Prof. Yash Pal spoke on ” Wondering, Exploring and Meandering in Education ” on account of the eight VGK memorial lecture on September 5, 2009 @ HBCSE.
At first he began with what does one mean by “understanding”. There were a few responses from the audience. What I liked most was that understanding is what makes us feel happy about something. His talk was mostly around the children’s wanderings for the quest of understanding. He cited lots of children’s questions, and opened the forum for discussion from the audience. One could see the way he was amazed with simple yet important questions that children ask. On this note, he commented that our curriculum should be based on children’s questions. Acknowledging the old gurukul tradition, he even emphasized that each child should have an individual curriculum which can be decided based on each child’s mental faculties.
All along his talk, he was emphasizing on the interdisciplinary nature of learning that should happen during education. He criticized the compartmentalization of subjects in departments in universities.
Upon asking what answers does he given to children’s questions, he in a lighter note said, “I am not into realization of truth, I can only try to think and reason”.
From his talk, I could relate to two points that we practice. One was making connections with our prior knowledge. The other was cross-fertilization for new ideas.