We should not judge people by their peak of excellence; but by the distance they have traveled from the point where they started.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sites for parents

Here is a collection of top sites for parents for educating their kids for various needs.



Some good strategies of teaching and learning.

Seven mathematical processes that form the heart of the teaching and learning strategies used in mathematical teachings.

Communicating: Several opportunities for students to share their understanding both in oral as well as written form.

Problem solving: Scaffolding of knowledge, detecting patterns, making and justifying conjectures, guiding students as they apply their chosen strategy, directing students to use multiple strategies to solve the same problem, when appropriate, recognizing, encouraging, and applauding perseverance, discussing the relative merits of different strategies for specific types of problems.

Reasoning and proving:
Asking questions that get students to hypothesize, providing students with one or more numerical examples that parallel these with the generalization and describing their thinking in more detail.

Modeling the reflective process, asking students how they know.

Selecting Tools and Computational Strategies:
Modeling the use of tools and having students use technology to help solve problems.

Activating prior knowledge when introducing a new concept in order to make a smooth connection between previous learning and new concepts, and introducing skills in context to make connections between particular manipulations and problems that require them.

Modeling various ways to demonstrate understanding, posing questions that require students to use different representations as they are working at each level of conceptual development – concrete, visual or symbolic, allowing individual students the time they need to solidify their understanding at each conceptual stage.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Discussions are an extremely important tool for generating new ideas, keeping motivation alive, brainstorm and solve new problems.

How many colleges in India provide a platform for free discussions? There is a difference between college and university. Most of India has colleges, which are at extremely sub par level in terms of education because they staff poor faculty, who are not qualified enough to teach students. If 90 % of students learn in such colleges how are we going to get quality students out who are going to make quality contribution. India suffers because it produces tons of college students who when graduate hunt for a means for earning their bread and butter.

Discussions are an effective way to provide knowledge transfer. Every discussion should be started with a prerequisite study of its topics, followed by healthy debates amongst the members. It helps gets ideas clear, it helps in studying effectively because now you have multiple ways of learning from different people. It helps in making concepts concrete.

The same is true for corporate culture. Indian software developers are considered code monkeys. Because they can not think, and all they understand is how to code rather than being innovative. The root lies in our industry, in our education and in the people who want to nurture this system to provide a way to earn money for themselves. Discussions do not happen in corporate rooms too, because people are not knowledgeable enough to hold such discussions.

These are some important shortcomings and as they will improve things should improve.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Information and Internet

There was a time, exactly 5 years back, when I felt dire need of lot of information. I felt why I do not understand these. I felt why don't I have access to the things that I want to have access to.

I tried getting information access by visiting British library. I tried meeting different people. I tried the best without anybody's guidance. Today, when I look back, I feel I did best to my knowledge. Without anybody to act as a mentor and without Internet that was the best I could have achieved.

Today, I regret so heavily how I lost some of the precious time that I lost, because I did not know how to search for the correct information in the correct way. I regret because I feel what a fool I was, because I did not know how to think correctly.

So, when I think back, I feel kids today are more fortunate, when they have Google to their help. When they have a ready made wikipedia which helps them with information at their fingertips. I believe Internet and wikipedia is the best leveler that this century has witnessed, because with information, comes awareness. And with awareness comes awareness to know more and it builds the curiosity which is so much needed to keep on learning new things and finding new innovative ways to solve new problems.

I so strongly feel, there should be classes in schools which make kids aware how to look for information. Because I know, take our parents generation and you will feel lot of lack of awareness and a fear towards technology. There should be awareness at all level to access the information and to make it work for your own benefit in the best possible ways. And I believe by showing people the way, there will be great benefits.

Information is the best way to make our lives better. Its a new way of education. The one which need not be taught in schools by conventional teachers and yet it could be a lot rewarding in making our lives better, slowly and steadily.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The real education

I have been thinking on this very hard for a long time. Is education that we receive in our schools the real education? Is the education that one receives as a child when one is totally incapable of understanding what is being taught and why it is being taught the real education? Why people and most of the society think that the academic achievements are the only one's which establish a person as a real achiever?

Do all the gifted children who were considered a child prodigy able to survive the rigor that life poses as one enters different phases of life. Or does society eats them with its traditional views. Why does history starts looking more fascinating when one does not come in its contact at all, after leaving school.

I believe a person gets molded by two things. The environment that he grows up with and the inherent genes that he carries from his parents while he / she is born. Not all kids are born with great genes, but if they grow up in good environment, with great teachers or thinkers they end up being good too.

Our education gives us different contexts at different stages of our childhood. We are taught to learn vocabulary, we are taught science, we are taught mathematics, history, civics. Then we are taught special branches like engineering. medical..etc etc. Point of a good education is to make good human beings who could understand how to live a meaningful life. But unfortunately many of the times, our education prepares us just for our survival, to earn our bread and butter.

Is education's role solely limited to teaching a person to earn his bread and butter? That is important but how can people understand the role it also plays in making a good human being? That is why you see so many people hating to be educated after a certain basic degree. That is why you see, least resistance to go for higher education in places like India. Because people believe they have achieved a certain qualification to earn ones living and be happy for the rest of their lives.

Does it really happen so? Do people really stay happy with the limited knowledge that they achieve? I believe people make themselves feel they are happy in their state of ignorance of so many things that go around them, which they might become aware of they more educated and if they are taught how to think in a more wise way. And that is why we see so much of nonsense that goes on around us.

I believe real education starts when you are mature enough to understand the vast amount of problems in the world, and how you can contribute to make it better. The rest of the education that one receives in classrooms is not education, its just a tool to make you powerful to sustain your life, by giving you power to earn. And mostly people realize the importance of real education late in their life, when things have come to a full stop or looks like they will come to a full stop.

I am a firm believer of the view that if all these people, who get themselves into the monotonous rigor of living a life as expected by society according to its standards, start visiting their school education again, they will find so much happiness that yes, they are actually understanding the meaning of all of it. And that happiness is a great to be cherished for, as it will take their attention away to some extent, from the daily problems that we face as grown ups at different stages.