Thursday, July 5, 2012

Science Education In India

Currently there exist a number of life science societies in India. The names being diverse, purpose indeed remains the same. These societies are aiming to bring people on a universal platform and popularize science. Certain initiative needs to be incorporated in order to popularize science, which is necessary for its further betterment in the society.
Life Science Society Initiative (LSSI)
The increased effort by the prevalent societies needs more focused perspective. Current outlook is more towards increasing the awareness of science within the community, also there is interdisciplinary work carried out by some of these societies. The efforts should be directed not just to gather these intellectuals and students on a common platform but also to inculcate the habit amongst them to interact in near future. Directives should thus be towards creation of a scientist, teacher, entrepreneur and most significantly an intellectual.
Scientist-Teacher Interaction (STI)
There should be an increased researcher-educator partnership between both, the educators of science and scientists to teach science as it is practiced. There is a communication gap, which is commonly observed between both the scientist and a teacher. The use and conception of improved facilities, update knowledge and productive interactions between the scientist and teacher should be practiced. Inclusion of teaching, research and human research development must also be a part of the process. Programs should be initiated to enhance interactions amongst both the groups.
Teacher-Student Interaction (TSI)
This interaction is indeed strong and influenced. There is day-to-day interaction and discussion within members of this group. The popularization of science is a positive feature that can be initiated by this group. Apart from academics the vision needs to be set towards popularizing science in near future. In many institutes and colleges the incorporation of research projects as part of the curriculum has generated zeal amongst the young generation towards research and science.
Scientist-Student Interaction (SSI)
In most of the cases the reach of students towards science and or scientist is limited. There is lack of knowledge amongst students about research hence dialogue needs to be established within the scientist-student community. In recent years the communication between this communities is possible by the means of interactive sessions and programme such as conferences, symposia, guest lectures or open forums.
But what is the life of this talk? Does the discussion ends within four walls of the conference room? What are the numbers benefited under these programme? What about the grassroots levels initiatives?
One of the initiatives in this respect is launch of science magazines. In recent years there has been an increase in the number of science-based magazines. Science magazines was previously more focused towards particular age group readers, it now attracts more diversified readers. To some extent the scientific magazines have proved to reduce the barriers. But how many of them afford to purchase or read these magazines?
Science Awareness Strategy (SAS)
Where do we place science, scientist or science educator? Do they always face a setback in terms of pecuniary? Are the science educators looking towards a change? What do students of science think of the long-term prospects of their career in science?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

But I Want to be Popular Too

Let's face it. We all want to be popular. Popular with friends, relatives (well, maybe not relatives--just kidding), coworkers, bosses, and so on. Popularity is associated with fun times, success, prosperity, and a whole array of other positive thoughts and emotions. After all, when you think of the most popular boy or girl in high school, what pictures come to mind? In the case of the girl, you might envision the prettiest girl with the best smile and personality, perhaps captain of the cheerleaders. For the boy, you might think football quarterback, best athlete, or just plain best looking kid with the highest academics. Granted, these descriptions might not match exactly what came into your mind, but I think you get the point: when people conjure up images of the "popular ones," they tend to think "the best looking," "the best dresser" or something along this line.
None of us though has any control over the genetics part, and therefore we may not have been born one of the so called "beautiful people," who are paraded like starlights on the covers of magazines; nor fortunate enough to have been endowed with unrivaled athletic talent. However, it is indeed true that "beauty is in the eye of the beholder." After all, have you not had the experience of meeting a very handsome man or woman of such abrasive qualities that you would not think to be associated with this person, despite all the good looks? On the contrary, have you not met people who, despite just average looks, average physical builds, or average talents, possessed some magnetic charm that forced you to absolutely fall in love with them, if even in a platonic way?
Being born beautiful, rich, or with exceptional talent does not guarantee popularity. Having these attributes certainly gives you a huge advantage, but how many times have you come across or read about someone who is beautiful and talented, yet is an absolute boor: crude, ill-mannered, excessively self-centered, egocentric? Any or all of the these? You would think that such individuals would get down on their knees everyday and thank God for having blessed them beyond measure; yet often thankfulness is severely lacking in these individuals, and they are the epitome of recycled dross. True. Rich people can buy others and even buy popularity--to a certain extent. But this is not true popularity as the old cliche is appropriate: "Money can't buy class."
In its deepest sense, that saying is true. To drive my point home, I refer to the blockbuster remake of the movie "Titanic." In that movie the character Cal, Rose's fiancé, was rich, educated, and even dashingly handsome. He had it all--on the surface. Yet as the plot developed and the successive layers of his personality were revealed, something of a different ilk was exposed: boorishness. Cal did not impress favorably, neither did his character bespeak popularity. He was beyond arrogant, and his demeanor was downright irritating. In the end, he lost it all including his life. As Rose recounts the history, we learn that during the Great Depression Cal committed suicide after he lost the only things that made him feel a sense of worth--his material possessions.
In my years of observing people interacting with others, I have catalogued seven keys which are employed by those individuals we would classify as being popular. These keys are cut from common sense and age-old wisdom, yet surprisingly they are rarely used by the majority of people. Those who understand these keys and employ them consistently are the so called popular ones. Essentially, the keys allow one to make good impressions on a consistent basis. As one makes good impressions, one becomes popular. The keys are the door openers to making good impressions. Possess the keys, use them effectively, and you are on the road to instant popularity.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Baby and Educational Toys - Product Review

