It’s the new normal. It has changed our lives beyond comprehension and there’s no end in sight. It has greatly affected school education worldwide and has thrown open new challenges in administering primary school as well as secondary school education in the current situation. It has also revealed to us the various alternate forms other than conventional classroom education. Be it the SSC, CBSE or the Global School model, Schools need to adapt to online tutoring techniques by conducting virtual classrooms. It’s a challenge for teachers and parents alike. Parents now have to take up the task of filling up the role of the school at home. Home discipline has become paramount in administering education not just for children but more for parents.

The learning process applies more to parents than children and it’s a start from the basics. It starts with disciplining oneself and setting an example. This involves a lot of unlearning of the traditional myths and beliefs in our environment that are in fact a detriment to the growth and development of a child and it has become imperative to understand child psychology in depth to understand one’s own child best. The first unlearning is getting rid of the age old attitude of “Do as I say, don’t do as I do.” We’ve grown up on the doctrine of unquestioned worship of elders. We need to introspect on a number of our beliefs and their validity in the present times. Preserving our mental health and more importantly, that of our loved ones has taken prime importance. Closure of schools is having its impact on the mental health of children. To deal with the situation we need knowledge. Knowledge is power.  Today we have all the knowledge and information on the subject available to us on a click. Technology has proved to be a game changer.

The first lessons to be learnt from the COVID-19 crisis are obviously hygiene and personal care. How much did we ever care about hygiene and personal care? It’s more talked and less practiced. It’s only now with the fear of the consequences of catching the CORONA virus that we have now started using hand sanitizers wherever available. We are a country of 1.3 billion people and overcrowding in public places is common. Despite the fear of COVID-19 we still see people not observing social distancing and throwing caution to wind. We need to make cleanliness and hygiene a way of life and that starts with us. When we make it a habit to keep washing our hands and feet whenever we come in contact with surfaces exposed to the environment, our children follow our example. When we avoid and discourage visiting places of high human density, they do so too although unfair on them.

COVID-19  has also taught us survival skills during the lockdown period. Men and children alike have learnt how to cook. We have discovered new methods of home management and teamwork at home. This has contributed greatly to child development by giving children a sense of responsibility, independence and self confidence. With our world confined to our homes, we have also started engaging in meaningful joint activities with our children like cultivating hobbies or devoting quality time towards existing interests. We now engage with our children more in educative forms of entertainment.

With schools shut and our children at home with us 24 X7, we need to keep them and ourselves engaged in meaningful activity without losing our patience. It’s always a mission of self discovery. The situation teaches us how to engage with children and helps us to get to really know them. These are lessons in parenting as never before. We are now able to now understand our kids like we really ought to. One of the many educational institutions to recognize this concern is the Dhruv Global School. The institution facilitates the parental supervision in administering basic education to children through virtual classrooms using appropriate technology. Emphasis is given to parental engagement with carefully created training modules for parents. Although schools remain closed, education continues.

Each individual student is unique, different in cognitive and affective development, social maturity, ability, motivation, aspiration, learning styles, needs, interests and potential. Other differentiating factors may include innate differences in intelligence, differences in social and economic background, variations in past learning experiences, and perhaps variations in the level of congruence between the learner and the curriculum. Recognizing and addressing these individual differences is key to bridge the gap between individuals in order to even out their abilities and performance. Mentoring should aim for understanding why students are able or unable to learn effectively and evolving appropriate methods to facilitate betterlearning.

Dhruv Global School has the conviction that all students can learn. To address the needs of students, teachers have been trained to provide them with a variety of learning tools and opportunities for effective learning.This involves the utilization of diversified resources instead of relying only on textbooks.Making use of a wide spectrum of intelligences and multi-sensory experiences is effective to tap the different potential of students. Schools need to adopt different modes of assessment to identify the strengths and weaknesses of students before deciding on the appropriate curriculum, and learning and tutoring strategies applicable.

The two main kinds of individual differencesare the quantitative and qualitative differences.Quantitative differences are those in the quantity, speed and depth of learning. Some students may understand a new concept after one lesson whereas others may need to re-examine an idea several times before being able to grasp it. After a series of lessons, the learning abilities are well understood. They vary greatly across students. Observations on cognitive development reveal that children move, in general, from associative, pre-logical thinking to more formalised, logical thinking. Across individualshowever,the transition occurs at a more or less early age and there are differences in the extent to which formal reasoning is achieved. in Cognitive abilities include information processing, memory, reasoning, abstraction ability, etc. there are conative differences between students. In addition,quantitative differences also include conative differences concerning personality traits, motivation, needs and interests. Students differon their level of personal autonomy, level of achievement motivation, tolerance of ambiguity, and test anxiety. Qualitative differences on the other hand inthe ways that students learn best. Some children focus on spelling rules. They correctly pronounce or spell new words that follow the rules but have trouble with exceptions. Othersdevelop specific associations for each word in order to remember how to pronounce and spell words. Some prefer to begin with tangible details and then arrive to a larger vision on a topic whereas othersare comfortable with the exactly opposite approach when beginning on a new topic. Some learn well when working alone whereas others do best in learning through small group situations. Thesedifferences are the cognitive orlearningstyles, which suggest the student’s approach to tasks in qualitatively different ways, if given the choice. In addition to the distinction between quantitative and qualitative differences, we can contrast inter-individual differences i.e. differences between peopleand intra-individual differences i.e. differences within a given person. These are the techniques to measure how students differ in a given knowledge domain, such as mathematics.We can also observe how an individual student differs across domains, such as math, reading, and writing. Some students show homogeneous profiles across tasks whereas others have strong points and weak points depending on the learning domain.

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