MFSDI: Mentoring for self-discovery and self-improvement

MFSDI: Mentoring for self-discovery and self-improvement:

There is an almost universal agreement that the present education model of “one size fits all” and designed for the last century is not adequate for the future. Existing programs may need to be be supplemented with mentoring programs that build the knowledge, skills, attitude and dispositions that would help in flourishing and prospering in the unpredictable and unforeseen future. John Holt has suggested that the best strategy to prepare for an unknown world is to foster the love of learning and the ability to learn very well anything one sets out to learn. 

I have with these goals in mind, developed this 3 month (12 weeks) personalised mentoring program for self-discovery and self-improvement that is structured as a series of 10 weeklong learning adventures. The program is accessible through a mobile phone with WhatsApp.

Beginning November 2020, mentees can join at the beginning of any month,and will follow a personalised trajectory.  This is designed as a 12 week ( 5 days a week) or 3 month program . The suggested activities would require a couple of hours every weekday. Any weekends and extra days that become available during the 3 month period may be used for catching up on missed activities and for further reflection  on the activities of the week.

The mission is : “ Successful transformation to prosper and flourish in an unknown and unpredictable future”:

This is a program for both boys and girls of all all ages from about 13 upwards.  The program is being offered only in English medium. Parents of minors will if they so wish be included in the program without any extra charge, in their ward’s mentoring journey. Of course they will have to pay the regular fee if they also want to be ‘mentored’ on how to deal with their own future.

It is often said that healthcare has continuously improved because the outcome of new knowledge and research in the medical sciences leads to better diagnostics, better pharmaceutical products and better treatment protocols, but the outcome of research in education, learning, including what neuroscience informs us of how the brain learns and the technologies including its latest incarnation in the form of AI is not applied to improve the practice of teaching and learning. Often the findings of latest research are actively prohibited from being used in classrooms. 

Under the present conditions, the formal education system does not hold much promise for the learners and the only hope is individuals taking charge of their own destinies, and applying what great thought leaders have suggested in their books, blogs, conference keynotes, articles and TED talks. Preparing students for future success is the main role of a teacher. Simply teaching facts is no longer an acceptable means of instruction ( New Education Policy 2020). Teaching students to be self-directed learners is necessary for success in the unfolding future.

Unlike a course curriculum, this program is not spelled out in detail, but a broad sequence of the activities over a period of 3 months has been planned. We expect that most people will then onwards be able to chart their own future trajectories, but if some want some more support, that would be available.

We will not abandon our mentees or abdicate our mentees if they need further help and hands holding. 

The broad flow of the 3 month ( 10weeks) program of guided self-discovery and self-improvement. These are preliminary thoughts, and may be tweaked during the course of 3 months depending upon the interactions with the mentee. 

1st week : Finding your element ?

Day 1: Setting the stage; how will the process work? 

Day 2: What are you good at? Evidence from academic records

Day 3: What makes you happy?

Day 4: What do you love doing?

Day 5: Ikigai : your life’s purpose

End of the week  outcome: A brief report on your element

2nd week  : Your learning profile: what kind of learner are you? 

Day 1: Your Intelligence profile

Day 2: What is your attitude? Mindset? Deferred Gratification. 

Day 3: Your learning dispositions 

Day 4: Grit: where are you on the scale ?

Day 5: What were you planning to do next? Why?

End of the week  outcome: Your learning profile. 

3rd week : Learning Skills

Day 1: Why becoming a lifelong learner is so important ?

Day 2: Webquests for the pursuit of self-directed learning

Day 3: The Feynman Technique for learning advanced or difficult concepts

Day 4: Building Learning Power

Day 5: Using AI tools to become a better learner

End of the week outcome: Guidance for becoming a better learner 

4th week: Metacognition – thinking about how we think

Day 1: What is metacognition?

Day 2: Fallacies

Day 3: The toolbox fallacy 

Day 4: Cognitive Bias

Day 5: Occam’s razor

End of the week outcome: Your responses to some logical problems

5th week: Overcoming Maths Phobia……and appreciating Maths

Day 1: What is Maths Phobia?

Day 2: What causes Maths Anxiety?

Day 3: Measure of Maths Anxiety?

Day 4: Conquering Maths Anxiety

Day 5: At peace with Maths

End of the week outcome: Your reflection on your changed attitude towards Mathematics

6th week: Adventures into literature:

Day 1: Why literature?

Day 2: Stories

Day 3: Essays

Day 4: Poetry

Day 5: Drama 

End of the week outcome: Your literary composition…

7th week: Philosophical Foundations

Day 1: Why Philosophy?

Day 2: Great Philosophical ideas

Day 3: Ethics

Day 4: Consciousness

Day 5: Philosophy of Information

End of the week outcome: Your Philosophy as articulated by you 

8th week: Meta-Knowledge

Day 1: What is Knowledge?

Day 2: Knowledge Representation

Day 3: Knowledge Organisation

Day 4: Tacit and explicit Knowledge

Day 5: Knowledge Management

End of week outcome: Your perspectives on Knowledge?

9th week: Quantum readiness:

Day 1: Quantum Magic

Day 2: Quantum Concepts

Day 3: Quantum Computing 

Day 4: Quantum Biology

Day 5:  Where to learn more ?

End of week outcome: A write up by you on why you think Quantum is worth learning about

10th week: The next steps: 

Day 1: Making Sense of Artificial Intelligence

Day 2: Technology MegaTrends in the 4th Industrial Age

Day 3: Developing Foresight 

Day 4: Computational Thinking

Day 5: First Principles

End of the week outcome : Your Personal action plan.

Running through the 12 weeks, will be an extended Capstone project,somewhat similar to the extended essay in the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. This extended project will be settled by mutual agreement with the mentee, during the first week of the program. 

To know more about this mentoring program, the fees and enrolment procedure please send a WhatsApp message to Prof MM Pant at :+919810073724