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Starting Out

TRCP-05

This project, although an academic endeavour of a post-graduate student of graphic design from the National Institute of Design, absolutely could not have been possible without the guidance and support of the faculty guide, Mr. Tarun Deep Girdher. I would like to thank him for mentoring me through this project as if it was his own, and spending countless hours discussing and debating the complex parameters and dynamics of the stakeholders involved in the Indian education system. I broke all project timelines and this one took a mind-boggling 15 months, but his patience was unparalleled through out.

I would also take this opportunity to thank Mr. Noble Thomas and Ms. Vandna Joshi, from DPS Bopal for letting me meet the teachers and students of the school to conduct my research as well as validate my design solution. Mr. Thomas was instrumental in organising a lot of the feedback sessions and providing valuable insights at key stages through the project.

There are a number of people who participated in my research and facilitated the outcome of the project. There were also those who made sure I didn’t give up half way. Names in no particular order are as follows: Dr. Niyati Lakhani, Mr. Vineet Joshi, Mr. Dhirendra Davey, Dr. Shailendra Gupta, Ms. Veena Das & Ms. Nikita Desai (Riverside School), Mr. Rupesh Vyas, Mr. Ajay Tiwari, Jasleen Kaur, Shreya Chakravarty, Roshini Pochont, Jyoti Mann, Mira Malhotra, Akash Raj Halankar, Soumyadip Ghosh, Palash Singh. My family and friends—as always, for letting me do what I love.

27th August, 2012.

The first guide meeting with Tarun was more of a project initiation session. We spoke about the education system in general and tried to chalk out a framework of the project. It was important to understand evaluation in context of the present education system as a whole. Are schools today following a model of training or education? What really is the purpose of education? And what role does evaluation play in the entire process?

Tarun also gave me a few books to read, which are mentioned in the Reading List. CBSE has implemented a new evaluation system (CCE – Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation) which has been adopted by schools and is facing criticism from across the country. It would be important to find out what went into the devising of the new system, and how this would effect student learning in the long run. The National Curriculum Framework (2005) has a section on Assessment & Evaluation which could provide an understanding of the basis on which the CCE was devised.

We discussed where we could get the most relevant and useful information from and narrowed it down to –

  • Personal Experiences
  • Second Hand Experiences
  • Teachers
  • Academic Administration

It was decided that I would have to take a public school such as Kendriya Vidyalaya, and a school where parents send their children for better education such as DPS, as case studies.

Takeaway from the discussion – Understand and Find Opinions.

This project explores the possibility of a design intervention which can make student evaluation in middle schools, class 6–8, more beneficial and instrumental in the overall growth of a student.

PROJECT CONTEXT

As a rapidly developing nation, India needs creative thinkers, innovators, educators and leaders who can contribute to nation building. These flag bearers of the future need to be trained to cultivate these qualities. Does the way we evaluate school children in our country cater to such kind of a development?

The method of evaluation in India’s academic system, pertaining to school education, has been long in question. It has been systemized in such a way that a student is forced to rote learn in order to perform well in examinations. Are the parameters used to measure a student’s growth comprehensive indicators of one’s learning?

PROJECT OBJECTIVE

  • Understand the context of student achievement and the light in which parents, teachers and children are affected by the current evaluation system.
  • Explore the possibility of creating an interface to encourage a meaningful dialogue amongst parents, teachers and children to ensure the child’s growth.
  • Rethink the indicators on which student performance is measured, as well as the medium of communication, i.e the report card.
  • Attempt to make evaluation less comparative and focus on identifying the child’s strengths & weaknesses.

A pdf version of the comprehensive project proposal can be downloaded here.

The first thing we did after getting the project themes was to brainstorm in order to put everything out on the table so we could identify problem areas and figure out project ideas.

Khadi

Indian Spices

School Education

I identified the evaluation system (under school education) as my problem area that I would work on. The keywords from the brainstorm that helped me zero onto this were Report Card, Marks, Exams, Toppers, Career Choices, and Boards (ICSE/CBSE).

Each of us has a particular skill set that we might want to hone, or work on select issues that concern us, or even increase our understanding of the world around us. The classroom project gives us the opportunity to explore various aspects of graphic design and its application.

The class was given three themes, within the context of which, we could identify problem areas and attempt to work out solutions for them as graphic designers for our second classroom project.

The themes that were given to us were:

  • KHADI
  • INDIAN SPICES
  • SCHOOL EDUCATION (K-12)

The objective here is to apply graphic design principles and skills in a real world context, to solve a particular issue. This includes understanding the issue, collecting information, analyzing the information, chalking out possible design interventions to solve the issue at hand, developing the design, testing and refining it.