Citation Overkill: 5 Steps to Avoid Overusing Quotes

What is quoting? In a nutshell, the term quoting stands for using statements, phrases, or whole passages in the exact wording as in the original source.

Thus, whenever you take information and insert it directly in your text using either single or double quotation marks (depending on the style of referencing you are required to use), it will be considered quoting.

Video-2-in-text-citations-Image1Is it a bad thing? Not really. As was already mentioned, writing an academic paper almost always requires using a variety of external sources. This is why quoting is a common technique used by students to share the exact idea of another writer in their work.

When used wisely, quotes will only contribute to the overall quality of the text – unless you overuse them.

The truth is that students often don’t feel the limits and rely on quotes too much. Yes, the use of a few direct saying will likely have a positive result if inserted logically. Yet, overusing them often has the opposite effect and can bring you a lower grade.

How Does the Abundance of Quotes Influence the Quality of Your Paper?

There are two main issues that may arise if you overuse quotes. First of all, an abundance of famous sayings can draw attention away from the actual content of your work, making a reader lose the main idea.

Secondly, relying too much on the exact wording, you risk being left with a plagiarized paper that doesn’t meet the requirements. In both cases, the result can be unpleasant – you will get a low grade or even fail.

When should you insert a quote? Here are some common instances:

  • When exact wording of an authoritative writer, scientist, or another professional will support your statements;
  • When the chosen phrase is commonly known;
  • When the saying sounds engaging, helps drive more attention to your work, and you feel like you can’t paraphrase it and keep the same powerful effect;
  • When there is a need to share a specific position of another author.

These are just a few tips on how to use this technique wisely. In the following part of our article, you will find a comprehensive guide with five ways to avoid using too many quotes in your papers.

5 Steps to Smart Quoting

Ask for Help

If you lack experience in academic writing and just don’t know how to handle an assignment right, it is never a bad idea to ask for help.

One way to get help is by asking your professor how many citations you can use in the paper.

If you don’t feel like asking your professor, you can opt for the help of a professional writing service. Expert academic writers know everything about how to write a paper to the highest standard, how to cite a poem or a book, and how many citations to include.

Is the Source Worth Citing?

If you decided to cope with the task on your own, the pro tip is always assess the quality of the source you are planning to use.

You should only rely on quotes of authoritative experts like famous writers, scientists, specialists in your field of study, etc.

Each time you are going to use a direct saying, ask yourself – is the source reliable enough to cite it?

This simple trick will help you distinguish sources that really matter from secondary ones. It will let you reduce the number of citations added.

Does It Fit Well?

Another important question is whether a chosen quote fits well in the context of your paper. Will it contribute to reaching the purpose of the work? Does it support your main idea?

It may sound good and draw attention, but if there is no actual value for the work, then you should avoid using it.

Take Notes Wisely

Another helpful trick is to use effective note-taking strategies.

Before you get to writing a paper, you will likely read a whole bunch of sources. You can prevent citation overkill already at this stage by taking notes in your own words.

Here is what you can do:

  • Read a particular source;
  • Write down the key ideas in your own words right after you finish reading;
  • Re-read the information;
  • Take your time to process the obtained data, evaluate it, and reflect the most important ideas in the form of short remarks.

Doing so will help you evaluate the material, understand it better, and reflect on it in the paper without using direct quotes.

Paraphrase

Finally, the last and the most effective way to avoid having too many citations is paraphrasing. Students use this technique quite often to represent valuable information from external sources in their own words. This is a great way to avoid plagiarism.

Here are the key tips for effective paraphrasing:

  • Read the information you find important as many times as you need. The goal here is to understand the full meaning of the original material and the main ideas presented in it;
  • Take notes on the main points, keywords, and terminology that will be helpful for restating these ideas in your paper;
  • Use the knowledge you’ve gained, as well as your notes, to compose paragraphs in your own words. The main tip here is not to look at the original source. Otherwise, you may unconsciously copy some statements;
  • Check your piece against the original one to ensure that they are not alike;
  • Check your passage for accuracy, consistency, relevancy, and value. Make sure it contains all the ideas and concepts you wanted to reflect on in your work;
  • Cite it right. Even if you are not providing a direct quote, you will still have to give a reference to the source of information, and you’d better do it right. For this, use in-text citation with the number of a page.

