Mumbai: “I believe that countries where the population is in millions like India, there should be a government oversight of educational institutes,” said Howard Gardner, the legendary professor of education at Harvard University, here.
Gardner, the father of multiple intelligences, is in India for a three-week trip to visit schools, NGOs and public institutions. He also stressed on the fact that said education should be more individualized and pluralistic.
“In countries like India there should be more of public institutions and a government oversight of institutions is necessary,” Gardner said.
With the increase of private players in educational system everywhere in the world, Gardner said that government needs to think of how to make public education attractive, he said.
Stressing on the fact that education should be made more pluralistic, he said, ‘physics can be taught in many different ways. The belief that it can be taught from a particular textbook in a particular way is ridiculous. It is the limitation of the educators too’.
He also said that India is going down the wrong path – it’s all about getting into IITs and not about what kind of people you can be – India needs to learn from the mistakes of other countries and bypass them. According to him, Finland has the best education system in the world.
His advice to educators in India, “If a student is doing well, does not waste time on him/her. Multiple intelligence become important when a child has learning problems. Educators need to be good observers, set up learning centers with different materials, talk to parents, observe students with friends, watch as children navigate the classroom, if they are ritualistically repeating selves it is a danger sign.”