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Academician-turned entrepreneur Palani Rathinam, Chairman, Akara Education & World Schools, in his novel designed K-12 system that ensures learning without gaps
There are many school brands available for business opportunity. Why Akara?
Akara World Schools, powered by research and professional back up of Akara Education’s 100 plus man years of K17 teaching, answers hitherto unsolved puzzles of the traditional school system.
Why are learners not able to sustain their initial success level as they move to higher grades?
The traditional education system leaves behind many students struggling to succeed because the course content, place, time, delivery mode and pace are fixed. The resultant challenge is that many students are left behind with varying levels of learning gaps, requiring appropriate learner-specific scaffolding.
The current K-12 education content and the assessment system aim at producing average learners, who conform to the learning outcomes by ensuring the basic core knowledge of compartmentalized disciplines, but it miserably fails to fully tap the hidden potential of the learners, particularly of the high achievers. The system does not challenge them to realize their full potential. Top educationists of the world like Tony Wagner have referred to this as Achievement Gaps and have called for reengineering of education. It is also clear that
even the most academically successful learners are unable to meet the expectations of higher education institutions and the industry. This gap is caused by the learning outputs necessary for success in the school, but not sufficient for higher education and industry, resulting in Expectation Gaps.
Apart from these, do you think anything else is responsible for these gaps?
Yes, lack of passion. The whole system at its best is designed to focus only on the cognitive development of the learners and has no place for the learners’ passion and emotion. Passion motivates, it drives, it triggers; it propels and ensures magical success as it makes way out of no way. It allows the learners to overcome hardships and achieve goals that are meaningful to them.
Thus, Akara’s research team realized the problems in the current education system as four gaps: Learning gaps at the personal learning level, gaps in expectation, achievement, and passion caused by faulty curriculum design.
What is Akara’s solution to the problems and challenges?
Akara has designed a K-12 system that ensures learning without gaps so that every child excels and learns without limits so that the any child’s development is assured to bridge the disconnection within education, and between education and life. It is called the 7-i learning process comprising Instruction, Investigation, Interaction, Internalization, Ideation, Imagination and Innovation, as the solution which addresses the challenges above mentioned.
How do you successfully translate these 7i’s into classroom strategies?
We have designed a couple of exciting and effective tools called PALMS and K-12 EDGES.
Please explain PALMS & K-12 EDGES…
PALMS is an advanced learner-centred strategy that replaces the traditional teacher-centred notes of lesson, or lesson plan. It is an acronym for Personalized Adaptive Learning Map for Success. It personalizes learning to every individual learner supported by adaptive technology for scaffolding.
K-12 EDGES stands for K-12 Education Designed for Global Employability and Sustainability. This strategy aims at challenging students to stretch their capacities, thereby enabling them to realize their full potential. It is achieved through an initiative called Integrated, Passion-led, Accelerated and Connected Education for Excellence (i-pace-e).
Further, to the 4C’s (Communication, Critical Thinking, Collaboration & Creativity) of 21st Century Skills, recent research studies that examined the job requirements of global MNC’s have laid huge emphasis on a new set of competencies called Global Competencies, comprising global content, global connections, global concerns, global commitment, global contribution, and global citizenship.
Similar emphasis is being given to the concept of sustainability as one of the prime principles of meaning-making and purpose-building processes for education to be fulfilling.