If we are to surmise one fact from the now-famous picture of parents passing cheat sheets while precariously planted outside windows three storeys high in Bihar, it’s this – our education system needs a bit of fine-tuning.
We have all lamented the victory of rote, and we have certainly questioned what good our laborious school lessons did us when we’re having one of those days at home or in the office where we need skills to be found nowhere in textbooks.
Think Stations in Gurgaon was founded with the philosophy of teaching 21st century skills to kids who are likely to use what they learn in real, actual life. Fancy that!
Of all the alternative ways to support or compliment education, we found Think Stations distinctly different because of how it embraces technology. The Internet ain’t going anywhere, so why not befriend it and teach kids the right way to make the most of the web?
Children aged 4 to 14 get varying tasks, as per the group they have been assigned to based on their initial assessment test. We like that this doesn’t necessarily correspond with school grades but works on individual strengths and areas that could do with development.
Tasks include reading a long report and then summarizing – the joy of executive summaries and elevator pitches that we’ll grow to love later on in life. Children also take turns to be group leaders on tasks such as finding out how much nutrition one can get from a certain group of products – they can use the iPad to research and present their findings, which are videotaped for parents to view after the day’s done. Aside from communication and collaboration, this also teaches children about reliable sources of information and researching without plaigarising.
Think Stations tries to keep things fun, and very importantly, attempts an environment where no child is made to feel better or worse than the others.
Kids, you can take your stations!