Following these steps, you will likely create a passage that accurately shares the information and ideas of the original source. However, at the same time, it will show more of your unique style and won’t be considered as plagiarism.

The Bottom Line

Citations in academic writing can either win or break the deal. A good quote, when it matches the content and has practical value, can make your text look better and score a higher grade.

The tips above should help you avoid citation overkill. Use them to increase the quality of the text and make sure it deserves a high assessment.

Remember, the key concept behind using citations in academic writing is to be selective when adding quotes. It is vital to include only those citations that add impact to work, not draw attention away from it.

Studies in Indian Place Names

Studies in Indian Place Names (SIPN) with ISSN 2394-3114 is UGC Care listed journal for research publication. SIPN considers review and research articles related to Social Science and Humanities: Arts and Humanities, Physical Education, Library Science, History, Anthropology, Management, Commerce, Home Science, Sociology, Hotel Management, Tourism, Mass Communication, Accounting, Education, Economics, Law, Philosophy, Finance, Political Science, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, English. Science: Engineering (All Branches), Psychology, and  Architecture, Geography and Geology,  Agricultural, Biological Sciences, Environmental Science, Ecology, Archaeology, Biodiversity and Conservation, Entomology, Health Science: Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing and Allied Health Science, Ayurveda.

On behalf of Studies in Indian Place Names, I would like to extend my regard to all fellow researchers and scholars and wish prosperity in their field. Published by: The Place Names Society of India, NPS India

Send papers for publication to editor@npsindia.org

What The Education System REALLY Exists For – Myth # 7

The Seven Myths of Highly Ineffective Education Systems – Myth # 7 of 7

Or

The Seven Myths That Make Education Difficult To Improve

See Myth # 6 of 7 here.

Myth # 7 – The education system exists to improve education

Systems tend to lead double lives – at a conceptual level they might be brilliant, with wonderfully competent and committed people leading them. Yet at the ground level, what is in operation may be entirely different. Thus despite terrific policy and capability at policy/decision-making levels in the health sector, what common people might be heard saying is: “It is better to pay through your nose at a private clinic, than to die for free at the government hospital.”

For the people, the ‘system’ comprises of those representatives they meet at the district, block, cluster and village level, and occasionally those at the state levels. To understand the situation, try asking a group of educational administrators about the finer aspects of TA-DA rules and how they apply them, and you will find they can animatedly discuss them for about two hours. But raise the issue of why children are not learning (which is actually their real responsibility) and you will get a different response… (It’s true, isn’t it?)

This is what tends to happen to any system  (or even organization) over time – ultimately it’s own nuances, requirements, procedures, structures and powers (or power) become its main concerns, with the reason for its very existence slowly dimming in the memory of its functionaries. Thus:

  • teachers/CRC-BRC must spend more time collecting data even at the cost of teaching or improving learning, or
  • every school must follow the given framework for its School Development Plan (because the need to compile the plans at the block level is more important than the need for it to be appropriate for that school), or
  • every HT must maintain records for the officials ‘above’ even if it means she will not have time to support her teachers in improving the classroom process.

It is as if children, teachers, HTs, SMCs all exist to feed the machinery ‘above’ which has to ‘control’ them, and ‘give’ them resources (from mid-day meals to teachers to textbooks to in-service training, from which often a ‘cut’ may be taken), ‘allow’ them to take decisions such as which would be the most convenient time for most children to attend school, ‘monitor’ the work of teachers, ‘test’ the learning of students, and ‘grant’ the privilege of education.

What the RTE implies is that it is those who get their salaries because of children who are the real ‘beneficiaries’ – which includes all the administrators, supervisors, inspectors, monitors, institutions, departments, ministries.  It is they who are accountable to children and teachers, or would be if they really existed for education.

