The liberal learning system is a higher education model which focuses on teaching students how to think independently. This model rests on the multidisciplinary and the interdisciplinary system where a student is given a variety of choices across many streams that enables them to discover their calling and broaden their horizons. This education model provides a platform for youngsters to learn how to connect and integrate knowledge and thereby supports them to apply their learnings in real-world scenarios.
While the traditional model of education in India stresses on memorizing and reproducing information, liberal learning encourages creativity, critical thinking, good communication, and love for learning.
At this juncture, India’s National Education Policy (NEP) which recently had a revamp in 2020, characterized liberal learning as a mode that is discussion-based and discovery-based. As a result, the NEP 2020 encourages a multidisciplinary mode of the education system, opening of higher education institutions to foreign players, and flexibility to educational institutions to offer master’s programs across various disciplines.
Here are the top five reasons for why India needs a liberal learning model:
1. Interdisciplinary approach to learning
One of the key pillars of liberal education is the interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary method that integrates different areas of study and exposes students to a variety of disciplines. A Data Science student can study a course in Music while a Law student can take up a course in Humanities. This approach at an undergraduate level enhances a student’s ability to understand issues from different perspectives thereby making them future-ready.
2. Proficiency in active learning
This education model has hybrid methods of teaching and learning where creativity is the cornerstone. Team teaching using case studies and interactive classroom sessions are a part of this system. Instead of just passively taking in information at classroom lectures, active learning methods are employed where students are urged to participate, discuss, and be creative in a classroom. Active learning creates a more personal environment for students where they are given the space and time to process information and interact with fellow students on their course material. As a result, students inculcate good interpersonal skills, oral and written communication skills and understand the importance of working in a team.
3. Critical thinking capabilities
Educational institutions that follow the liberal education model teach students how to think. Through international exposure and active learning methods, students are taught problem-solving and critical thinking skills. In this education system, students understand the core ideas of the subjects they are interested in. They learn to examine and assimilate information and form informed opinions.
4. Preparing students to become employment-ready
Institutions that opt for liberal learning models help students get ready for solving real-world problems. This model equips students with the skills to synthesize information from multiple areas in an organized fashion and understand the importance of group dynamics. These essential skillsets attract future employers from top companies and firms. Moreover, due to the dynamic nature of this model, students are also well-prepared to tackle jobs that are yet to gain center stage. By providing students with a holistic education, this model enables them to confidently be leaders in lesser-known job profiles as well.
5. Enhancing social responsibilities
Since liberal learning models focus on shaping the youth to tackle real-world problems, it also encourages youngsters to take up the mantle in effecting societal change. Learning about the key problems plaguing the world from thought leaders instills a sense of responsibility among students. These youngsters go on to become empathic leaders who actively participate in community engagement and bring about positive change in the world they live in. This education model encourages wholesome development of an individual.