment. The question is, is that enough? 

The takeaway 

Education is a sector that is essentially intertwined with various aspects of a functioning society. This means that any real change will trigger subsequent changes in these auxiliary sectors. Such an elaborate system means that a drastic overnight change may not be practical. It seems reasonable that the system can eventually adapt itself to the needs of these diverse learners. So is our education system is molding us for failure? The verdict is that it’s more a case of “if the shoe fits”. While it may work for some, it may not be the best approach for all 

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Education General Learning

Educational Freedom – Myth or Reality?

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Say, you want to be a musician. Would you rather spend your time learning calculus or mastering your instrument? Learners often don’t have an option between the two and have to balance between the two. Educational freedom changes the ball game by giving you options.

Understanding Educational Freedom

Educational freedom is the right to make educational choices without the State’s interference. It involves parents and children being able to choose their education based on their views as well as perceptions. With 155 of 195 countries recognizing the right to basic education legally, it is becoming something of a globally accepted concept.

However, educational freedom involves a little more than just access to education. Educational freedom means that faculty have more accountability, and students get to explore their views without being influenced by the perspective of the faculty or institution. It also means that there isn’t much direct interference from the government or any other external facilities.

Educational Freedom vs Right to Education

Although easy to confuse, there is quite a difference between ‘Right to Education’ and ‘Educational Freedom’. While the former is more of recognizing education as a necessary service, the latter focuses more on what the term education constitutes.

Most education systems take on a one-size-fits-all approach. The issue with this is there are different types of learners and learning styles. Having a standardized approach, therefore, can be a hassle than it is useful. These systems don’t necessarily encourage questioning in classrooms. Instead, they try to motivate students towards increasing academic scores.

The assumption that all children must be interested to learn all courses offered is another issue with mandatory imposition of specific syllabi. It is important for younger minds to be exposed to wider subjects to explore their interests. Moreover, this approach may not be productive for slightly older learners. Imposing subjects that learners are not keen towards could potentially undermine their actual interests and bore them.

Therefore, it is safe to say that education is in dire need of liberation.

Benefits and Components

Freedom of education involves classes that aren’t mandatory. There are no compulsions on mandatory subjects or levels of attendance. Instead, parents understand their natural inclination and support them. Education has more impact when children aren’t learning something specific out of parental pressure.

The benefits of academic freedom extend beyond just for the professors, students, and institutions. The society also benefits from broader perspectives and improved innovations. It cultivates creative thinking and helps students to express views that they may disagree with. Faculty get to pick which teaching methods they find most effective. In turn, students are able to understand in order to draw their own conclusions 

Current Scenario of Educational Freedom

Global Public Policy Institute index on educational freedom
Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi)

This Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) index shows countries in North America, Armenia, and so on, seeing a higher educational freedom index. On the other hand, China and the UAE rank lower in the educational freedom index. The index clearly shows the need for more freedom in education across the world.

Conclusion

Human beings are quite similar anatomically. However, when it comes to learning capabilities, the differences are apparent. As such, we need an education system that can cater to different learners and learning styles. Educational freedom plays an important role here. The more freedom of choice learners have, the better they can design their future. So, a musician need not learn string theory and can focus on music theory.

Additional resources: 

https://www.insidehighered.com/views/2010/12/21/defining-academic-freedom

https://www.google.co.in/books/edition/Educational_Freedom_in_Eastern_Europe/hj2SNOyH9QIC?hl=en&gbpv=0