As mentioned, give them enough time and systems end up existing more to perpetuate themselves – and the status quo within – rather than the purpose for which they are created. Try making a change in the way things are organised within a system and you might find it responds with a kind of ferocious energy it fails to display when similar urgency is required in its primary objective. For instance, if it were declared that an educationist rather than an IAS officer will head the Department of Education, you will get a lot more activity in the system (to prevent that) than if you declared (as is well known) that most children are failing to attain grade level learning across the country.

Finally, systems exist to preserve the hold of the powerful. Issues that affect the middle classes or those more privileged get inordinate attention in the system. Thus nursery school admissions in private schools in Delhi are a big issue, or the allocation for poor children in elite private schools is endlessly discussed, or the class 10 board exam being needed (by children from better off families)… but the death of a 100+ children in a mid-day-meal from a poor section of society, or the low levels of  service in deprived areas or chronically low learning levels despite much money being invested – fail to receive that kind of attention.

For those seeking to make a dent in the system, it would be healthier to have a more ‘aware’ notion of what the education system really exists for. The puny strategies we use to make things better are unlikely to serve as even pinpricks to the system.

Homework Assignment Writing Tips – How to Never Become Stressed

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Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash 

Ever wondered how some people in college manage to go with the flow in studies so naturally? Like they were made just for it. While some students find themselves in a great struggle for success, spending sleepless nights on cramming, looking for an assignment writing service (though it’s not necessarily a wrong thing to do, there are good ones, like CustomWritings.com), the other type always seems to take it easy. Why, you ask? 

Hmm, the answer is not easily found. We presume, this is quite an individual thing. Sometimes it is the innate abilities, sometimes the practiced skills of quick problem-solving, sometimes it’s just the whole attitude to life.

Whatever the ground under academic success is, all of us here want to discover it. Here we’re gonna give you some tips for carrying out home assignment without becoming too stressed. Let’s go!

Tips for Doing Homework – Can Mental Work Bring Satisfaction?

Doing homework is not meant just for mental development. As humans, we are made to enjoy the works of our hands, so learning should bring some pleasure as well. To make the most of your study time, consider the following.

  • Design an awesome study place.

Why, do you think, Apple, Google, and other flourishing companies made big investments into offices, making them the most incredible places on Earth to work in? By doing this, they didn’t just make the interior attractive, but increased productivity! 

Why not take after them? At home, you should give way to your imagination, and make a workplace that will inspire the best ideas and thoughts. If your dwelling is in the hall of residence, try to share this workplace with people instead of isolating yourself. Twisty chairs, smart devices, comfy and colourful walls or desks, – all of it can be your helpers. 

  • Get support.

It is difficult to work in an environment where everything distracts you, nobody respects what you’re doing or doesn’t believe in you. To make studies a fun journey, seek opportunities to grow, surrounding yourself with those who look optimistically into your future. 

Support may also mean external help, such as going to a tutor or using a custom assignment writing service, providing quality assignment writing help. Though it should not become a habit that destroys your development, turning to professional writers is often worth it. Affordable, transparent, plagiarism free quick online essay writing services like CustomWritings.com, are nowadays in great demand and will write your essays the best way possible. So if you know you are more than loaded with work, consider sharing it with a platform like this. 

To be precise, at the service CustomWritings you can buy a dissertation, course paper or essay in various disciplines for fair money. However, affordable prices aren’t the only advantages – by writing ‘help me with my task’, you get a free reference list, 100% cashback guarantee, total authenticity and numerous editing of your papers. 

  • Make use of free minutes.

Under ‘free’ we mean when you’re doing practically nothing, – sitting in a subway, waiting for the professor or a friend, or even cooking dinner. It is not much about multitasking, rather about what your mind is filled with as you do the daily-and-ordinary. For illustration, a 20-minute bus ride during 3 months can make you an A1 French learner. Another variant is doing your freelance job duties while commuting from place to place.

All in all, we sincerely hope that these small tips will raise your motivation, give you a lift in the mood and spark the desire in your heart to become a happy kind of student and reach more in this life! 

