The idea of students’ development

The overall development of students involves nurturing them during their formative years at school. Comprehensive student development encompasses three dimensions: academic, moral, and social.
Last Updated : 24 June 2024, 22:45 IST

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While we often measure students’ progress by their improved test and exam results, education demands comprehensive growth, of which academic performance is just one aspect. Neglecting other dimensions of the educational journey can leave students ill-equipped to navigate life’s challenges and may hinder the proper utilisation of their inherent soft skills.

The overall development of students involves nurturing them during their formative years at school. Comprehensive student development encompasses three dimensions: academic, moral, and social.

Academic development

This is divided into three sections.

Knowledge enhancement: The traditional idea of education based on memorising facts and figures is outdated. Students need to adopt a more dynamic approach to learning. For example, instead of memorising historical dates and events, students can engage in project-based activities to research a particular historical period and then create a multimedia presentation to demonstrate their understanding.

Take the example of explaining photosynthesis. The teacher can adopt an interactive approach. Each student can plan an experiment, collect data, and present findings to the class. Through hands-on experiments, students gain a deeper understanding of photosynthesis and develop creative and critical thinking skills as they analyse data and draw conclusions about their findings. 

Excellence: The knowledge acquired gradually exerts a vigorous impact and enables students to excel in whatever they do. With proper mentoring, students can prioritise academic and non-academic aspects equally. Even if they do not score high, they will be recognised for their engaging discussions, thought-provoking questions, application of knowledge to real-life situations, dedication, passion, and ability to balance multiple commitments. 

Knowledge application: The pragmatic approach to acquired knowledge is pivotal. However, it often remains veiled, as students may encounter difficulties applying the knowledge they have acquired over the years. Learning to do it helps identify the authenticity of education and improves teaching and learning methodologies.

For instance, instead of merely memorising the laws and solving textbook problems, Newton’s laws of motion can incorporate hands-on experiments and real-world applications into the curriculum. Students can be asked to build their miniature train to demonstrate the concepts of inertia and acceleration. They apply their understanding of Newton’s laws to design train tracks that facilitate both speed and safety and help understand the crucial concepts involved. Moral development

The process of moral development for students can be compared to teaching them how birds’ wings enable them to fly and soar high in the skies. The development of morality also entails three essential prerequisites:

Self-awareness: The process of moral development begins with self-awareness. When students know themselves, the rest falls into place as per their understanding, setting them on an untiring journey towards excellence. Self-awareness entails recognising one’s strengths and weaknesses. This can be achieved through innovative approaches such as self-assessment.

Righteous deeds: They serve as a parameter of one’s moral standard. Good conduct involves performing virtuous deeds, benefiting others, lending a helping hand, speaking the truth, and even a simple smiling gesture—all of which can positively impact others.

Duty towards fellow beings: It is the natural extension of moral deeds and recognising one’s obligation towards others. The pinnacle of morality is reached when the people in one’s vicinity benefit from either words or deeds. Morality can be summarised as ‘loving for others what one loves for oneself.’ Students can be asked to provide clothes to the deserving and feed the hungry.

Social development

Focusing on the practical aspects of education helps synchronise students with their surroundings. Instead of inside the four walls of an institution, the entire city where they live becomes a school. Students perceive their surroundings in the way the teacher guides them. The school’s influence extends beyond its physical walls, and the teaching and training process begins when students leave their homes.

This socialisation requires a student to develop an owning-everything temperament. Such an idea of student development in our academic system can enhance efficiency and cultivate a competitive spirit among students and teachers.

(The author is the director of AJ Academy for Research and Development, Raichur)

Published 24 June 2024, 22:45 IST

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