Most people would agree that the ultimate goal of education is to bring out the best in an individual. But the question is whether our educational system designed to achieve this goal. By transferring information about science, history, or mathematics, by making children learn formulae and solve ten similar types of questions, are we improving their ability to think? Are we developing abilities like questioning, reasoning, justifying, inquiring? In the age of fast changing technology and change in the nature of jobs, are we able to stimulate creativity, and the ability to observe patterns and analyse trends?
Vichar Vatika’s vision is not a myopic one, focusing on examinations and marks. Rather it is a long-term goal where the student develops creativity and rationality through a parallel curriculum. The school curriculum does the job of preparing students for various examinations and college admissions, whereas Vichar Vatika aims at enhancing their higher order thinking skills. Our aim is to avoid duplication and offer lessons which are beyond the offerings of traditional learning. Through various programs, students are given opportunities to come up with their observations, theories, support with valid justification and reasoning for their claims. They learn to engage in healthy discussions and debates where the objective is not to win, but to ascertain the truth. Through this process, they learn to build rational thinking and also enhance their creativity.
Presently, everything that a student learns in a traditional educational institution is dogmatic. They are taught certain things and seldom encouraged to question. It is a parallel thinking where one is encouraged to question and reason for whatever they learn or read, that Vichar Vatika wants to seed into every mind, whether it’s students, teachers, or parents.