What happens when you seriously try to empower children, teachers and community through large scale education initiatives

The pervasive notion that ‘nothing has been done in education in India’ could not be further from the truth. In fact not only has a great deal been done, but its consequences have been faced over decades. In particular, what follows applies to introducing educational designs based on local context, using the experiences and strengths of the stakeholders, creating a situation where they play an active role in determining and implementing processes.

Though obviously much must have been done over the decades till the 80s, my experience ranges from mid-80s, when I was part of a team working on such classroom practices, textbooks and educational designs from 1986 onwards. Implementation of the programme called Prashika (Prathamik Shiksha Karyakram) focused on marginalised groups, with the team living in a tribal area as well as in a rural, deprived pocket and introducing the innovation in government primary schools. The work in Prashika was pathbreaking in many, many ways (integration of 5 subjects at the primary level, incorporation of multiple local languages, a hugely localised textbook/workbook that could only be completed with each child contributing, called Khushi-Khushi – still not matched anywhere, I believe). It provided hope that much was possible despite the difficulties faced and informed many of the later efforts that followed, both in the government and the NGO sector.

Later in DPEP – particularly Kerala, Assam, Karnataka, Haryana, UP, Bihar, TN, Nagaland and later with SSA Gujarat further work was done. Localised training, contexualisable textbooks (some really brilliant stuff still not matched anywhere – and that’s a professional opinion), teacher determined assessment system, involvement of community knowledge, children constructing local histories / local environment books, peer learning and assessments, textbooks that would be ‘complete’ only along with a set of 50 district-specific books kept in the school library…. many, many innovative and large scale measures were conceived and actually implemented using a strategically developed implementation plan.

In each first five states we were able to see 2-3 years of implementation, development of hundreds / thousands of teachers who implemented contextualised learning, a high degree of in-class practice backed by supportive, localisable material. These states changed their position in the national achievement surveys too, with Kerala rising to the top (it had been fairly close to the bottom before this, below Bihar in the first national survey). In the case of Gujarat, field testing was done in 630 schools, researched by MSU Baroda with very encouraging findings.

However, as long as we were not visibly successful there were no problems. When change began to be visible on some scale and a palpable sense of energy was witnessed among teachers and communities, alarm bells began to ring. in each of these states, the powers that be – especially at state level, state institutions, administrations, political parties – found that this went against the command-and-control structures conducive to them being able to assert their authority. Schools didn’t want to be told what to teach when and how – they had their own plans. Empowered teachers / school heads / even some VECs refused to kowtow to mediocre ideas or corruption oriented bosses – leading to huge conflicts all over the place. Unfortunately these never got reported, recorded or researched. The results were mass scale transfers, cases against state project directors who encouraged this (Kerala SPD was charge sheeted, Karnataka SPD given punishment posting in North Karnataka, Assam SPD sent to conflict zone during worst riots, Bihar SPD transferred to PHED and later kept without posting), the re-casting of State Resource Groups from those selected for tested capabilities to those stocked with ex-officio positions, the emasculation of the BRC-CRC structures from genuine teacher support institutions into data collection centres (believe it or not, we did have functional BRCs CRCs at one time!), the centralisation of powers away from the VECs and re-casting into SMCs with a different function, and major shift in recruitments away from districts to states (in one state the Education Minister held a Recruitment Mela in a stadium to personally appoint 3000 para-teachers).

Interestingly, Prashika in MP faced a similar adminstrative backlash and was closed down.

Yes, like it or not, this is what ideas of empowerment through education come up against – and they fall short not because of lack of any purity in the idea itself or absence of rigour, but because after a point when it goes into implementation an idea is something else, and not its original pure self. You might look at the actual work and find it is not ‘up to the standard’ – yet when trying to create it for those who need education the most, other aspects need to be taken into account. Basically, empowering the weak is clearly seen by the strong as disempowering them – and the empire strikes back! One of the outcomes is that a few years later, it appears as if nothing has been done, and people gear themselves up to again come up with ‘innovative’ ideas, often weaker than might already have been tried, uninformed by the past.

