Education Expert Speak Learning Skill

Heutagogy, a life changing method

The ongoing pandemic Covid -19 has led to novel shifts in teaching platform, from the classroom to online. This shift is accompanied by child’s productivity and effectiveness in learning concepts. Lively sessions are not easily translated through the screen with children sitting in isolation. Learning takes many forms, outside of set curriculum or walls of a school.

The children can learn to cook, knit, grow plants, dance, play musical instruments,
perform magic, play chess, read stories or write poems and stories. Some watch movies, play games, make robots or do some scientific experiments at kitchen. Some may simply day dream or indulge in make believe plays. The possibilities are endless. When we allow children to explore their multiple intelligences, it results in surprising discoveries.

A multidisciplinary form of education which enables the development of skills like critical
thinking, problem-solving, adaptability integrating Artificial intelligence, machine learning, vocational skills, multiple languages and Indian culture is what is envisaged by the NEP 2020. It is imperative for schools to create students who think out of the box to find out solutions to the multiple issues and problems faced by the country.

In this context, one needs to look at the difference between pedagogy, andragogy
and heutagogy. In pedagogy, the term which is familiar to everyone, the school and teacher decide what the students will learn and how they will learn. In heutagogy, the student decides what to learn and how to learn and what all resources to be taken, including teacher. Instead of simply completing the tasks teachers assigned, the students go deep into the complexities of the subjects.

In andragogy, the teacher is a mentor and students find solutions to the tasks teacher sets.
The aim of heutagogy is to develop love for lifelong learning in children which will make them ‘Life ready and Job ready’. It is informal and takes place mostly outside the classroom. The teacher serves more as a coach or facilitator.

Heutagogy (pronounced as hyoo-tuh-goh-jee) a term derived from the Greek was coined by Hase and Kenyon in 2000 to describe self-learning independent of formal teaching.
The overall purpose of pedagogical teaching is providing basic skills of learning. In andragogical teaching the goal is to make students self-directed but in heautagogical teaching the purpose is to establish an environment where students can determine their own goals, learning path and resources. The learner is at the centre of the learning process, rather than the teacher or the curriculum.

In the current situation of online teaching and blended learning, the skills required to be an effective learner have changed drastically. In order to make learning joyful and to make a shift from rote learning to competency-based learning, teachers have to seek to heautagogical approach in teaching. The learner evolves from passive recipient to active engagers and they become good analysers, problem solvers and critical thinkers.

The important concept of heautagogy is that of double-loop learning. In this style of learning, students not only think deeply about a problem and the actions they take to solve, they reflect within and gain insight into what they are learning and how they are learning. This is the true philosophy of experiential learning and activity-based learning.

Some steps for applying heatagogical approach –

1. Learner and teacher work together to identify learning outcomes, methodology, activities and how their learning will be assessed.
2. Students create a curriculum for themselves that is flexible to their needs. This will help students to be more empowered and more responsible. They are getting a freedom of choice to complete the tasks.
3. Students design their own assessment rather than undergoing standard tests. This creates a less threatening environment for students and can encourage deeper learning. Students will be assessed if the agreed upon Learning Outcomes are achieved.
4. Students have to work together to share knowledge and reflect on their progress. The collaborative approach helps children to learn from each other which is an important life skill of 21st Century. In the team learning, all help each other and gain from each other.

Heautagogy is a powerful learning strategy to learn and grow throughout their lives. It is the goal of all educational institutions to prepare students for success in life. Through flip classrooms, multidisciplinary projects and assignments we have to make the shift possible among all level learners.

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