The days of the Lincoln Log and the Slinky have gone by the wayside. Move over Radio Flyer Wagons and butt out Easy-Bake Oven. Now children are building with 100 piece block sets and talking on toy cell-phones. They are driving around in pedal cars and cooking pretend food in full scale dream kitchens. Times have changed and most parents are embracing that change. Children are being entertained at a higher level than ever before. But, finding the right toy to stimulate the child isn't always easy. Don't fret; there are several different types of toy to buy your child.
Children are attending pre-schools as young as three years old. It is no surprise that one of the top toy markets is the educational toy market. While most parents tend to think of toys as entertainment, purchasing an educational toy can be both fun and beneficial to the child. From infant to toddler, the educational niche has it all. There are play centers, some of which sell for as little as $15, designed to help with memory and hand-eye coordination. Toys will often light up and have the child press or pull different buttons and levers. Some will give the child a foundation in music and mathematics, all the while entertaining and educating.
Toy purchases often have to fit in with a budget. There are several types of toys that can fit both the budget and the entertainment category. Many toy companies will manufacture toys such as push toys and mobiles for as little as $8.00. Plastic toys are now being manufactured to fit a parent's budget. Talking cell-phones can be picked up for as little as $11.00 and the entertainment they will provide the child will be unmatched. Some of the old standards, however, still reign supreme. Plush toys of the children's favorite characters are still as popular as ever. These toys, varying in size, can be picked up for a relatively cheap cost. Depending on size, the plush toys can range from $15 to over $100.
Infant and toddler toys come in a variety of forms. Infant toys are generally geared toward developing motor skills and hand-eye coordination. A popular infant toy usually has three factors: color, shape, and sound. Infant toys, for the most part, have different colors to help entertain the child. They often feature different faces. Some toys have levers to pull in order to make another lever carry out its function. Some of the infant toys feature sounds. For instance, animals will often make sounds and the child will have to pick the right animal. Some vanities even talk to your children to say how beautiful they look. Also, blocks are still popular among infants.
Toddler toys tend to veer towards imitation. Mega kitchens and microwaves, along with plastic food, are quite popular with toddlers. Children are entertained by imitating what they see mom and dad do. Picking out the right toy can be difficult. Is the child into imitating mom and dad or does he like to build? There are tons of different styles of blocks and puzzles to help ease his building needs. Pedal cars are popular. Priced around $100, pedal cars are perfect for the driveway or backyard. For children with flourishing imaginations there are many toys on the market. Puppet theatres for creating masterpiece theatre are reasonably priced and provide an outlet for the imagination. Children's tool sets are also popular. Children will be able to imagine building the racecar of their dreams. There is no limit to the imagination and these toys only contribute to a child's creativity.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Home Tuition Can Really Raise The Education Level Of Your Child

