Divya: I have been a Cuemath teacher since 2016. Before that, I worked extensively in the IT industry. My experience has been in coding and team management.
Abhinav: What would you like to share with our audience today?
Divya: I would like to talk about learnability. It is an important skill to have in today’s time.
Abhinav: How do you define learnability?
Divya: Learnability is the willingness and the ability to learn anything that would add value so that you can function better and smarter in today’s world. These days the learnability quotient has become a lot more important than the intelligence quotient. It can be defined as an individual’s capacity or ability to function in any situation.
“Learnability can be defined as an individual’s capacity or ability to function in any situation”
Abhinav: Where did you first realize that learnability is essential in your life?
Divya: Two months into my first project in the IT sector, I got the opportunity to go to my client’s location in Malaysia and work there. It was an adventurous experience, but at the same time, it was incredibly stressful. I was new to the technology, domain, and the difficulties of handling a client. At that moment, I had to bring in a lot of learnability to survive.
Abhinav: Do you think we all are equally skilled at learning?
Divya: All of us exhibit learnability to different extents. But at the same time, some individuals have certain mindsets and are doing very well with regards to learnability.
Abhinav: If learnability is something that we can pick up in our lives, how do you think we can work on it?
Divya: Most importantly, one needs to have a sense of curiosity and open-mindedness. It is the mindset that needs to be cultivated in each of us.
“What you lean towards doing is much more important than what you can do.”
- Prof. David Perkins
Abhinav: In your opinion, what is the right age to build a learnability mindset?
Divya: We can build the skill in children right at birth. We can encourage them to explore the world, face adversities, and give them the right guidance right from the start.
"Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death."
- Albert Einstein
Abhinav: Do you think kids become learnable very quickly as compared to adults?
Divya: 80% of the brain is developed by the age of 3. At a young age itself, we should interact more with the kids, stimulate their minds, allow them to explore the world around, build their vocabulary, and help them to think in the right direction.
Abhinav: What happens to the learnability quotient as we become older?
Divya: As we grow older, it is vital to make sure that children do not lose the inherent curiosity. We should teach them to say YES to opportunities. It is the only way to expose them to newer experiences and pick up on learnability.
Also, we need to encourage critical thinking in children. They should understand what is given to them, be skeptical about it, and analyze the arguments.
Lastly, they should examine their own experiences and come out with what works for them.
Abhinav: What skills does one need to make sure that one keeps learning?
Divya: As I said before, one is curiosity, and the other is open-mindedness. Other than that, motivation and enthusiasm are some of the traits that will help one to keep learning. Questioning yourself at every step is also very important.
Abhinav: Are motivation and curiosity, something that is abundant and comes naturally? How does one become curious and motivated?
Divya: A lot has to do with the kind of environment a child has grown up in. I want to give you a very relevant example.
My daughter was not interested in doing puzzles. But during the last couple of months in this COVID period, we all have breakfast together. While having breakfast, we do this puzzle game in The Times of India (A magazine). All of us compete to finish first.
In the process, she has developed the skill and interest required to solve puzzles because she associates some element of fun with it.
It’s always about positive reinforcements that you get from a particular situation. If you can associate positive reinforcements to learning, then obviously children will get interested in what they are doing. That’s what engagement is all about.
“We should teach them (children) to say YES to opportunities”
- Prof. David Perkins
Abhinav: Where do you think learnability is factored in National Education Policy?
Many emphases have been put into constructional understanding, i.e. making children understand the right way instead of rote learning.
They have altered the way of teaching. It’s going to be less of blackboard teaching; instead, it will be more of discussion, analysis, and collaborative activities for experiential learning. They don't want the children to learn things that are not relevant to life anymore, but rather reduce the set of curriculum to core skills. It’ll also make the assessment framework easier. Numerous courses like AI, coding, design thinking, etc. will be introduced in middle school.
All through the school years, there will be an emphasis on math and computational thinking. Puzzles and number games will help build computational thinking in children.
Abhinav: Divya, you teach at Cuemath. How does Cuemath factor learnability?
We introduce every concept through simulations. You can look at concepts in different ways and angles. Following these, specific questions are asked based on the simulations shown. For example: “What did you observe in the above simulation?”. It’s more of discovery or inquiry-based learning, which in turn helps in building critical thinking.
For every set of goals, the children achieve, a belt is awarded. We also have a leaderboard in the class. All these things help in motivating the students.
The curriculum includes puzzles, mental aptitude games, etc. which enable children to think outside the box. A lot of these things are factored in, and thus, children are always motivated to learn.
Abhinav: I hope our audience would have learned a lot about learnability today. Thank you so much, Divya.