The Seven Myths of Highly Ineffective Education Systems – Myth # 5 of 7

Myth # 5 – Teachers can improve by following instructions given to them by their seniors

This is an extension of the previous myth, except it operates between officials/supervisors  and teachers. The notion is that the teacher is merely a cog in the wheel, lower down in the hierarchy, and the best way to get him to improve is to make him comply with instructions from above.  Apart from the fact that the instructions from above often tend to be problematic, it is also true that many of them don’t get implemented at all. At best, teachers can be made to comply with rules such as coming on time, or turning in a certain amount of work – but they can’t be made to like children, or smile at them, or feel like coming to work every day and radiating this enthusiasm to students and colleagues. That is only possible if the system seeks a partnership with teachers, treats them as fellow stakeholders and engages with them on a more equal footing.

As the experience of RTE shows, instructions, rules and even laws that make lack of compliance justiciable – are insufficient to bring about the required change. They are simply the wrong instrument for the purpose. (I’ve written about coercive and generative power elsewhere.)

 So what is the way in which teachers change?

The Big Myth that Educationists hold – about others: Myth # 6 of the 7 Myths of Highly Ineffective Education Systems –

Myth # 6 – Stakeholders are concerned about education (as educationists understand it)

Curriculum developers, educationists, policy makers, thinkers on education, many ‘NGO types’, reformers and other highly respected people often talk of the ‘aims of education’ – be it in terms of creating a more democratic society or a more evolved person etc. Somehow, those who are actually affected by education are unable to get this. For the masses at large, the purpose of education is to make life better, go up the social ladder by getting a job or being able to earn a stable livelihood. This is nothing to sneer at or term as a ‘wrong’ or ‘limited’ expectation. In fact, this is what millions of parents are slaving away for, sacrificing a bit every day so that their next generation may attain a better life. By looking down upon this view, by treating the situation as if ‘we are doing education to them’ instead of with and for them (or perhaps us), those who design education tend to marginalize the very people education is meant for.  They also end up with curriculum, textbooks and processes that do not build on the experiences that children from less privileged backgrounds bring, something that is an enormous resource being wasted, which then continues the cycle of marginalization.

Like parents, teachers too have their own idea of what they would like. Despite what is often said, most teachers do want to succeed – what they would like is some practical (not philosophical) advice on how to handle the really difficult situation they face – increasing diversity, the changing nature of student population as more and more ‘left out’ groups join school (in Delhi slums, migration is leading to 7-10 home languages in the classroom, including Punjabi and Odia which are not contiguous in the ‘normal’ world), changing curricular expectations they haven’t had time or support to absorb.  Even after attaining the PTR norms mandated by the RTE, we are going to have well over 50% schools with around 80-100 children, with 2-3 teachers handling 5 classes – that is, a very large proportion of teachers already are and will continue to work in multi-grade settings in the foreseeable future (while curriculum, pedagogy and materials continue to assume a mono-grade situation). Given that we are still short of 14 lakh teachers (the number was reported to have come down to 10 lakh, but with increased enrolment, is up again, the situation being much worse at the secondary level), the effect is felt by the 56 lakh who are there.  As mentioned, educationists may want high levels of learning to be attained using their policies and curriculum, but teachers just want to survive the day and, if possible, succeed in generating some learning.

And what kind of school would children want? Exercises on this have been few and far between. Most of the time children end up having to manage with whatever ‘we’ give out – from mid-day meals to ‘child-friendly elements’ to colourful books or whatever else. It is in the nature of children to find interest in whatever is made available, which is why there is a tendency to assume we have an idea of what they need. But engaging with them on the issue might reveal a lot more. For instance, talking with secondary school girls in a remote area in UP, we were discussing the need for toilets – but the girls said, “We can manage without the toilets, but what we can’t accept is that we are forced to choose Home Science and are not offered Mathematics.” This is surely something the authorities are not working on.

Simply listening to stakeholders might be a good idea. It would be revealing and educative for ‘experts’, helping reduce their arrogance and bringing their relationship with the stakeholders on a somewhat more equal footing.

