My husband raised in New Delhi completed twelve years of education from the same school before heading to an engineering college, while I studied in three different schools in three different cities of India before starting college. Our children have had the privilege of going to school in five cities, four countries and three continents and their education comprises of learning in private, public, British, Indian and American system of schooling.
Whether thirty years ago or now the basic subjects in school remain the same but the methodology has undergone a rapid change, evolving from its limited textbook exposure to a broader spectrum utilizing innovative tools making education not only interesting but also fun while adding to the challenge and value.
I compare my son’s exposure and learning of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet in grade nine vastly different from how we learned. Today, he doesn’t just read the story and answer questions as I did. To make the language of 1595 compatible to the understanding of teens in 2016 the teachers require the class to follow the annotations with writing excerpts of conversations in today’s slang, text language, even abbreviated text language with Benvolio called Benji, Mercutio – Marco and so on.
My daughter’s international relations professor didn’t arrive for a class and the Teacher’s Assistants switched on the television for the waiting students declaring ‘today’s class is on CNN’. The professor was being interviewed on CNN live at that very moment and his views on the effect of Trump on International Relation was the topic and soon after the telecast he rushed into the class ready to begin the discussion. I love hearing the way education has evolved in every sphere, still laugh at my son’s first tryst with learning about maps and how to draw to scale in grade 4. His homework entailed drawing a map of his home, surroundings, route to school and time taken to reach school. The classwork contained whether the route was followed or were there diversions and the difference in time to reach destination with reasons. My boy biked to school that was less than a mile away and was on the same side of the road as our home so no rocket science there for absence of any other route. But his teacher did note the time he took varied and the reason was written with great honesty- “unscheduled return home due to an emergency bathroom visit”. While I was both embarrassed and amused he received an A + for meeting all the requirements. In high school my daughter’s class would write letters to the senator with current water contamination/ issues after they arrived at conclusions on experimenting and the beauty of it was that the senators would reply in details appreciating and thanking them for their efforts.
I never envisioned an education on these lines and the more I hear the more I wish to turn back the clock to be in school again studying in this marvelous environment. But then I open my eyes wider and look at all that being a high schooler or a college student entails and I sit back with a sigh of relief, happy to enjoy stories that my children share- of education how they get it.