Applying Vedic Techniques to Online Learning

Codi Saxon

Normally students are unaware that education is a journey from the external to the inner: From facts to know-how and from expertise to realization.  As educators, we naturally research educational theories. Theories of discovering these types of as behaviorism, cognitive psychology, constructivism, social mastering, and much more have been reviewed […]

Normally students are unaware that education is a journey from the external to the inner: From facts to know-how and from expertise to realization.  As educators, we naturally research educational theories. Theories of discovering these types of as behaviorism, cognitive psychology, constructivism, social mastering, and much more have been reviewed and produced responses to the phenomenon of finding out, nonetheless in classroom observe (cyberspace or bodily), we are however perplexed by the thriller of discovering and go on to search, know, and implement enhanced instructional strategies for improved understanding. In this regard, Vedic studying from historic India will come to head. In ancient India, amid the numerous paths of finding out for self-realization, learners of the Vedas also understand to utilize three standard sequential approaches for mastering a subject matter subject: Śravaṇa (listening), Manana (reflection/contemplation/clearing of uncertainties), and Nididhyasana (meditation on the truth/integration/encounter). Nevertheless the three strategies were being expounded to attain the information of the Self, these methodologies keep on being appropriate and relevant even in today’s entire world of schooling. In mild of the discovering difficulties faced by pupils in on line classes, adapting Vedic techniques to class layout and lesson strategies, specifically in the to start with weeks of faculty, may enable set a foundation for a profitable inward journey from dependence on the teacher to independence and self-reliance with regards to the topic.

Śravaṇa: Hearing and listening to the expert

The initially step, Śravaṇa, refers to listening to or listening to the Expert. In an on the net discovering module, the lesson imparted by the trainer, in the form of audio-movie lectures, readings, or demonstrations, is the commencing of the understanding. The instructor guides the pupil by the information and facts, and the most crucial requirement is the student’s focus and notice. In this phase, the instructor reminds pupils to continue to keep the head distinct of preconceptions and misconceptions of the matter, as perfectly as prejudices about the topic of research. In How Older people Discover: A Reflective Essay (2017), Dr. Sridevi Yerrabati says, “One of the things that shocked me was that the learners had been relying on culturally-and socially-imposed encounters or preconceived notions, relatively than what they experienced experienced immediately.” That’s why, the instructor could make from the premise that much less muddle in the thoughts will make place for greater aim, which is likely to make their journey via the up coming two phases smoother.

In gentle of Śravaṇa, an on the net module could be developed with a title that implies the perspective wanted by the learner. The title could be suggestive of how to method the module. Right here is an case in point:

  • Stage 1 of Mastering: Listening/Looking through/Comprehending (How concentrated are you?)  

To this kind of a module, aside from readings and lectures, a trainer could increase formative assessments and/or games that permit pupils to exercise attentiveness and aim (without having influencing the grade). Canvas Studio, Very hot Potatoes, EdPuzzle, and Quizlet are a several tools to achieve this. Śravaṇa is also very similar to Thornburg’s “campfire” concept expressed in Campfires in Cyberspace (2004). He suggests, “There is a sacred high-quality to instructing as storytelling, and this activity took location in sacred spots, generally about the hearth. The focal position of the flame, the seems of the night time, all give backdrop to the storyteller who shares knowledge with pupils who, in their flip, turn out to be storytellers to the future technology.” In this sense, “campfire” is the sacred place for Śravaṇa, the Guru’s impartation of knowledge, and appears equivalent to cognitivism, but the pupil is not a passive receiver of expertise but a determinant of the genuine which means in it. This is the beginning of the studying. In today’s on line atmosphere, the Guru’s position may well have changed to that of a guidebook, but the framework continues to be the exact same as that of the triad: Trainer, medium of training, and scholar.

Manana: Reflecting, contemplating, and clearing of uncertainties

From Śravaṇa, college students shift on to Manana—reflecting, thinking about, and clearing of uncertainties. Below, they cause and review until eventually they clearly recognize the subject matter at hand. They operate by way of uncertainties, misunderstandings, and confusion in the system of evaluation. Their goal is to completely fully grasp the teachings of the Expert. This is the space and time for questioning the instructor and discoursing with classmates. Creating notes and recurring looking at are vital here, and these types of learning will take time and involves willpower. In an on the web-understanding module, the title of the module could be, for case in point:

  • Stage 2 of Finding out: Reflecting on the readings and converting the being familiar with to information.” 

The Manana module can hold conversations and other pursuits these types of as blogging and group conversations. Today’s Mastering Management Methods hold exceptional dialogue instruments and are integrated with instructional purposes these kinds of as Padlet. In conditions of Thornburg’s Campfires in Cyberspace, Manana could join to the “watering hole,” however in Vedic methodology Manana is similar to a Q&A with the instructor, but the thought could just as conveniently use to an on the net module. The emphasis is on reflection with the objective of attaining wisdom. Manana, a single can guess, arrives close to constructivism and social mastering theories. It is essential to reiterate that Manana is the act of digging deeply into the information derived during the Śravaṇa stage.

Nididhyasana: Deepening know-how and realizations

From Manana, college students transfer to Nididhyasana, exactly where understanding deepens and realizations come up. This is the meditative phase wherever a single is solo. The awareness derived or designed from the to start with two stages is internalized right here so that it results in being a living truth. The studying is utilized and practiced.  With doubts cleared, learners go to encounter and conviction. The journey doesn’t end listed here because Nididhyasana carries on over and above the class. In reference to Thornburg, Nididhyasana could relate to the “cave” in which one retreats for further contemplation. In a learning module, this stage could be titled as follows: 

  • Stage 3 of Understanding: Integrating (It is not sufficient to know. Can you apply this understanding? Encounter it? Permit it move conveniently into action?)

Thornburg says, “There is a person other primordial learning surroundings of good relevance: the cave—where we came in contact with ourselves.” Functioning in the comprehensive electrical power of the Self is the Nididhyasana phase. In this sort of a module, assignments such as essays or examinations can be provided. Even if a team project ended up assigned, particular person contributions would even now require solo retreating to the “cave” as very well as a demonstration of the potential to put into action the know-how or talent. This displays that Nididhyasana is indispensable for learning to arrive to fruition in the form of realization or wisdom. 

In the Vedic age, considerably emphasis was given to the student’s psychological ecosystem as a wholesome, attentive, focused brain would entire the journey from facts to realization with ease. These Vedic techniques appear to be much more relevant and necessary today in perspective of struggling, overworked, underprivileged, and distracted students. If a discovering strategy can empower a student’s brain and is a 5,000-year old analyzed methodology, then introducing it to the teacher’s toolkit may just be sensible and fulfilling to the pupil and the instructor. 


Nita Gopal is a professor of English at Modesto Junior Faculty, California, and has been training online since 2006.

References

Thornburg, David D. (2004). “Campfires in Cyberspace: Primordial Metaphors for Mastering in the 21st Century.” Intercontinental Journal of Tutorial Technological innovation and Length Finding out. Vol.1, No.10.

Yerrabati, Sridevi. (2017). “How Adults Understand: A Reflective Essay.” Compass: Journal of Studying and Training. VOL. 10, No. 1.

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