IIITB’s pathway to new-age education

IIITB hosts international leadership program image

The myth of the ‘average’, outdated formal education system focused on mass production and a new paradigm for education called Navigated Learning (NL) were some of the aspects presented during Samvaad talk held at IIITB campus on September 9. The talk titled ‘Navigated Learning: Pedagogy for a connected world’, was presented by professor Srinath Srinivasa, professor and dean, R&D, IIITB and Chaitali Diwan, a PhD student at IIITB and revolved around drawbacks of the brick-and-mortar education system and importance of designing learning practices around cognitive elements like spaces and stories.


Speaking about India’s demographic dividend and importance of upscaling, professor Srinath stressed upon the need to staying relevant. “With more than 50% of its population aged less than 30, one of the primary challenges of pedagogy in India is to build competencies at scale. We have a lot of energy in our country alongside challenges. There is continuous need of staying relevant and upscaling skill set,” said professor Srinath.


Citing research work dating as far back as the 1950s, the talk argued against the idea of an "average" individual and stressed upon the importance of a new area of research called the Science of the Individual.


“Our current formal education system is primarily a derivative of industrial revolution. Mass production, standardization and calibration on visible outcomes are some of the elements of this system. With increasing automation and greater pace of technological change, today we require much higher design and reasoning skills from an individual rather than a fine-grained specific skill. Primary model of the pedagogy that is designed for an average student with average capability is in itself fundamentally flawed,” argued professor Srinath.


Stressing upon the importance of social and collaborative activity, the talk argued that the competitive nature of the conventional metrics-based factory model of education fails to leverage on the potential of collaborative social interaction to catalyze learning.


“It is the social aspect of learning that promotes characteristics like creativity and critical thinking, by prompting individuals to inquire from different perspectives. However, formal education today has become a minimalistic, competitive environment.


Such concerns have prompted us to come up with NL, a new paradigm for education. Although the underlying technology called the Learning Navigator is designed for a data-rich, connected world, the idea of NL itself is more fundamental. It is based on designing learning practices around two cognitive elements: spaces and stories. The current implementation of NL by its inventors at Gooru Inc. uses a predominantly manual approach to building competency maps, learning pathways and curating narrative arcs for different learners,” explained professor Srinath.

For Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pa2I34uRkQ4