n some parts of the globe, there is one educational system that is gaining popularity due to the benefits that it offers and this is home tuition. In lieu to its popularity surge, there is one thing that has made it extremely popular. This is because of the fact that it will raise the educational level of children. Indeed this system provides leverage for your child, but others are still not convinced of this matter, and that is because of the fact that they have little knowledge on this educational system.
Home tuition is an educational system that operates under the hands of professional tutors as the primary educator. These educators that are being sent to different households are usually coming from registered agencies or educational institutions. The areas of study that are being covered by this education system can range from kindergarten to college level.
Parents should never worry about the tutors that will be sent to their home because they are selected by undertaking rigorous testing to ensure that they are totally competent. With that, you can be assured that the educator that an agency would send can greatly help your child's education.
One of the reasons why this kind of educational system raises the educational level of your child is that the tutor can concentrate and monitor the student more closely. Unlike in a classroom set up, the attention of the teacher is divided by many and because of that it is difficult for the teacher to monitor the individual performances of their students and this would include your child. Without this kind of individual attention the students are unlikely to reach their full educational potential.
With a tutor the child will concentrate more on what they are learning as they know that the educator is constantly monitoring them. This is beneficial as if the child does not fully understand something that the tutor has said then this can be re-taught a there is time to do this and it will not be holding back any other students who have already understood the subject matter.
This kind of educational training is not as expensive as some people might think. Money will be saved by the child not having to travel to school and pay for food there. There is also no need to provide a school uniform and other items that are specifically required. Providing your child with the best education that you can is one of the greatest things that you can do for them so this should be more important to you than the cost. Also you know that your child will always be safe as they will be at home and will not be subject to bullying or any other aspect of negative behavior. One on one tutoring is simply the best education that you can get and in the rare cases where there is a problem with a tutor or if your child and the tutor simply cannot get on with each other then you have the option to request a different educator to replace them. This is not possible with a normal school.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

529 Plan and Coverdell Education Comparison

The economic recession, which had given a massive blow to the economic condition of the United States as well as other countries of the world, has made people understand the need to save money. Many people in the United States are now searching for different investment plans to save money for supporting their future plans.
The demand for the students' savings plans have also increased significantly after the recession. Numerous parents are now opting for Coverdell Education Savings Account and 529 Plans to save money for child's education.
If you also want to proceed in the same way, you can take any of the abovementioned plans, as both have the same aim, to support educational expenses. However, for making the best decision, you should be familiar with the differences between the two plans.
529 Plans- The Basic Details
529 plans have been the most popular choice among the parents looking to save money for their child's college education. These plans are either sponsored by the state or by the colleges and educational institutions. Thus, the money that is deposited in these accounts is exempted from federal income tax and state income taxes.
If the investments are started early, one can save a lump sum amount of money till he attains the age of getting enrolled in a college. 529 plans, which are broadly classified into college savings plan and prepaid tuition plans are available in every state.
Thus, anyone can get these plans to support the monetary requirements of college education. As there are different options for saving money, one can easily select a plan based on his financial abilities.
Prepaid tuition plans have gained immense popularity these days, as it allows students and parents to purchase credit for funding college education. If one can make the estimates correct, he will not have to spend a penny for his child's college education.
College saving plan is also a good choice for someone who wants to deposit a substantial sum of money for higher studies' expenses. In case prepaid plan is not available in your state, this can be a good alternative. The upper limits for saving money varies depending on the type of the plan as
Coverdell Education - Few Important Facts
While the 529 plans are meant for funding the expenses of college, the Coverdell plans can be used for funding any sort of qualified education, from elementary schools, high schools or even in colleges. The amount deposited in this account grows as tax free income yet the distributions are taxed if the money is not used for meeting education expenses.
When you are planning save some money for your child's education by investing in Coverdell Education plan, you need to know that one can make a maximum deposit of $2000 per year for every student.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Unplugged Education - It Is Not Homeschooling

