Enhancing Academic Intelligence: Q & A

By KP Mohanan

Enhancing Academic Intelligence: Q & A

By <a href="/articles/13">KP Mohanan</a>

This article is part of a series. To see the rest of the series, click here.


This is the second part of an extended conversation in the Nalanda Series in Ahmedabad University, between K P Mohanan and the students and faculty of the University, on "Enhancing Academic Intelligence."

This part consists of Questions and Responses 
Timeline:
0:49 Your vision of learning requires strong motivation on the part of the student. What can educators and teachers do to promote that motivation? 
04:07 What can you do for those students who have been pushed by parents or society into a specialisation they are not really interested in?
06:33 Many people in the past have acquired the kind of trans-disciplinary knowledge without going through a formal system of education. How can we re-create that in a formal setting? 
10:51 Are there institutions of higher education that help students develop intellectual curiosity, inquiry abilities, ability to make connections, and so on? 
13:41 Is creativity compromised even at the primary and secondary levels of schooling?
15:39 Even what we learn in classes 11 and 12, and later, don't correspond to reality (we have very little understanding of.) Is critical thinking really necessary in the era of the internet and machine learning?
18:29 How do we implement the ideas you have talked about? 
20:51 Moderator's comment on the existence of a thriving and valuable system of gurukula music education, and a moribund system formal education in music in the same city, taught by the same teachers. Formal education seems to have failed.
21:27 Given the information overload in our prescribed syllabi, and given the nature of the exams and tests, is it feasible to invest curricular time to develop the thinking abilities of students?
26:26 Is critical thinking really necessary in the era of the internet and machine learning?
28:58 How would you respond to the idea that the kind of rote learning that a student learns in early years acts as the foundation for thinking in later years?
34:00 How can we develop the capacity to interpret and evaluate what we read?
35:50 Does the tradition of reverance to authorities in our society that prevents us from engaging in critical thinking? Do you recognise in human history a cyclic pattern of critical thinking going up and down in the course of time?
40:30 Moderator's comment on the existence of a thriving and valuable system of gurukula music education, and a moribund system formal education in music in the same city, taught by the same teachers. Formal education seems to have failed.
44:17 How do you identify good teachers at the institutional level?
48:26 How would an institution encourage those students who have neither academic excellence and personal talent?
56:08 No matter how well designed, exam questions are always going to have biases, and they will be subjective. So won't it be better to do away with exams altogether?
58:45 Exam and test questions that trigger 'Aha' moments in learners and probe into critical and creative thinking cannot be re-used, because once the questions are available in the market, the coaching factories will train learners to regurgitate pre-prepared answers or mechanical procedures for answers without having to think. How can the faculty in higher education keep coming up with Aha moment questions and not make them mechanical? 
1:03:40 We, undergrad students, have already gone through the conventional mainstream formal education. What can we do now, if we wish to develop thinking abilities and understanding of the kind you are talking about? 
1:04:48 Do you have video learning materials, say, for the heliocentric theory, at the ThinQ website?
1:05:58 Request from the moderator: can you share with us titles of three or four books that embody the spirit of inquiry you have been talking about?
1:07:43 Vote of Thanks by Professor Pratishtha Pandya


Image by Wokandapix from Pixabay


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