Last Friday, we had Naveen, the Managing Trustee of Headstart Learning Centre share his ideas on re-imagining education with us during G2G. Rather than just point out flaws in the educational system, he has gone ahead and built an ecosystem that is now a thriving proof of how children’s learning can and should be redefined.
Here are the highlights from his talk:
- The flaw / root cause is that we have lost sight of the purpose of education, ie the “Why”. It has now devolved into a vehicle to pass examinations. You don’t need 12 years for that.
- He reengineered the school to now function as a Social Incubation Centre — a space where great people come together to bring about social transformation
- Curiosity is key to learning at any age. So education rightly done will have to nurture it — fan the flames not pour water over it.
- Schools have spent their time teaching children “what” to learn instead of “how” to learn. Vast amount of time is wasted and the burden of learning falls on the teacher.
- Children’s ability to grasp ideas and learn skills is vastly underestimated. Traditional schools have decided what kids can learn, by when and all kids of a certain age have to conform to these standards.
- Exposure can teach kids much more than theory. It also make each kid be aware of gaps in learning and go out and get that knowledge.
Learnings for Organizations:
What struck me was the realization that the ideas discussed to build a great school had significant similarities to building a great organization — a journey we are on.
- It takes a minimum of 10 years to build something that can create a transformation. 10 years of deliberate growth not drifting along.
- Great organizations grow leaders from within. They invest deliberately in identifying, developing and trusting them with responsibility > experience but proportional to potential and track record
- To remain creative, we need to stay small — short term growth is the wrong metric to gauge long term success. Reduce size but increase impact.
- Accept that talented people exist outside yourself / organization — rather than be a bottleneck, a leader has to create an environment that brings in the best to come, teach and play.
- Be curious, keep tinkering, remind yourself that the status quo / SOP is a a slow poison.
So while Naveen gave us his insights on how to make a serious dent in the educational system, we gained ideas on how to build a great organization and have fun doing it!