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Can you become smarter by looking at a teacher?

Can you look at a muscular person and become muscular? Can you look at a dance performance and become a dancer? Then, how can you learn science by looking at a science teacher?

A person becomes muscular by lifting weights, eating the right diet – putting in a lot of physical effort. A person becomes a good dancer by spending many months, if not years, practicing and improving. Learning step by step and slowly improving.

The reality

How are you currently learning at school? You sit in a classroom and look at the teacher. Or, you sit in front of a computer and learn online. If you have a motivated teacher, you will find her teaching with enthusiasm. If you have an average teacher, you will find her teach passively.

In both the cases, what are you doing? Watching her teach.

Just like watching a dancer or a muscular person working out in the gym. You are only looking at the person teach and developing the delusion that you are learning as well.

Nothing can be farther from the truth. Whether it is classroom learning or online learning, you are only passively involved. You are a spectator.

You forget that we did not put any effort. You did not put any effort. You just enjoyed the show.  

The solution: Learn by thinking

Next time you are read a page, stop and think. Next time you are watching a video, pause the video and think. Ask yourself: Do you understand? Do you agree? Are you able to relate with any other example or experience?

You learn when you think. You learn when you put effort. You learn when you Involve yourself in learning. Slowly, just like muscles develop, your understanding of science will also develop.

That is why, we have launched Unbox – deep thinking courses in Physics. Every Unbox course begins with a question. Only after you are done thinking is an answer revealed. Unbox has all the right elements of good learning – interesting questions, time to think and a slow process of deep learning. Unbox is a bumpy ride, not a smooth ride. But a ride with a lot of learning and fun.

Unbox Physics courses are currently offered to children between grades 6 - 9. You can enrol by downloading the app from Google Play or Apple Store depending on your device.


Aneesh Bangia

Aneesh Bangia is the co-founder of Open Door. He writes about the past, present and future of education.

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