From Rote Learning to Research-Based Learning: Where Do We Stand?
Is there a place for rote learning in 21st-century education? As today’s generation needs to learn skills that will help them succeed in the modern world, research-oriented learning plays the most crucial role.
Rote learning is an umbrella term for memorising information based on repetition. While it’s a good way to recall some ready-to-use information, it certainly lacks a deeper understanding of the subject. Moreover, because children do not learn how to think, analyse, or solve problems with this learning style, it is not considered higher-level thinking.
Research-based learning, also regarded as active learning, is a didactic strategy that combines classroom teachings with techniques and research methodologies that allow students to acquire competencies and skills in analysis, reflection, and argumentation as they progress through their education.
A Pavement of Innovation
Benefits of Research-Based Learning
Focusing on the ‘why’ and ‘how,’ rather than mere facts, experimental study methodology is a treasure hiding a mountain of benefits.
In-Depth Understanding helps students improve their research abilities and learn more about practical subjects than just memorising facts. Critical thinking becomes more of a habit to students. They know to approach challenges with an analytical mindset and look for the effects of actions. Creativity is the most precious by-product of research-based learning. Students use their creative skills to come up with novel product designs and project ideas. Students can explore their interests, ask questions, and develop an enthusiasm for inventions that benefit the world.
We must cultivate an environment of innovation and research in India to become one of the world’s leading economies and leapfrog into the future.
The Awareness in Present for the Progress in Future
Today’s scenario and what’s needed
The current academic landscape is inclined towards the book-only model. How many schools have modern laboratories amenities? How many institutions focus on encouraging students to mix and match those test-tube solutions? How many schools allow those microscopic experiments to be conducted by the whole class weekly?
The reasons are complex.
Lack of funding to schools and universities plays a vital role in debarring students from active learning. In addition, the academic curriculum is often designed, leaving practicals implementations behind. Research setup and infrastructure are often expensive. The research process lacks proper guidance and access to resources. The focus in the current education system is more on what was the history than what could be the future with the same history, and more precisely- why.
There are only a few high-grade colleges in India at the university level with a robust research infrastructure. The result? A genuine interest in researching after completing one’s masters is rare to find. Lack of job security in the future and fear of being underpaid (or sometimes unpaid) nips the bud initially.
How do we conquer this?
The process should begin right at the primary school level, where students are at a tender age, and they should be encouraged to think out of the box. By making fully functional labs and apparatus, the students should be provided with a research-based learning environment.
Opening more universities and educational institutes focused on full-time research increases the scope of more students pursuing it. And that also demands a surge in educational funds from government bodies. Moreover, research-based careers, in every field, should be hailed with proper direction and opportunities.
A Way Forward
It’s now or never. We must bring the required changes to bridge the gap from just cramming to a more profound understanding.
Educational models and policies, in the twenty-first century, should look stacked-up with experiments and working models. Learning-by-doing remains the key behind innovations and explorations.
The path from rote learning to thoroughly research-based education might seem difficult to cover, but the result is worth investing in.