What is STEAM Education – what is the steam about it?

STEAM education has found growing prominence as educators try and prepare students for the 21st century. More and more schools across the world are adopting STEAM education. And why not? It is known to equip students with skills that are essential in today’s world – problem solving, critical thinking, decision making, analytical thinking, and a host of others.

The STEAM framework brings together the 5 disciplines of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math in a holistic learning experience. It is today, the most efficient way to train your brain.

STEAM allows instructors to use project-based learning that spans all five disciplines and promotes an inclusive learning environment in which all students may engage and contribute. Unlike traditional teaching approaches, instructors utilising the STEAM framework integrate the disciplines together. Students who are exposed to STEAM education have showed more appetite for critical thinking across interdisciplinary subjects.

We have seen the benefits of this comprehensive learning approach at Tapas. When compared to kids in traditional schools, the implementation of STEAM education with project-based learning at Tapas has resulted in our learners being able to pick up numerous abilities at significantly quicker rates. Learners have also made cross-disciplinary links between topics. STEAM education also fosters a sense of curiosity in students, encouraging them to seek more from their studies at all times. And, in keeping with Tapas’ ideal of always putting the learner first, Tapas School students have started designing their own learning paths.

Using Project-based learning techniques in the STEAM framework is the way forward for educators wanting to equip students with the right skill set to be innovators. Come experience Tapas’s Project-based learning approach and how it can benefit your child.

Teaching Sustainable Development to children

Children in school today are going to be the leaders of the future. For this generation to successfully be able to think of progress that is sustainable and inclusive, they need to be made aware of the realities of today. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global call from all UN Member nations to work on important, world-changing objectives.

Around the globe, children in schools are learning about the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals. Over 3600 classrooms across the globe are learning more about the 17 sustainable development goals. Tapas is proud to be one of them! The UNDP Sustainable Development Goals are actively discussed in our classes with the help of real-world projects. Students learning at Tapas are actively working on projects that help them understand the need for these goals and how to go about solving the problems to help enable the achievement of these goals.

India has been at the forefront of fighting climate change and will play an important role in helping achieve the UNDP sustainable development goals. Tapas wants to be one of the flagbearers for educating students about sustainable and inclusive growth in classrooms. Learning of the UNDP Sustainable Development Goals cannot happen in silos, however. It takes a fundamental shift in approach in the children and their way of thinking. At Tapas, our project-based learning approach puts students face to face with real-world problems. This coupled with our value-based education system helps Students not only develop critical thinking and analytical skills but also develop empathy. This helps them understand the importance of inclusive growth. Through our projects simulating commercial environments, we have seen multiple instances of children suggesting ideas that could be termed ‘conscious capitalism’. It is refreshing to see children at this early age develop this keen sense of analysis while also being in touch with ethics.

At Tapas, we are laying the foundation stone for a new way of learning for children in India. Come have a chat with us to understand how this way of learning can help your child be ready for the future.

The benefits of Collaborative Learning Spaces.

Gone are the days when students learned only from textbooks. With global contexts being applied to every consumer product, how can education be left behind? Students today seek environments where they can actively learn through teamwork and collaboration.

Thriving in the 21st century needs different skill sets than were needed half a century back. Collaboration is one of the 4 key 21st-century skills that students need to pick up. Schools are where students pick up these key skills. Unfortunately, even today, most classrooms in schools are designed to accommodate students in rows of immobile desks and chairs where they work independently. These classrooms do not promote teamwork at all. These classrooms are also one-dimensional, not taking into account the different learning styles of students.

Collaborative learning spaces aid students in developing a holistic set of skills. Some of the skills that are developed through collaborative learning spaces are:

a) Retention skills
b) Higher level thinking skills
c) Reducing ad hominem criticism
d) Empathy
e) Self management skills

Today’s learners need collaborative learning spaces – spaces that encourage students to learn in groups, tackle problems, and work on projects together. Collaborative learning spaces accommodate all types of learning – independent one-on-one learning, and learning in small and large groups. These kinds of learning spaces have social, academic, and psychological benefits for the learners. Research has shown that collaboration amongst students helps reduce anxiety and improve self-esteem. Collaborative learning has also proven to encourage exploration and communication amongst the learners. This directly impacts the confidence levels and develops critical thinking faculties amongst the children.

