Design Mind for Change – Change is the only Constant
Change starts in our mind. Change in the minds of youth makes a massive difference to the community we live and to the future prospect of our society. The simplicity of thoughts of these young mind brings a breath of fresh air. If we as adults want to see the change we have to create that change in the fledgling minds of our children.
The students are the catalyst of change in society.
It all starts in the school. And school is a community learning center.
Change is not a random thing. It is a process that can be crafted and structured.
The students are not merely the learners they have the capacity to solve societal problem. Inherently, the basic problem is that we keep treating them as novice and keep them away from solving such problems. We are protective of them, rather we are insecure of ourselves. The change has to start in our mind first. In the minds of adults, they are the parents and the teachers. We have imposed our thinking on them and not allowed them to design their thought process. Thinking is an independent and truly fascinating process, just that we have regimented the thinking of our young minds. They are creative and they are innovative. We just need to give them that space. They know how to get things done. Given a chance, they do it pretty smartly and quite swiftly indeed.
Knowing well that change is constant we are constantly harping for a status quo, we resist change and we have developed a love-hate relationship with change. The character of change is constantly playing its part but we are not always aware of its internal characteristics. We need to adequately learn the art of change management. This art is not just applied in the context of organizations but in the institutions and in the management of family matters. In a way art of living is so much an art of managing change. The art of organizational transformation is the art of change management. It has become a cliche but change is constant.
The art of teaching in school and learning in life is the art of managing change.
The heart of such change is in the minds of children and designing the process of thinking for managing change.
We need to break the shackles of confinement. Physical confinement is small aspect when we measure the challenge a student face when subjugated to the mental confinement. In a way the subjects that are taught in the school and the way we design our curriculum are not in line with the contemporary thinking. Teaching and learning can be anywhere and this should be more broad based and encompass a larger purpose in life. Students need to move out of the confinement of classrooms and they need to be part of the larger community. The learning is best done in the community and not in the classroom. The confinement of classroom has its own limitation and that has a strong bearing in the minds of the young students.
Their minds are fertile and it is ready to cultivate and grow what we want to be sown. The problem is in the planning of sowing.
The students need to be engaged in solving real life problems confronting them. Of course they need to be sensitized. Gone are the days when we as students learned things first and completed the full learning process and then were we given that window of opportunity to engage in solving a problem. Those approaches were sequential not concurrent in nature. It was literal. Things happened in certain order and the manner of doing things was mostly sacrosanct. Things were largely regimented not experimented. There was a big chasm. We were taught things in one era and we were than asked to apply that bookish learning to solve real life problem in another era. It was a double whammy.
We are all living in a fast changing world where every day and month count, and a year is long time. A decade is like an year has gone by.
Things change so drastically that we are clueless in effectively tackling such complex problems. We are confronting a situation where problems are piling perilously and we are unable to design solutions that can lessen the burden on our society. Solving societal problems can no longer be restricted to certain set of people and certain form of government. It has to be concerted effort that is all encompassing. A holistic engagement and wholehearted participation of every citizen is critical in the progressive development of a nation. Everybody’s contribution is needed to mitigate the massive problems confronting our society. The student community is a large community.
They have the energy.
They have the creativity.
They can synergy to make a huge difference to our society.
Solving these large problems needs different approach to be adopted. The conventional approach cannot carry the rapidly mounting load, it is already crumbling. We need to reinforce. We need to galvanize the forces to face these daunting challenges staring us. The students can play a vital role in not only augmenting learning while doing but solving some of the most challenging problems facing humanity. It is from climate change to water crisis to pollution to poverty threatening to rage a war on humanity.
South Africa capital was out of water. Chennai in India is staring at a massive water crisis. Temperature is many parts of world are hitting all time high. 50 degree Celsius was exception; it has now becoming a norm. Beijing was covered with a cover of smog and mist. Delhi has been facing it every winter.
People in government can do so much and grown up people can also do that much, it is a myth that only some people and certain section of the population are capable of solving problem of this magnitude. By assuming in this fashion we are making a major fashion disaster. Fashion is so much about the passion of experimenting with new concepts. Students are the major source of change management, including them in the process of problem solving can be the biggest game changer for our society.
They are smart. They are quick. They are capable of changing the way we think and look at the problem. They bring an altogether different perspective onto the table. They make the menu look exciting and inspiring. In the process students also develop the required skills and build a proper attitude towards life and solving real life problem. They develop the ability to solve problem, an important aspect of learning. There are methods and there are techniques that we learn in the classroom to solve problems that we face in real life.
We had kept the learning part and the part of solving problem apart and therein lies the problem.
These are not mutually exclusive set and these are inclusive in nature and are interconnected. The students needs to be sensitized and they are indeed more sensitive to the problems confronting our society. We as adult underestimate their maturity. The students of this generation are a different breed and we needn’t put them in the box that we were put to learn first and then transported into a new box to commence our earning. These students are born with a mind that is trained in out-of-box thinking. We need to recognize and acknowledge that fundamental change. The change mechanism that is inbuilt in the minds of students belonging to this generation is of different technology. It will take much longer time for us to learn that technology but we cannot learn at their cost. We need to give way to their thinking.
We need to design their thinking towards that change and to do that we need first change our thinking.
The thought matters and a small thought can bring a big change. The students need to be told about the various problems affecting the healthy growth of our society. They need to be purposefully engaged with the counters of problem. They need to be provided with the space to imagine and examine the problem through their set of lens. We may initially hold the camera but we should allow them to choose their lens, and look at the problem through their eyes. They should plan their action the action to affect the change. Let them weave the solution. Let them craft the fabric. Let them tell their side of story. And when they do they do with passion and compassion. There are no such assumptions and presumptions that limits their thinking. We have failed to solve many such complex problems applying such complicated mindset. Ironically, these complex problems need simple solutions just that our minds are complicated we look things in such a convoluted manner. The students aren’t. Their minds are free to navigate and operate the way they want it to be and not the way we want it to be.
The children have clear conscience. Their thoughts need to be channelized and the channels of change are through the hands of teachers and parents. Both of them have developed a strong mindset and the problem starts here and we groping in the wrong place there.
The design for change has to start from home in the minds of parents and end in the school in the minds of teacher. The thinking needs to be designed for embracing the change that comes our way. This is not a one-time affair. This is a life long phenomenon and we need to be a life long learner. The real learning comes in solving real life problem and why to restrict our children in solving theoretical problems. The students should be learning the art of solving real life problems at a young age. The stage is set to break the age old mindset and change the curriculum that has been there with our schooling for ages.
The time has come to confront the change or the change will devour us and we will be left with nothing…change is constant but we are constantly resisting that change and our children are facing the music. Though it is music for us but is noise for them…
Nihar R Pradhan