4 Cultural Forces that Impact Learning
A School for Awakening Human Potential is a school for a beautiful world
Awakening Human Potential in every child of a school needs a radical transformation in the 4 Cultural Forces that impact learning - Teaching, Assessing, Learning Environment, and School Systems.
The true purpose of teaching is not only transacting knowledge but facilitating and guiding the child in the direction of knowledge. Teaching doesn’t just mean giving answers but it is also asking questions. Questions that will awaken a child’s mind to think. It is a collaborative work where the facilitator and the child co-construct knowledge. It is a space where the learner is a teacher and the teacher a learner too. Teaching is a cultural force that goes beyond the walls of marks and grades, and sets the school on a beautiful journey into awakening. For both the teacher and the child.
To assess means to ‘sit beside’. Literally. Assessment is a means to ‘understand’ where the child is, where the child’s learning needs to go and then working out a plan ‘along with’ the child to reach there. As a cultural force that drives transformation, Assessment needs to be formative, low stake and consistent. i.e., in a school assessment needs to happen everyday. Why? Because to assess is to reflect and learn more about oneself. It is not driven by fear, but is driven by the innate curiosity in every child to explore the unknown. Assessment is the compass that directs the child and the teacher. Often times, even something simple and fun as whipping up a milkshake recipe is an opportunity to assess and learn.
The learning environment in a school needs to be such that it helps every child feel liberated and emotionally safe. In such a space the child is in an awakened state of mind that is most conducive to learning. Such a school is the child’s own happy place harmoniously co-created by teachers, school leaders and parents. The school with such an environment offers the child freedom to express, discuss, question and even disagree fearlessly and happily. It is an intellectually stimulating environment designed to encourage collaboration with peers, self- regulation and promotes thinking.
Every process or system in a school needs to be aligned to awaken a child’s mind to make them think and explore. Not just the school leader but every stakeholder in the school have to align their work and processes keeping the child in focus. From lesson plans to period planning to teacher collaborations, they do what it takes to design a learning space and process that is not only conducive to learning but also is a space for free expression and collaboration. Because, it takes a whole school community and not just one leader or a teacher to awaken the extraordinary Human Potential in every child.