Professional Learning

The Need for Critical Thinking – Skill Trends of 2019

In the opinion of Vikas Gupta,  MD, Wiley India, learning and the discourses around education have always been the property of institutions throughout the course of human history. Even when the Renaissance changed the very fabric of education in terms of content and the syllabus, the basic and fundamental method of imparting education remain unchanged, and for good reason. Traditional methods of learning has had throughout the centuries proven itself to be a very reliable pedagogical method by which the intellect of the student was sharpened and attuned to suit the needs of each specialized field. As a result of this method, many brilliant minds have graced our civilization with innovations and discoveries.

However as
with everything else there is a limit to which a certain method and its
established framework could work. Although a stellar success in the preceding
decades and centuries, the traditional method of learning has reached the very
limit beyond which it could not function and it instead harms the very purpose
for which it had been historically established. In the 21st century,
a number of unique demands and challenges have arisen which are proving the
untenable nature of traditional learning methods in the modern era. If the
future has to be reached, it is impossible to use the tools of the past in
order to shape the present.

It would be
pertinent to point out some of the major problems being faced by the
traditional learning method in order to better understand and appreciate the
crisis it has found itself to be in. In brief, three major issues can be
discerned: the issue of high tuition fees, the issue of inaccessibility and the
issue of not meeting the industrial qualifications which are in vogue. The
first issue is self-explanatory in itself, a rise in prices of all commodities
also incurs an increase in the price of basic services, including higher
education. This has caused the beneficiaries of the education system to be
limited to a certain privileged demographic. The issue of inaccessibility is
again a problem pertaining to exclusion as students from rural backgrounds
would be unable to regularly travel to their institutes. Finally, and perhaps
the most glaring caveat, is the inability of traditional learning methods to
cater to the demands of modern industry. All of these complications have
compounded to make these problems even more dire.

It is
impossible to completely discard traditional learning methods both due to its
historical significance and universal pervasiveness. However, in the process of
developing an alternative method of learning, we must not only seek to remove
the problems faced by traditional learning methods but also imbibe some of the
positive features of the same. It is here that we need to focus upon the act of
critical thinking, viewing everything objectively and in relative terms. By
focusing upon the benefits it could have for the wider number of people,
critical thinking should solve all problems and create new avenues of growth

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