Let’s make the school progressive!
Dr. Saroj Suman Gulati
Director, Blue Bells Group of Schools
“Tell me and I forget,teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”— Benjamin Franklin
Learning is getting increasingly informalized. There is strong evidence of effective and personalized learning beyond the schools. Dr. Saroj Suman Gulati, Director, Blue Bells Group of Schools, shares her views on the same.
TPS: Do you think our current policies and curricular approaches should give more room for creativity and innovation through informal and personalized approaches to learning rather than hierarchical approaches delivered from ivory towers?
Dr. Saroj: We definitely require changes in our educational system. Instead of personalized learning, we require group learning and informal learning.
TPS: Subjects like financial literacy, eco-system management, Health management, safety and security systems, Hospitality management and several other service-based areas of employment call for preparation of learners with a differentiated focus? What are your views?
Dr. Saroj: Definitely the service oriented and customer based professions need very different type of learning, must understand the human behaviour and their needs.
TPS: With greater access to information flow and technology-enabled learning, the concept and the role of school libraries need to change. It is felt that the libraries should facilitate research- orientation, extended learning and help in wider knowledge assimilation. How do you think these goals can be achieved in a school?
Dr. Saroj: Definitely Information Technology has changed the roles of teachers and books. Reading habits are very important whether we read through books or laptop. Communication and language can be developed only with the reading skills. Library is not only collection of books. It requires many other tools for learning, research based tools should also be added in library.
TPS: The learning curve of a cohort of learners is not the same as it was a few decades ago. The current patterns of learning curve call for re-engineering learning through unlearning and relearning. How do you think the schools can facilitate the idea of “learning to learn” rather than focusing on the listed concepts of disciplines?
Dr. Saroj: Schools can provide many platforms for different methods and ways of learning to learn and not to mug up. The teachers and resources in the progressive schools are really focusing on making the learning of concepts in very different ways and manners.
TPS: Learning and culture have strong interconnect. Learning about cultures presently occurs mostly through hidden curricula and in a slow manner. Do you think that the school should focus on giving greater thrust on the heritage and culture to empower children develops a deep sense of nationalism and constitutional values?
Dr. Saroj: Absolutely correct. Learning starts at home in very early years of childhood. Stories, movies and pictures related to heritage can be used as a tool of connecting the future and present generation to the history of nation in the early years of education.
Love for country and nationalism cannot be taught, it has to be penetrated into the minds of students with great examples. Only stories of past may not create nationalism. The examples from present have to be co-related. The stories of sacrifices of soldiers on the borders can create examples, gratefulness and love for the nation.
As the Founder Principal of Blue Bells Model School & Director of Blue Bells Group of Schools, Gurguram, Dr. Saroj Suman Gulati’s progressive ideas since 1981 have helped in making ‘Blue Bells Group of Schools’ in Gurguram among the most sought after and the most prestigious schools in the NCR. She has been a distinguished member of Managing Committee of Kendriya Vidyalaya, Aaya Nagar, Sangeetayan and ‘Sarvodaya Complex’ as well as enjoyed the coveted position as Chairman, Gurguram Progressive Schools Council for two years.