Leading Schools in India collaborate to address the need to transform learning in schools

Mumbai: Callido Learning, an ed-tech organisation which offers learning resources to develop essential 21st century skills in students, invited Malcolm Nicolson, author of the 21st century skills curriculum in the leading board – International Baccalaureate, to work with leading schools in India and identify ways in which schools can transform their learning to match what is needed in the real world. The sessions were part of a leadership series on Transformed Learning: 7 keys for building the school of tomorrow, today. The first set of workshops in the series were organised at the illustrious DPS International School in Gurgaon on 21st August, 2019 and the prestigious Dhirubhai Ambani International School in Mumbai on 23rd August, 2019. The next session will take the Leadership series to Jordan in October 2019.

The Gurgaon session was attended by leading schools in the region like the Shiv Nadar School, Pathways World School, Pathways Gurgaon and Pathways Noida, The British School, and The Shri Ram Schools among others. The session in Mumbai boasted a full house of illustrious names that included, Oberoi International School, BD Somani International School, Bombay International School, Cathedral & John Connon School, and American School of Bombay.

During the session, school leaders discussed ways to better adapt assessments and teaching methodologies that are more aligned towards skill development, rather than rote learning. A key theme that emerged was, how for education to really shift, the assessments need to also shift. The intensive session also had its light hearted moments, with the engaging games played by educators, which have been designed for teaching real world skills. Educators also worked their way through the detailed scope and sequence and reviewed Caliber, a content agnostic skills-based assessment developed by Callido Learning.

Sriram Subramanian, CEO, Callido Learning commented, “It was an honour to host Malcolm in India for the leadership sessions, and I am elated at the success of both the sessions. Skills development in students is extremely important to us and the backbone of our vision at Callido. It was wonderful to see this vision echo with pedagogical leaders, and to have them discuss issues faced by students post schooling and brainstorm strategies to address the need to transform learning in schools. I am looking forward to the next session in Jordan!”

Abhimanyu Basu, Academic Project Director, Dhirubhai Ambani International School said, “The session by Mr. Nicolson was highly engaging and helped us reflect on how to include skills development into our curriculum and culture. The adaption of McKinsey’s 7s framework gave us the next steps to the vision of learning and enable the transformation of learning in our schools. It was wonderful to host this insightful session at DAIS, with Callido Learning and have leading schools in the region collaborate under one roof.”

Rima Singh, Head of School, DPS International Said, “The interactive and highly engaging session led by Mr. Malcolm Nicolson, on 7 Keys for Building the Schools of Tomorrow, today, helped the participants reflect on how our students experience increasingly complex problems as they progress in school and life and how we as educators can provide the guidance and opportunities to help them develop skills to solve them. He gave an insight on using the McKinsey 7-S Framework as a reflective tool, school leaders can strengthen skill acquisition.”

Malcolm Nicolson added, “It was a privilege to work with the school leaders in India to explore ways in which to identify strategies to improve schooling for the next generation. We know more about the ways in which young people learn today than we did 20 years ago, and this was a great opportunity to work to explore ways in which current thinking can motivate educational innovation. We used a framework published by McKinsey to dive deeply into areas in which schools could look to improve teaching and learning. I was delighted to see the engagement of school leaders and their willingness to address key issues, nobody shirked from big challenges and everybody adopted an open mind to school improvement. The groups were unified in their desire to see an education that is focused on deliberately teaching the skills of tomorrow for students to succeed in an uncertain future. By identifying, teaching, evaluating and monitoring skills, the school leaders agreed that students graduating from their schools would be best prepared for the challenges of the 21st century.”

One of the most pressing issue in education today is the gap between what is taught in the classroom, and what is needed in the workplace for a child to succeed. Even though educators and parents agree that the focus of education should shift to equipping students with the skills they need for tomorrow, there are many legacy systems, which cannot be overhauled overnight. Callido Learning provides simple 15 hours’ bolt-on curriculum which students use per academic year to develop 21st Century Skills that can transfer from schools and university, to the workplace.

Malcolm Nicolson has over 20 years of experience in leadership in International education and is a renowned curriculum development specialist. He has been an integral part of the development of the IB curriculum we teach today and leading the shift in pedagogy, with the introduction of ATL (Approaches to Learning) Skills in the Diploma Program and the next chapter revision of the MYP (Middle Years Programme) in his role at the IBO as the head of Diploma Programme and MYP.