Collaborative learning spaces must be flexible and have group-friendly seating. The layout of the learning spaces should be such that it facilitates collaboration with other learners and not alienation. These spaces should be laid out in a way to allow for free movement of the teachers to assist the students, thus also reinforcing the idea of teachers as facilitators.

Students today need active experiential learning opportunities and not the outdated sage-on-the-stage teaching methodology. In an increasingly complex and technological society, the students need more hands-on learning opportunities – opportunities that collaborative learning spaces aptly provide. It aids the development of critical soft and hard skill sets that hold the students in good stead for future success.

At Tapas, we move beyond just flexible classroom spaces. Our mixed age learning environments extend to our other spaces that aid project based learning – Akashvani Club, Hydroponics Room, Makers’ space, Library, Kalagrama for arts, etc. Come take a tour of the most progressive studying space in Bangalore.

The importance of Samskrit as a part of the curriculum

The lack of spoken Samskrit proficiency in its home country of India is a crying shame. It is our heritage language and the mother of most Indian languages.
Samskrit should be our everyday language among all sections of the population. It should be the language spoken in homes, in shops, at the railway station, in schools and universities, in doctors’ offices, and in all instances of communication.

Here is the definition of lingua franca from Wiki. A lingua franca is also known as a bridge language, common language, trade language, auxiliary language, vehicular language, or link language, is a language or dialect systematically used to make communication possible between groups of people who do not share a native language or dialect, particularly when not one of the speakers’ native languages.
This is precisely what Samskrit should be for India. It’s unfortunate that English is being used for this purpose. While English proficiency has helped us in being globally competitive, its adoption within our homes and families has damaged our connection with our heritage and our national cohesiveness massively.
Samskrit has suffered from a deep association with holy scripture in the psyche of people. While it’s true that holy scripture is composed in Samskrit, it is still only a language. This burden of association with scriptural works did not hamper the development of Arabic or Hebrew. Arabic and Hebrew have made the leap to secular use quite well.

Israel had the right idea when they united diverse peoples with a common language and managed to resurrect Hebrew and make it fully pervasive within a generation. It’s an awesome achievement, and it united a population that came in speaking various dialects. It’s high time to regenerate secular use of Samskrit similarly.
The younger generation should be taught and encouraged to use Samskrit in everyday life. Spoken Samskrit should be emphasized. Teenagers and bands should be encouraged to compose pop music in Samskrit. Advertisers should showcase young modern youngsters doing present-day activities, hawking modern products in Samskrit. A spoken version of Samskrit, complete with dialect/slang has to be encouraged. It has to be decoupled from the heaviness of ancient associations, and given new life, and made ‘cool’ by today’s youngsters. Nothing makes a trend spread faster than adoption by hip youngsters.
The development of Samskrit does not have to imply the downfall of Indian English or any other language currently in use. Indians have been using multiple languages for thousands of years. Hampering the development of Samskrit on these grounds is flimsy.
It’s simple. India is the home of Samskrit. Samskrit was once the language of the common person of India. It should be again. Soon. Within a generation or so.

To that end, Tapas will be incorporating Samskrit use (spoken and written, in that order) in our schools from the youngest grades. Ideally, spoken language is learned first, at home, in an immersive environment. Grammar comes later in school. Grammar-based language learning rarely leads to spoken proficiency. Hence, we will be creating a language enriched immersive environment for our students, where they will be exposed to spoken English and Samskrit conversation all through their school day. This bilingual approach has been proved by several studies to improve cognitive and socio-emotional development among young children. We would be giving our students a great advantage in both academic and cultural spheres by incorporating Samskrit in our curriculum.

This is a Guest Post By Ms. Padma