ScooNews Webinar: Heritage Xperiential Learning School Reveals What Makes It №1

With more than 5,000 attendees eager to learn what makes The Heritage Schools triumphant, ScooNews hosted a webinar on May 1, 2020, with the administrational heads of Heritage Xperiential Learning School, Gurugram, India.

Panellists:

  1. Manit Jain: Co-founder, The Heritage Schools (Panel Chair)

During the 1.5-hour-long session, Ravi Santlani, CEO ScooNews, asked these ed-gurus what goes into the making of India’s no.1 school. Manit Jain and his team of experts explained about their personally-developed curriculum Social Emotional Learning (SEL), that single-handedly revolutionised the education sector. He began the session by sharing his school’s journey towards SEL and why he thought it was important to bring about a change in the ways of authentic teaching.

Excerpts are from the slides they shared, in their words: Manit Jain, Co-founder, The Heritage Schools

For the change to happen in the education system, a more meaningful model was needed to be created. A kind of experiential education which remains relevant for decades to come. For us, this meant no uniforms, no textbooks, no subjects, no tests and a fully multidisciplinary project-based curriculum prepared by our teachers.

By 2013, the school started getting appreciation and acknowledgement as one of the best schools in the country. However, 2016 hit us with a wake-up call. Sadly, we had become too mechanical and were needed to rehumanise ourselves because of the following factors:

Industrial Revolution

  1. In 2016, the 4th industrial revolution was announced by the World Economic Forum.

Fewer Jobs For Humans

  1. The technology was constantly growing and repetitive tasks, which do not need creative touch, would be now done with the help of Artificial Intelligence.

We had to look into different ways of teaching that would develop those sought-after qualities in the coming generation, to avoid being obsolete in future. This included:

Social Intelligence

  1. Empathy Perceptiveness

Creative Intelligence Preparedness

We figured out how we need to prepare and what we need to focus on to develop the qualities that make us more compassionate. This included:

  1. Self-ability to know and accept one’s SWABHAV (self).

In the meantime, our SEL curriculum evolved. This consists of 5 major points:

1. Project-Based Learning. Example, The Bicycle Project

  1. 7th graders in their project-based learning classes developed a project to be presented to the city government for a bicycle path in the city.

Ariana Heifetz: Social Emotional Learning, Heritage Xperiential Learning School 2. The Human Framework: Specific aspect to be nurtured and developed

  1. My Essence/My Swabhav: Exploring one’s emotions, reactions, yearnings to have an understanding and a healthier relationship with oneself.

Ezette Grauf: Head Teaching & Learning, Heritage Xperiential Learning School 3. Literacy

  1. We reshaped what literacy meant so far and what it is supposed to do from now on.

What Constitutes Literacy Crime?

  1. The very thought that ‘One book fits all’: Not all children are born with the same comprehension abilities and hence, the reading material provided must differ to meet the individual requirements.

Noora F. Noushad: Head Design & Technology, Heritage Xperiential Learning School 4. Technology to Enhance Creative Intelligence

Unlike several other countries, India lacked a framework to prepare students progressively, so we researched the global standards. They are:

  1. To shift the focus of technology consumption to creation, a comprehensive framework was developed to promote integral creative intelligence skills.

Vishnu Karthik, Director, The Heritage Schools 5. Bringing It All Together

  1. Regardless of the board followed by the school, the SEL model can be fitted into one’s curriculum and be easily customized.

Instructional Leadership Pedagogy & Protocols

We built a core pedagogy pyramid for all the teachers to follow by doing the following:

  1. Classroom Management: We use the pyramid as the lense to look at any practice in a classroom

What is the journey forward?

To make sure that we, as an institute, keep evolving along with our curriculum, we revise the following points now and then:

  1. Center of Excellences (COEs): we get experts who help us reach out to more schools, help them implement SEL, and solve any issues they come across.

Neena Kaul: Director& Principal, Heritage Xperiential Learning School Operation & Culture of The Organisation

  1. The right kind of structures & effective robust processes increases the efficacy of any organisation.

Finally, for a deeper understanding of the SEL model, the team took to some crucial questions:

How can SEL be woven into a school community?

  1. SEL teams are present on each program level

What are the popular myths related to SEL?

Fact: adults are also continuous learners

Fact: Social-emotional health does not equal being happy all the time

Fact: Values are not ‘taught’ by lecturing

CONCLUSION:

SEL or Social Emotional Learning is an empathetic education system that not just teaches the purpose of doing well in exams but also leads the way of life with every lesson. This learning model is necessary for children to be content in their lives and have a more meaningful existence while growing up.

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Originally published at https://www.scoonews.com.

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