What would you say if an expert approached you? And if you are an expert, how would you approach the stakeholder?

What The Education System REALLY Exists For – Myth # 7

The Seven Myths of Highly Ineffective Education Systems – Myth # 7 of 7

Or

The Seven Myths That Make Education Difficult To Improve

See Myth # 6 of 7 here.

Myth # 7 – The education system exists to improve education

Systems tend to lead double lives – at a conceptual level they might be brilliant, with wonderfully competent and committed people leading them. Yet at the ground level, what is in operation may be entirely different. Thus despite terrific policy and capability at policy/decision-making levels in the health sector, what common people might be heard saying is: “It is better to pay through your nose at a private clinic, than to die for free at the government hospital.”

For the people, the ‘system’ comprises of those representatives they meet at the district, block, cluster and village level, and occasionally those at the state levels. To understand the situation, try asking a group of educational administrators about the finer aspects of TA-DA rules and how they apply them, and you will find they can animatedly discuss them for about two hours. But raise the issue of why children are not learning (which is actually their real responsibility) and you will get a different response… (It’s true, isn’t it?)

This is what tends to happen to any system  (or even organization) over time – ultimately it’s own nuances, requirements, procedures, structures and powers (or power) become its main concerns, with the reason for its very existence slowly dimming in the memory of its functionaries. Thus:

  • teachers/CRC-BRC must spend more time collecting data even at the cost of teaching or improving learning, or
  • every school must follow the given framework for its School Development Plan (because the need to compile the plans at the block level is more important than the need for it to be appropriate for that school), or
  • every HT must maintain records for the officials ‘above’ even if it means she will not have time to support her teachers in improving the classroom process.

It is as if children, teachers, HTs, SMCs all exist to feed the machinery ‘above’ which has to ‘control’ them, and ‘give’ them resources (from mid-day meals to teachers to textbooks to in-service training, from which often a ‘cut’ may be taken), ‘allow’ them to take decisions such as which would be the most convenient time for most children to attend school, ‘monitor’ the work of teachers, ‘test’ the learning of students, and ‘grant’ the privilege of education.

What the RTE implies is that it is those who get their salaries because of children who are the real ‘beneficiaries’ – which includes all the administrators, supervisors, inspectors, monitors, institutions, departments, ministries.  It is they who are accountable to children and teachers, or would be if they really existed for education.

As mentioned, give them enough time and systems end up existing more to perpetuate themselves – and the status quo within – rather than the purpose for which they are created. Try making a change in the way things are organised within a system and you might find it responds with a kind of ferocious energy it fails to display when similar urgency is required in its primary objective. For instance, if it were declared that an educationist rather than an IAS officer will head the Department of Education, you will get a lot more activity in the system (to prevent that) than if you declared (as is well known) that most children are failing to attain grade level learning across the country.

Finally, systems exist to preserve the hold of the powerful. Issues that affect the middle classes or those more privileged get inordinate attention in the system. Thus nursery school admissions in private schools in Delhi are a big issue, or the allocation for poor children in elite private schools is endlessly discussed, or the class 10 board exam being needed (by children from better off families)… but the death of a 100+ children in a mid-day-meal from a poor section of society, or the low levels of  service in deprived areas or chronically low learning levels despite much money being invested – fail to receive that kind of attention.

For those seeking to make a dent in the system, it would be healthier to have a more ‘aware’ notion of what the education system really exists for. The puny strategies we use to make things better are unlikely to serve as even pinpricks to the system.

So, What Now? Knowing the 7 Myths of Highly Ineffective Education Systems, What Do We Do?

Continuing to live with these myths is to deny ourselves the opportunity to succeed, especially for those who need education the most. The first step is to accept that these notions have indeed affected our work in trying to bring about better education. Acknowledging this is not a sign of defeat but of learning.

After acknowledgement, however, come reflection – and small steps.