For most of us, when we hear the word education, it automatically creates a mental image of school and books and papers and we instantly associate the term with school. Similarly, when we hear the word school, we think of books, teachers, desks, chalkboards and a building filled with students, sounds of bells, images of backpacks and busses and the cringing thought of homework and tests. Take it a step further with the term 'homeschool' and a vast majority of the population automatically associates that term with 'strange, weird, bizarre, outcasts, unsocialized, cooped up" etc... Some of us know better and hence associate the term homeschool with books and papers and grades etc - but minus the chalk boards and busses and building, and of course minus the 'homework'. For many home educators, this would be an accurate image for what homeschooling is for them - school at home. However, for a growing number of families, the word school does not at all describe what they have discovered or the lifelong learning they are enjoying. What's more, these are the families who have come to the conclusion that the word education is not synonymous with the word schooling. As a matter of fact they are two very different ideas.
As a home educating Mom in one such family, as well as an outspoken advocate for home education, I use a new term that I feel helps to better describe our style. What we do is not school. We learn independent of a system or a building. We learn outside the lines of time schedules or any intellectual or emotional restrictions. It's education for sure, but it is an unplugged state of being; unplugged from the system with which we are used to associating the terms education and schooling. It is Unplugged Education©.
This is more than academics. It is not home school because it is not school at home. It doesn't always happen inside the home (although it can) and it is not "schooling". It is learning more...more than math.
Unplugged Education is a philosophical concept. It means unplugging from the mainstream ideas and compulsory concepts that drive the cultural modern world and thinking outside the proverbial box.
What is the system?
Unplugging forces us to see the schooling system for what it is - a system! A system indeed, that manufactures products and those products are our children. It is a deliberate and artificial procedure wherein pre selected and categorized information is downloaded into fresh young minds. The spoon-fed information is superficial, narrow, lacks variety and does not consider individuality. Furthermore it is selected by an elusive board with vested corporate interest. (This is why we see corporate advertising weaved into textbooks and throughout the school programs).
The system treats a multitude of children as a single entity and perpetuates a very artificial, group-think ideology; which suffocates individuality and strangles creative expression. It casts out anyone whose style of learning differs from the pre-selected standardized methods and literally ignores potentially great creative intellectual genius - because they are those who could not conform. It is a system that demands conformity and denies originality. An alarmingly high percentage of all public schooled children in North America graduate from this system without being able to read. This massive number of children are categorized as 'learning disabled' and diagnosed with any variety of conditions such as ADD, ADHD or a dozen other creative terms invented to label children who are truly just very naturally unable to conform to unnatural procedures.
It is the very nature of the system to compartmentalize in this way, separating the easy conformists (smart kids) from the otherwise (disabled kids). The conformists are the good students and the non-conformers are the disabled or even worse, the "bad" kids.
This systematic murdering of individual creative expression and strangulation of natural human genius has damaged our modern society. The system is not working. It is failing. It is failing our children; it is failing our society, our nation and our world.
"I've come to believe that genius is an exceedingly common human quality, probably natural to most of us... I began to wonder, reluctantly, whether it was possible that being in school itself was what was dumbing them down. Was it possible I had been hired not to enlarge children's power, but to diminish it? That seemed crazy on the face of it, but slowly I began to realize that the bells and the confinement, the crazy sequences, the age-segregation, the lack of privacy, the constant surveillance, and all the rest of national curriculum of schooling were designed exactly as if someone had set out to prevent children from learning how to think and act, to coax them into addiction and dependent behavior." - John Taylor Gatto
The system operates by using a very artificial procedure to manufacture obedient, trusting, consuming conformists. This procedure is called 'schooling' and the system is called 'school'.
Mark Twain put it clearly when he said "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education"
This procedure is performed on our children inside of a building which is built specifically to warehouse large quantities of children, separating them from their families for several hours per day for most of a year, for a minimum of 12-14 years (or more), during the most crucial years of their lives. They are kept, for the majority of the time, within the walls of this warehouse, effectively cutting them off from the outside world, the 'real world' which the system itself ironically claims to be preparing them for, leaving them alone and vulnerable to a pre-selected agenda fed to them by the systems facilitators. It is this procedure of schooling that is commonly and mistakenly likened with 'education'. However, the two concepts are absolutely not synonymous and are actually not intended to be. It is truly just a widely-accepted but incorrect assumption to think that the process of institutionalized schooling is the same thing as education.
