Systemic Approach to the study of Social Sciences 2

A Two-Day UGC-Sponsored Seminar on Teaching Social Sciences: Challenges & Opportunities In the New Millennium.

On being invited to participate in the UGC sponsored Seminar on the 29th and 30th November at St.Joseph’s College, Bangalore and to deliver the Valedictory Address,  Prof. B.R.A.Rao of  the Institute considers it a pleasure to invite the delegates  and their students to participate through this blog site through discussions on the following topics. Learned Professors participating in the Seminar may help in addition to their inputs, in moderating this discussion.

This blog invites a discussion based on Sociological, Economic and Political perspectives  on how the present system of syllabi and exam oriented teaching hinders originality of thinking and innovation.

What steps should be taken within the prevailing system to foster a vigorous, creative and innovative Student-Teacher Community?

What steps should be taken to make the students socially conscious and concerned?

We have a rich tradition of student contribution during the freedom struggle. Can we revive this contribution in any way in our free democratic society by taking advantage of our Constitution and the Liberties it guarantees and in a non-disruptive manner?

I hope this site will throw up more such issues for discussion with your active cooperation

One thought on “Systemic Approach to the study of Social Sciences 2

  1. What steps should be taken within the prevailing system to foster a vigorous, creative and innovative Student-Teacher Community?

    I think justice can be done to the subject if it is discussed in a broader perspective by not considering the boundaries of the prevailing system. The reason is the prevailing system itself may be an hurdle to achieve the goal of vigorous, creative and innovative Student-Teacher Community.

    The idea is not to suggest that the prevailing system is right or wrong, the idea is to identify all the necessary tools for working towards the goal, if the system itself needs a modification, let it be.

    As I understand, the first step to be taken is to identify the objective and then practice it, the objective should be understand in its true sense, not mere gratification of one’s ideas. This is only possible when we should shed the habit of being mediocre and work earnestly towards what needs to be done. Have tried to identify few objectives that needs to be achieved.

    Creation and innovation is possible only by fresh mind. A prejudiced / opinion-filled mind cannot be creative and innovative. All minds have this ability naturally, depending on the environment to which the mind is exposed at a younger age, it either retains the ability or looses the ability. Education institutions play a major role in contributing to this phenomena.

    Primary role of the teacher should be to create an environment that is conducive for minds to retain these abilities and further develop it. The mind is inquisitive by nature, teachers play a major role in curbing or nurturing this nature. Children have the ability to learn by themselves (Kids learning to operate mobiles, computers is a simple example for it), the only help a teacher does is when the Children is not able to connect the dots, the teacher should help the child in doing it. The prevailing habit of giving the connected dots is of no help for the growth of a student.

    Teachers can help themselves and students if they change the attitude of “I am the teacher, you are the taught” to “You are the learner, I am the aid, let us learn and discover together”. Teachers should have the ability to talk to several students at a time and yet communicate with each one individually.

    What steps should be taken to make the students socially conscious and concerned?

    Students can be socially conscious and concerned only when they are selfless. It is not possible to have both darkness and light at same time, In our current system the orientation is “Survival of the fittest”, may be admission to school, exams, sports etc.. In such a system normally, only two things can be possible, some will compete in the race, some others will be exhausted / unfit for the competition and look for some alternative, which can be “conceived social consciousness” and “conceived social concern”, which may not be a permanent one.

    We cannot expect people who are untidy to monitor and guide the people in the process of becoming tidy. Similarly, we cannot expect people who don’t have social conscious and concern (Teachers and parents) to guide the students to become socially conscious and concern. If we try to fix the problem without understanding this root cause of this problem, it will merely be a temporary fix with no time guarantee.

    The efforts should be put in right direction, the efforts should be to create a holistic environment conducive for the growth of social consciousness and social concern, this can happen only when the holistic environment (Parents, home, Teachers, School etc..) is suitable for the growth of the selfless instinct in each individual.

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