Journey of a Pearlite

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A Total Learning System – Capacity Building for Higher Order Thinking Skills

The top 3 skills required in 2020 as predicted by the World Economic Forum are complex problem solving, critical thinking and creativity. For 2030 these are predicted to be creativity, critical thinking and decision making in that order. These skills are referred to as Higher Order Thinking Skills and are seen as key to being successful in any field in the years ahead.

Education has to expose students to learning experiences that enable them to construct their own knowledge and develop their thinking skills. This is especially critical in the area of creativity. Nurturing creativity involves helping students to generate ideas or hypotheses, test them and communicate the results; think adventurously (step into the unknown); and invent, discover, be curious, experiment and explore.

Pearl Academy has developed a meta-curriculum to ensure total learning of each of its student, based on identified outcomes and desired higher order thinking skills. A study was conducted over 3 years to identify learning experiences that promote creativity, critical thinking and innovation. These were mapped with graduate outcomes and industry needs. Next, the overall curriculum was revised to include specific spaces to enable this learning. This meta curriculum is called the PEARL TOTAL LEARNING SYSTEM and is a layer under all the disciplinary learning modules to ensure holistic learning and enhancement of higher order thinking.

The PEARL TOTAL LEARNING SYSTEM ensures that ALL students experience learning, that helps them develop higher order thinking skills required to learn in the present and the future, as well as to help them be professionals and make effective choices during their careers and lives.

Key innovations as a part of this learning system are a full year of multidisciplinary attitude based learning, common core modules for interdisciplinary learning, Open Labs in every semester, SEVA as a fundamental conscience, International Lab, Industry Live Project and Future Labs.

The Pearl Total Learning System has 4 pillars addressing learning needs based on future employability. All students across disciplines go through this learning system in their academic journey.

1. Industry Integrated Circuit
A series of engagements with the experts that ensure readiness for the industry. It helps them get exposed to new approaches and ideas that encourage them to develop new skills, think laterally and become adept at problem solving and ensures their smooth transition into professional life.

2. Global Learning Project
International opportunities include student exchanges, projects with students from around the world, international faculty and international online modules that ensure that every student has an international exposure and develops a global context aiming at judgement, cognitive flexibility, emotional intelligence and creativity.

3. Career Mentoring
Specific interventions during the student lifecycle that helps them identify their strengths and development areas, their career goals and respect for values & ethics of the profession. Through this, they develop critical thinking, emotional intelligence and service orientation.

4. Future Learning Spaces
These are supra-curricular spaces created for forward looking courses and experiences that will give students the edge that they need to manage their careers in tomorrow’s environment. Students are taught special skills like Design Thinking, Marketing and Entrepreneurship by industry experts from around the world.

When technological, economic & social forces are constantly changing the world, it is clear that these skills, and especially creativity is the solution to complex global economic and social issues. Each of these pillars within the meta-curriculum, hold a series of experiences and learning which sets students up, to succeed in lifelong, self-directed learning, in the productive careers they may choose, and in continuing to grow throughout their lives, as the world continues to shift.

Key to the PTLS is robust alliances with the industry, international partners and the continuous development of faculty to enable them to deliver the curriculum.