The education of TCHITS:
This is inspired by a book that I read in the 1950s when I was in School. The book with the intriguing title “ The education of TC MITS” is a 1942 book by Dr Lillian Rosanoff Lieber on Mathematical Thinking for everyone. An ordinary person is given the name TC Mits (acronym for “the celebrated man in the street”. Now 80 years later to the publishing of that book and about 70 years of my having seen that book, I wanted to create something which was like lifelong learning for everyone in the 3rd decade of the 21st Century.
And in this age of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, a lot of effort is being made to ‘teach’ or ‘train’ computer models to perform useful tasks. In keeping with the trend towards gender parity, I changed MITS to PITS for ‘person in the street’, and then to HITS for humans in the street, because today we have self-driving cars and robots sharing the street with humans. So, my program is named “ Educating the celebrated human in the street”.
I have also been influenced by the famous Vedic mantra ( Rig_Veda 1.89.1) that has been evangelised by the Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan “आ नो भद्राः क्रतवोयन्तु विश्वतः” ‘ (meaning: Let noble thoughts come to me from all directions). This program is propelled by these 2 ideas.
It is available in two formats : one an in person face to face conversation (not a mere lecture) for about 90 minutes and the other a weeklong WhatsApp delivered program. The WhatsApp program is detailed below:
Day 1: Opportunities galore!
1.1: Education is still an exclusive privilege. More people are denied an educational opportunity, than provided with one.
1.2: It is the emerging technologies that make life easier for the HITS by making tools and services available to a larger population. Think of the ubiquitous GPS.
1.3: Learning is about the brain. It has to be driven by Educational Neuroscience.
Day 2: Non-traditional opportunities for learning
2.1: Learning with MOOCs
2.2: Learning from YouTube
2.3: Websites and mobile Apps for learning
Day 3: Taking charge of your learning
3.1: Pursue active learning. Nobel Laureate Carl Weiman on the ineffectiveness of lectures
3.2: Building Learning Power. Guy Claxton on suffering from taughtitis and building learning power
3.3: Barbara Oakley on learning how to learn. Key ideas from ‘make it stick’
Day 4: Specific learning opportunities
4.1: Learning and Improving STEM skills
4.2: Learning AI on your own
4.3: Learning Quantum on your own
Day 5: What is worth learning?
5.1: In this age of abundance, one has to discriminate between genuine learning and junk learning. Much of popular learning is junk learning. We need to progress to real learning.
5.2: Ideas in our brain build from simple to complex, just like a child learns to roll over, before it sits, sits before it stands, stands before it
walks and walks before running.
5.3: Developing a lifelong learning disposition
The in person discourses would cover the same ideas.
To know more, please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at +919810073724