Learning doesn’t need a classroom. But impactful learning does.
The pandemic has revolutionised the way we teach and the way our students learn. Formal education system in India, and also globally, is undergoing a dramatic transformation. The COVID pandemic has made us realise that we don’t necessarily need a school or a classroom to impart learning. We can achieve our primary learning goals if we have an internet connection and a computer, laptop, tablet or a mobile phone. And that’s great, convenient and comforting.
However, is that sufficient?
While we know that online learning is here to stay and we should not discard it completely, we should also be aware of how beneficial in-classroom learning is, especially for learners belonging to the younger age group.
Many of us are gearing up to go back to schools in the coming months of May and June. While all of us are looking forward to it, a part of us might show some reluctance as online teaching and learning is undeniably super convenient and comfortable.
So, we thought, what better time than now to take a fresh look at the role in-classroom learning can play in the life of a young learner, how it moulds their mind and overall personality. Why do we say fresh look? Because, having had first-hand experience of both — online and in-classroom models makes us cognizant of the benefits of both, making this an unbiased enquiry into the subject.
Let’s now walk you through a few compelling reasons why classroom learning is an essential component of early childhood as well as overall personality development of an individual.
Being in a classroom setting naturally develops a child’s ability to socialise. They feel a sense of belonging and oneness with their peers. Children learn how to build rapport through social interactions with peers, seniors, juniors and teachers. Ideally, the purpose of education is to prepare one for life. Building healthy social relations and being part of the society we live in are important aspects of life. Therefore, nurturing of social skills is a consequential element of holistic education that classroom learning offers.
Stimulated Learning Environment
The physical presence of a teacher keeps children attentive, stimulated and engaged in classrooms. This is not often the case in virtual or online learning models, where a teacher doesn’t have a complete hold over the attention levels of a child. Although technology platforms such as Deetya offer solutions to counter this, they can never replace the effect of the actual presence of a teacher. Therefore, classroom learning ensures higher retention of the knowledge gained.
Learning with peers offers builds awareness and understanding about how others learn, think and express themselves. Collaborative skills and team skills could be developed abundantly in a classroom, readying children for the professional world where working in a team is critical to building a successful professional career.
Critical Thinking and Conflict Resolution
Classroom discussions, quizzes etc. drive critical thinking as learners are required to think quickly, form opinions and formulate answers. They also learn how to handle and resolve conflicts that are bound to occur when a group of young people spend considerable time interacting with each other. Both are important skills for life that can be acquired and nurtured in classrooms.
Adaptability in Teaching
Teacher can engage all kinds of learners by adapting to the mood of her class. Planning activities, explaining and even demonstrating become a lot easier in physical classrooms, enabling teachers to enhance the learning experience of every student in their class. Doing this in online mode might be quite challenging.
Accountability and Organization
Incomplete books, delayed submission of homework, low attendance etc. could lead to consequences that a child has to face in school. This leads them to be more responsible and accountable with themselves as well as at their studies. Similarly, going to school also develops a child’s organisational skills such as reaching on time, task allocation, division of time among subjects/courses and more.
It’s More Enjoyable!
Lastly, learning in a classroom alongside peers and in the presence of teachers make learning more fun and joyful. The laughs over innocent gimmicks, questions brimming with curiosity and the guidance of teachers all make the classroom learning a source of great joy and fulfilment.
Classroom learning is essential in a holistic educational ecosystem. So is technology-driven online learning. Modern educational ecosystem should be built on pillars of both — online as well as offline learning modes, for balanced development of students. Children should be taught to appreciate both worlds, experience the inherent joy that each model offers and acquire learning and development from both.
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