In Brief: Shunya One Ep 16

Amrut Dhumal, Co-founder at Mindseed Education operates more than 50 pre-schools in 7 cities and 2 states since 2011. It focuses on skill development and works with technology to build the modules for learning. He joined hosts Shiladitya and Amit to talk about how education has evolved and needs to go beyond content distribution.  Amrut began with focusing on the myths that the traditional education system offered.  He said:

If you think about the holy trinity of lies in our education system. So sort of 200 years ago, the system that is built is largely just been incremental innovations on that. And the lies or the myths or the beliefs that form it are that no. 1 - education basically means an efficient form of content distribution. If you trace how education has evolved in that sense so you started with a chalk and a board and books. And that was a huge innovation when it came about. And that made more people sort of understand and therefore collaborate largely. That got replaced by smart boards, Khan Academy, even MOOCs; if you think about it they are all playing the same game to some extent. They are trying to distribute content more efficiently. But the MOOCs are trying to efficiently distribute great content. But really, it is about that.

Amrut also discussed the model they follow at Mindseed and what he thought about the conventional method of  teaching the English language with alphabets.

It was just a convention that people agreed upon. They said we are going to call this ‘A.’ If you are thinking about when you are trying to impart this as the basic thing to a child, you are talking about something that is so abstract vs. a chair which is so concrete. We actually start kids off in recognizing their own name. Because that is the most concrete thing for them - this is me. Once they start recognizing that, it is concrete, it is applicable.

Shiladitya then inquired about the scale and expansion of the education model, to which Amrut replied: 

This thing can really can scale when the system of feedback is in the product itself. And then what starts happening is that I am able to do all the things that I needed human beings for. The child is able to figure these things out, if you are saying the child is imputing these rules we need to give him or her stimulus that is engaging, that is at the right level. And then we need to give her feedback, whether you are doing right or wrong. And through multiple exposures they keep moving forward. That’s what we are testing now.

Listen to the full episode here: