Evolving educational content
Manish Aggarwal, Publisher, Pitambar Publishing Company P Ltd and Rising Sun Publishing Company, shares his views on the changing face of school education.
The right content should be curated for the right kind of audience. Content knowledge refers to the facts, concepts, theories, and principles taught and learned in specific academic courses, as opposed to related abilities like reading, writing, and researching that students learn in school. Educational content can be available in different forms such as books, videos, tutorials, manuals etc.
The relevant content for the target audience with specific and real life examples having engaging language, variety, visually appealing and consistent tone is the ideal knowledge that can be provided. It should be aligned with SDG (Sustainable Developmental Goal) No.4 – Quality Education.
The past decade has witnessed different paradigms in education, thereby changing the outlook of students towards course and content engagement. The New Education Policy (NEP) strives to create an equitable education system with NCERT trying to introduce changes in the curriculum. Edtech is also playing a key role in disrupting the way students look towards learning with more emphasis on blended learning. Moreover, entrepreneurship and skill education are the buzzwords of the new system and have been infused in the new syllabus. The basic motive of all the above mentioned points is to drive innovation and promote efficient learning.
Talking about the NEP, the board exams will become easier where the syllabus gets reduced by retaining some of the core essentials with a specialized focus on experiential learning and critical thinking. The concept of rote learning will be replaced by competency based learning wherein the focus will be on reasoning and application of the concepts studied.
So how should the content be?
Content has to be prepared keeping in mind the following :
- Experiential learning
- Inter-disciplinary approach (e.g. art integration)
- Multi-lingual flexibility
- Competency based
The content will be including a fun course on vocational crafts for the students to develop essential skills. In today’s time, books are not the only source of content and knowledge. Trainings, educational tutorials and digital platforms are supplementing the bookish knowledge for them to gain application-centric knowledge. Today, content is also focused on boosting knowledge about importance of mental health, nutritional health and personal hygiene and the detrimental effects of alcohol, tobacco and drugs.
The textbooks will now contain essential material (analysis, discussion of concepts and applications) but will also be supplemented with material on local needs. There is now increased flexibility for the students to choose between national and local material. The need in the world is to make the citizens good human beings having necessary life skills. For this, not only content based knowledge is essential, but also competency based learning with a motive to infuse problem solving, creative and communication skills.
Now, the curriculum will include subjects like Artificial Intelligence, Data Science, Design Thinking and Holistic Health at different relevant stages. Also, coding will be introduced in the school curriculum to ensure better technical learning and savviness at an early stage. Lastly, there will also be a focus on traditional Indian values, mythology and constitutional values for better learning.