Over the last century the global community has been focusing on increasing access to education across the world and significant progress has been made. That said, much remains to be done to achieve universal access from pre-primary to secondary education - and access to education is only the beginning. UNESCO has declared that we are going through "a global learning crisis" because even after going to school, 250 million children globally cannot read, write or count. In India the situation is dismal to say the least. Educational attainment levels are disappointing.
of school children in the four-eight age group do not have age-appropriate cognitive and numeracy skills (ASER 2020)
children in class two cannot read a text meant for class one (ASER 2020)
children below age six cannot do additions (ASER 2020)
During my studies at Harvard University I was immersed in decades of research showing that the way we have traditionally run schools conflicts with how people learn, and I became convinced that we need to change our approach to education if we hope for students to thrive both personally and professionally in the 21st century. But what does a good learning experience look like? How do we help children acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to fulfilling lives in which they can contribute meaningfully to their own and their community's development.
Based on my studies of education, my personal learning experiences and the advice from countless experts and mentors, some fundamental learning principles have emerged. When I set out to create a place of learning - The Northstar School - I thus had a few guiding ideas in mind. In collaboration with our dedicated team of passionate educators we developed The Northstar Approach, a guiding framework designed to ensure that our school becomes a place where:
Students are encouraged to ask & explore their own questions.
Students learns from their peers and their surroundings as well as from the teachers.
Learning is fun, meaningful and relevant to students' lives.
The entire community, including students, has a voice in decision - making.