When I was a child, my very traditional parents constantly emphasized on the value of education. We were a hard-working brood, working extremely hard at our academic skills. By the time the year-end exams came, I could read you the book, without having the book in front of me! And as for math, I’d done every problem in the text so many times, that if you gave me the same numbers, I could look at the question and tell you what the answer was going to be! Yes! I had a cent percent in every exam I took – for, at the cost of a rhyme, I went BY THE BOOK!
At university, and beyond, my world changed! I was faced with numbers I hadn’t seen before, questions that used the text book I’d so diligently read through – but they were beyond the exercises I’d practiced. And, life, well! As you can imagine, went for a spin! LOGIC said, I needed to change the way I learnt. BUT, the mind was trained into a defined pedagogy – it was not easy to change! And, I continued – persevering through all I did, spending more time on problem solving than most others. Thankfully, the ‘never give up’ strategy and the hard work paid off – I’ve achieved what I’ve set out to. So yes, attitude made the difference in my life.
Passing on the mantra of success to the next generation is mandatory. Therein began another phase in life where I’d get after my kids to work diligently on their texts, solve every question several times at home, prior to the topic being taken up in class.
But, things changed when my younger one joined school – there were no books for reference!!! Everything was research-based, and there was no end to the depth of information. Me being the individual I was – at the age of five, my son knew Archimedes’ Principle and Bernoulli’s Law! All because we researched and experimented on ‘why boats don’t sink?’!
The ‘learning-by-doing’ was a wonderful new experience for me – my child learnt effortlessly, visually witnessed the laws at work, and enjoyed the entire experience. His response was ‘Learning is Fun!’
We developed a code at home for this –Research – Experiment – Assimilate, and my kids put a ‘repeat loop’ on it, adding ENJOY as another instruction – though I continue to argue that ‘enjoyment’ was the output!
Today, learning has become a continuous process for us, in everything we do. It has changed my perspective on effective pedagogy, and I continue to be amazed at how beautiful the entire learning process can be!