Nov 12

Pros and Cons of Competition in Schools That Everyone Needs to Know

School is the second home we find for ourselves as children. It is that one place where we find friends, where we learn innumerable lessons that transcend textbooks, and most importantly face competition for the first time. School shapes our personality and makes us ready to face the real world. The formative years we spend in school become the deciding factors for who we are, how we can handle various situations, and how differently we can deal with people.

A lot this can be attributed to the competition we face in school. It somewhere toughens us and teaches us finer nuances of how to deal with demanding situations. However, competition has drawn a lot of debate around it. While some agree that schools can benefit from competition, others feel strongly against it. Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of competition in schools, and how it affects children.

Pros of Competition at School
– Competition introduces an aspect of game to school work. As games are much loved by children, they automatically begin to take part in the fun aspect of competition.
– Being a part of a game to achieve a goal opens their minds towards competition. Thus, it also makes children appreciate the need for teamwork. While children plan, scheme, and work towards being in a team, some pick up the leadership role, while others smoothly fit into the role of a team player, thus supporting their team well.
– Competition makes young minds wonder about what success is all about! Those who eventually get to the goal, view success in terms of trophies, while the others measure it in terms of efforts put in and levels of participation. All put together, this gives them the chance to view success

Nov 11

Beliefs About the Purpose of Education You Probably Didn’t Know

Education, simply stated, is the process of gaining knowledge, learning forms of proper conduct and acquiring technical competency in a specific field. It involves cultivating the mind and instilling values that enable an individual to distinguish between the right and the wrong. It includes developing skills pertaining to a specific field and also aims at achieving overall development.

Formal education is divided into phases starting from primary school, continuing through higher education followed by education in a specific field (specialization). But education never really ends. You learn something from every incident you are exposed to, every experience you have and every person you meet. The process of education is believed to begin in the mother’s womb and it continues throughout one’s life.

We seldom think of what the real purpose of education is. We hardly think of the reason why education is so important. It is while we grow up that we begin to realize the role of education and understand how it applies to daily life. We begin to realize the importance of education only after it begins finding applications in our professional and personal life. If education is the process of gathering knowledge, it can never really end as knowledge is infinite and one can never claim to have acquired all of it.

Goal of Education
– To make you literate
– To help you make a living
– To make you self aware
– To give you knowledge of the world
– To create good educators

The fundamental purpose of education is to teach a person to read and write, that is to make him literate. Reading abilities that are acquired in school, go a long way in enabling an individual to learn more. The fundamentals of science and math which

Nov 08

The Impact of Technology on Education You Probably Never Realized

Technology plays a vital role in every sphere of life, and education is no exception. The advent of technology has deeply impacted the educational scene. It has made learning easy and interesting. “Technology is a gift of God. After the gift of life it is perhaps the greatest of God’s gifts. It is the mother of civilizations, of arts and of sciences.” – Freeman Dyson.

Technology has certainly changed the way we live. It has impacted different facets of life and redefined living. Undoubtedly, technology plays an important role in every sphere of life. Several mundane manual tasks can be automated, thanks to technology. Also, many complex and critical processes can be carried out with ease and greater efficiency with the help of modern technology. Thanks to the application of technology, living has changed and it has changed for better.
Technology’s Impact on Education

– Easy access to information
– Greater interest in learning
– Increased retention of information
– Robust information storage
– Better presentation of information
– Teaching made interactive
– Knowledge sharing made easy

Technology has revolutionized the field of education. The importance of technology in schools cannot be ignored. In fact, with the onset of computers in education, it has become easier for teachers to impart knowledge and for students to acquire it. The use of technology has made the process of teaching and learning all the more enjoyable.

Technology is a teaching aid
Computers offer an interactive audio visual medium. PowerPoint presentations and animation software can be used to present information in an interactive way. Owing to the audio visual effects, this way of teaching invites greater interest from students. The method is equally helpful for teachers. Projectors and screens facilitate simultaneous viewing of information by a large number

Nov 06

A Detailed Comparison Between Formative and Summative Assessment

Did You Know?
Test anxiety is so common in US schools that the booklet of the ‘Stanford 9’ tests (for schoolchildren assessment) carries instructions on what a teacher should do if a nervous student vomits on it.

Educational assessment helps instructors gather data about how well educational programs work. This data can be used to improve both, the teaching and learning process. Normally, when one hears of the term ‘assessment’, the first thing that comes to mind is a test. But, few know that this can be as simple as an instructor asking a well crafted question. The most common assessment techniques are formative and summative assessments. While one of these types is so subtle that students barely realize that they are being assessed, another involves formal exams. In the upcoming sections, we will understand the difference between formative vs. summative assessment in some more detail.

