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    Our Obsession With Written Pages

    Hello and welcome to Musings of a MasterNi, I am Minal Desai and here I share with you a medley of my unique experiences shaped by students teachers and life in general.

    You know most adults have a very simple way of measuring whether the child is learning or not. All of us know it, don’t we? It is the written work. The number of pages filled and the number of words written seems to have a direct relationship with understanding and knowledge. And hence most schools, teachers and adults insist that children write more and more.

    Maybe this stems from our own education pattern where a long answer equalled a good answer. I am sure we have done it or know of friends who have gotten through college or boards simply by filling up a lot of pages even if those pages consisted of Bollywood stories or simply repeated the question again and again.

    I have seen many parents belittle some teachers, schools or boards simply because they ask for short and crisp answers. As if writing to the point is a crime. But isn’t this a very silly yardstick? I mean think of it, we believe that if the child has written, he has understood. This written work may simply be a copy-paste of teacher’s work on the board or from the textbook but still, it is taken as work while another teacher who has facilitated learning and sparked curiosity but has not had LONGGG pages filled out, is taken as superficial. In reality, however, learning happens within the child’s mind which does not always learn by writing.

    Now, writing has its own importance in making the understanding deeper or explaining a point of view but it sure is not an end in itself. Also, don’t we need to look at age appropriateness of quantity of written work? Do we really want 4-5-year-olds to write the numbers and letters over hundreds of pages? The child in Board, yes even the 16-year-old in Boards is a child, is expected to finish dozens of full scape notebooks in order to prove that he has worked hard. But is this the only way to learn or assess learning?

    Rather, asking questions and letting them write their own answers, long or short, insisting on reading more than writing, accepting oral answers and having deeper discussions could change the way we look at student learning and our society, isn’t it?

    So what has been your experience of writing and how do you think we can deal with this? Do share your views with me and don’t forget to subscribe to Musings of a MasterNi on Youtube and Instagram.

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