Here are some small steps that all of us can take:

  1. Discuss these ‘myths’ and related issues with as many people as you can. Question and contest them, or support them, with your experiences, facts and data from your sphere.
  2. If you are in any way connected with education – as a student, parent, teacher, CRC-BRC, official or resource person, NGO worker or decision-maker, make one small change every month which in some way empowers children or teachers or HMs. (Our team, Ignus PAHAL, will soon be producing a poster presenting a graded list of these small, doable changes at the school level.)
  3. Talk with as many stakeholders as possible and within reach (and in the limited time available) about what they would like. They might suggest things they could do – and a small beginning may be made to a partnership in bringing about improvement that is gettable. It may be a better way to help children wash their hands before the mid-day meal, or managing to start the school 10 minutes earlier so that learning time increases, or ensuring used textbooks are circulated better, or working out how you may share your expertise with children or teachers.
  4. Find something interesting you can share with children. It may be a news item (e.g. did you know that for some reason, the MHRD – and some of the other ministries of education in the country – face a problem with monkeys troubling them?), or an interesting story you’ve read or know (but no moral tales please!) or a suggestion for something they can try out (e.g. making a paper plane turn in a predicted direction) or find out (e.g. why the inner margin of a textbook page is wider than the outer margin – okay, that is too easy but you get the idea).
  5. Find a way to convert complex educational ideas into simpler forms so that a person with no background in education or no access to ‘high’ language may understand it. E.g. ‘non-detention is not the same as non-evaluation, and that by detaining children we are making them pay the price for the system’s failure and also supporting the idea that it is fear which leads to learning’. Can you find a way to make this idea easy to understand for millions of teachers, parents, SMC members and others? (You can guess why this statement was selected as the example…)
  6. Use your mobile – call up a teacher, or text her an idea or send your appreciation. With children, use the stop-watch, camera and calendar in your phone to do activities. If you know an official and have a good enough relationship, make him or her uncomfortable by reading out sections of this article (don’t get into a bitter argument – a gentle, understanding approach may be more useful!).
  7. Finally, please add to the discussion on these 7 Myths and, perhaps more importantly, to the list of suggestions.

But all these are very small things, you might say. They can’t achieve much. Well, not if many, many, many of us are doing them! Perhaps it’s a myth too that only when some large government programme is in action can change take place. This ignores local ingenuity and the sheer numbers that can make government efforts look feeble – or boost them to make them actually succeed. Towards this, your views and ideas may be more powerful than you imagine. And that’s not a myth!

Detention For Adults?

To all those who are convinced that the non-detention policy is harming education…

Children’s apparent lack of learning becomes an issue mainly because it is easy to see that they have missed out on something. The fact that at a younger age learning is very fast and that clear milestones are available helps us perceive this – and therefore apply all kinds of expectations, tactics, at times even coercion to ‘ensure’ learning – one such being the detention system which, many believe, is needed in order to maintain ‘quality’. By making children lose a year because we couldn’t ensure their learning (and blaming them for it), we feel we can generate the fear required to make them ‘serious’ and learn.

If we are convinced about this, why should it apply only to school education? What if we could lay out clear benchmarks for adults to learn and grow – in general as well as in the work they do. Certainly it is possible to have a life-long ‘curriculum’ with two-year benchmarks (over their entire careers, and even post retirement) for educationists and curriculum developers, teachers, HMs, government officials, managers, businessmen, fathers and mothers (and grandparents), journalists, artists, municipal staff, auditors, accountants, administrators, intelligence agents and politicians. What if there was a ‘detention system’ (in terms of not being allowed to be promoted or get a pay increase or being sent back to some lower ‘grade’)? Yes, in some government jobs there is an ‘efficiency bar’ and the supposed HR policies and internal competition are expected to sort this out. But do they?

Can we as a nation claim that we have, every year, demonstrated the improvement required to declare ourselves ‘promoted’ to the next level (whatever that is)?

And what happens when police are unable to reduce crimes, leaders are unable to ensure the welfare of the poor, systems are unable to deliver basics such as electricity / water / education / health, or societies are unable to get men to have basic respect for women?

Who should be ‘detained’?

IJR Journal is Multidisciplinary, high impact and indexed journal for research publication. IJR is a monthly journal for research publication.

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