Formative assessment is used to monitor the effectiveness of a teaching module during its ‘formative’ stages, i.e., while it is being delivered in class. Thus, it can be called an ‘assessment for learning’.

Summative assessment is used to judge how well a student has learned, i.e., to provide a ‘summary’ of the student’s performance. It is an ‘assessment of learning’.

Improvement in Teaching
The data obtained by formative assessment can be used to modify the instruction, to make it more effective.

Summative assessment occurs too late in the curriculum to help rectify the instruction, though such changes can be made in future courses.

Formative assessment is improvement oriented, i.e., it helps students assess their own learning, and helps instructors identify students facing problems, and modify the instruction accordingly.

Summative assessment is outcome oriented, i.e., it compares a student’s results with a standard or

Nov 06

An Age Old Debate – Why Do We Need Education

“In an economy where knowledge is the most valuable commodity a person and a country have to offer, the best jobs will go to the best educated, whether they live in the United States or India or China.” – US President Barack Obama, Washington D.C. (July 25th, 2009)

The importance of education is clearly emphasized through President Barack Obama’s address. He clearly stated that education is extremely crucial for holding a good job and for making a flourishing career.

Limiting education merely for the purpose of securing a well paying job, is an insult to its significance in human lives. So, what other factors make it so crucial?

Necessity of Education

Education Sparks Curiosity
Education helps us with many things, but most importantly, it empowers an individual to think, question, and see beyond the obvious. Human beings are born with a natural tendency to question. Education is the best way to satiate our curiosity, without extinguishing the burning desire to learn and explore more.

Education Imparts In Depth Knowledge
– Education broadens our horizon and gives us a better understanding of the world around us and how things work.
– The world needs education, since it is the basis of a civilized, structured society.
– Education helps people to think rationally and avoid illusions in life.
– Education reduces social and economic disparity, allowing progress to be shared equally.
– Education reduces social and economic disparity, allowing progress to be shared equally.

Education Increases Agility Of The Brain
– Studies indicate that educated people have longer life expectancy. They tend to lead a healthier lifestyle by exercising more and playing more sports. Most of them understand the implications of diet and lifestyle on their health, enabling them to make healthy choices.

Nov 06

EFL Vs. ESL – The Differences No One Gave You Before

Did You Know?
10% of all US public school students take ESL classes to improve their proficiency in English.

In the current day and age, English has become one of the most common mediums of communication around the world. In fact, it is the third most popular language after Mandarin and Spanish. Thus, it has truly achieved the status of a global language. No matter which country one lives in, a basic level of proficiency in English is a must if one has to climb the professional ladder. Such skills are even more important for emigration purposes. This has resulted in a spurt in programs designed to teach the nuances of this language. Two of the most popular programs are EFL and ESL, which are often confused for each other. The comparison of EFL vs. ESL in the upcoming sections will sort that out.

Basic Difference
EFL is an acronym for ‘English as a Foreign Language’. In this program, English is taught in a country where it is not a primary language, but a ‘foreign’ one.

ESL is an acronym for ‘English as a Second Language’. In such programs, English is taught in a country where it is the primary medium of communication to non speakers, i.e., for whom it is a ‘second’ language, apart from their native tongue.

Type of Students
An EFL classroom contains a majority of students who speak the same native language, since it is held in these students’ own country.

Since an ESL program is held in a country with English as its primary language, most of the students are immigrants from a variety of nationalities, and have different native tongues.

An English learning program held in Japan for students of a local school is an

Nov 06

Why is Education So Important – Something We Don’t Think of But Should

The first time we are introduced to formal education is in school. The school years are the grounding years of one’s education. Schools are institutions that lay the foundation of a child’s development. They play a key role in developing children into responsible citizens and good human beings. It’s a school where young talent is recognized and nurtured. On leaving school, we are all set to soar high in life, and enter the real world in pursuit of our dreams.

Education provides us with knowledge about the world. It paves the way for a good career. It helps build character. It leads to enlightenment. It lays the foundation of a stronger nation. Education makes a man complete. Kautilya, an Indian philosopher, royal adviser, and professor of economics and political science very rightly underlined the importance of education, some 2000 years ago. He has highlighted the fact that education enriches people’s understanding of themselves. He has said that education is an investment in human capital, and it can have a great impact on a nation’s growth and development.

So, Why is Education Important?

It Gives Knowledge
A direct effect of education is knowledge gain. Education gives us knowledge of the world around. It develops in us a perspective of looking at life. It helps us form opinions and develop a point of view. The information we are constantly bombarded with, cannot be converted into knowledge without the catalyst called education. Education makes us capable of interpreting things rightly and applying the gathered information in real life scenarios. Education is not limited to lessons from textbooks. Real education is obtained from the lessons taught by life.

It Leads to Career Progression
Education is important because it equips us with the expertise that is needed in helping

Nov 05

6 Types of Educational Assessment and Their Purpose

Did You Know?
The history of educational assessment in the United States can be traced back to the year 1957.

Education plays a key role in providing the knowledge and skill sets that prepare a child for his future in the world. This knowledge should be imparted in a dynamic way to ensure that it accommodates all the changes happening in our society on a regular basis. But, effective education is a two way process. This means that, along with the students understanding what is being taught to them, the instructor should also know the issues faced by the students, so as to enhance his teaching strategy. This is where the concept of ‘educational assessment’ comes into play.

Assessment is simply the collection of information that indicates the learning progress of the students. This is followed by the process of evaluation, which judges if the collected data is up to the mark, or not. Both these stages are used to decide if the decision making process needs to be altered to address the weaknesses in the education program. But, there are different types of assessment techniques, which have their uses at various stages of an academic program. Let us understand what these types of assessments are, along with some examples of each.

Assessment Types

Formative Assessment
Formative assessment is carried out on a day to day basis, and is more important towards the beginning of a course, topic, semester, or other educational units. The purpose of this method is to give feedback to an instructor about the teaching and learning process. Based on the results of this assessment, he/she can either retain, modify, or discontinue the teaching method.

As such, formative assessment helps educational authorities enhance their teaching strategy so that it is

Nov 01

Is it Better to Be Self Taught Than to Be Formally Educated

Did You Know?
A self taught person is also known as an autodidact.

Today, knowledge can be found anywhere and everywhere. With Internet having become accessible to nearly everyone, it is now possible to study and acquire knowledge on any subject without having to attend a college, or enrolling for a university course.

But as convenient as it may seem, can learning on your own really match or be even better than traditional education? In the following lines, we examine the advantages of both formal education as well as being self educated.

Advantages of Self Education

Less Expensive
Perhaps the biggest advantage of being self taught is that you are able to save a lot of money.

With each passing year, the cost of getting a degree is on the rise. Today, one has to shell out tens of thousands of dollars on college fees, books, room rentals, transportation, etc.

As a result, many students these days tend to graduate from college with a significant amount of debt. This makes it imperative for them to get a job as soon as possible, failing which a number of serious issues arise.

Being self taught means that most of the above mentioned expenses are automatically canceled out. You are only required to spend on important books and perhaps on subscription for online tutorials.

If your budget is very limited, you can put in extra effort to go through the numerous free articles, tutorials, and videos on the Internet, which are sure to provide you with all the knowledge you could hope to gain.

Less Time Required
Learning by oneself is quite likely to require a lot of time as compared to formal education where the curriculum is planned and teachers and

Oct 31

Things You Ought to Know before Joining a Model UN

Model United Nations is an extracurricular club for high school and college students. This club does exactly what its name implies: it allows students to model the operations of the United Nations. Through mock conferences held with schools from around the region each year, this international organization is able to expose students to government and politics on a global level. Student delegates pretend being ambassadors from UN member states and make speeches, prepare resolutions, negotiate with allies, debate global matters and resolve disputes that affect countries all over the world.

Model UN is a highly rewarding experience. Though it may be trivialized by some as a school club, it’s an eye opening organization that exposes students to government and politics on a global scale. It is a fun, challenging, and rewarding club for high school and college students. Each conference that you attend will test your abilities in new ways and teach you new things about both yourself and the world. Prepping for a Model UN conference can be a bit overwhelming, just given the amount of research that such a task requires. To keep yourself organized and to help you tackle this task with confidence, given below are some tips to assist you in preparing for your next meet.

Why Join a Model UN Conference?
If you’re a high school or college student, you’re probably looking for extracurricular activities to use on your college application or resume. This is certainly the leading reason why students take part in any extracurricular activities instead of simply hanging out with friends during their free time. And this is certainly a good reason to join Model UN. Your Model UN experience will help build public speaking skills, debating and negotiation skills, writing skills, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership, along

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