The severing of the relationship between a child and their natural environment prevents any sort of true organic learning experience because it prevents interaction and exploration and experience in the actual 'real world'. Rather, it imprisons the children inside a capsule where they are privy to only a specific curricula chosen by some unfamiliar board, whose job it is to perpetuate a specified agenda. This curriculum is facilitated in a very specific manner and punishes those who attempt to deviate.
After a child spends the twelve or more years of his maturing life within this capsule and under this dogmatic procedure, they are - for the most part - neatly plugged in.
Those who do not conform smoothly are diagnosed with a disorder and given pharmaceuticals to help artificially force their assimilation. A small number of those who resist conformity and medications (thus are never successfully assimilated) are eventually categorized and labeled as hopeless cases, misfits, 'bad kids', truants, etc. Sadly in many cases these children begin to believe that they are indeed hopeless maladjusted, bad kids and begin to behave accordingly.
The good news is that there are still a significant amount of us 'misfits' who were somehow able to avoid this psychological trap. We have effectively disassociated ourselves without the collateral emotional damage. And it seems we are the ones causing the real heartache for the system indeed! We are growing in numbers - which is indeed good news - and we are spreading the message and inviting others to disconnect and 'unplug' from the systematic proverbial matrix. Once one gets a glimpse of how actual learning occurs within the real world, they feel an insatiable urge to shout it from the rooftops.
Homeschool means home-system-facilitation.
Home education, in most cases, is not schooling - It is learning. It is not "homeschool" either. In fact the term "Homeschooling" is not compatible with the Unplugged Education concept. In order to save future generations, thus our society, from a desperately bleak future of increased financial debt and spiritual dysfunction, I feel there is an urgent need for home educating families to begin dissociating from the school paradigm all together.
The system facilitates the schooling procedure primarily inside the warehouse. But the procedure itself can be found outside of that as well. It is estimated that upwards of two-million families in North America today consider themselves "homeschoolers". It is my guess that more half of those are probably not 'homeschooling'. They've simply adopted and thus continue to use this popular term. I'm not a fan of the word and dislike using it because it is an inaccurate representation of what we do. It also implies that we perform the schooling procedure; which is something we do not do.
However there are probably a great number of families that do in fact 'school' at home. These parents have instinctively recognized that something is amiss within the system - but haven't exactly pinpointed it - and are not yet willing to completely unplug. They perform this familiar standardized procedure because itis familiar and therefore comfortable. Schooling at home is effectively facilitating the system, in a different location. The problem with this is that while the children are not in the building, they are still being subjected to the same standardized and artificial methodology, hence will ultimately suffer its consequences. Not surprisingly, these families often experience homeschooling frustrations and find it difficult to organize, manage time effectively and struggle with behavior issues. While the home certainly provides a more positive environment for a child; if we simulate the same systematic techniques and standardized curriculum we are essentially perpetuating that which we instinctively sensed as problematic in the first place.
In some states, where state ordinance requires strict regulation of home schooled students, many families actually use school provided curriculum and adhere to the school district standards and submit to periodic school testing. Of course there are many other problems with regulation that I won't go into here but for the purposes of illustrating this point, let us realize that when a school regulates a home school family - it is ensuring that the family stays neatly plugged into the compulsory system; the system that is slowly but surely ruining our nation and our world by robbing little humans of their natural humanity.
John Taylor Gatto sums it up when he says "When you take the free-will out of education, that turns it into schooling"
When we make a deliberate choice to reject the school and then replicate that same methodology at home, it is both counterproductive and self defeating. School at home provides the family with the illusion that they are doing their own thing, while in reality the compulsory, manufacturing system is still powering the wheel. In a way, this is actually more detrimental because it is dangerously deceptive. The concept of replicating 'school' at home ensures the perpetuation of the paradigm by relying on the naivety and ignorance of parents who falsely believe that they are avoiding the proverbial clutches by simply not putting their kids on the yellow bus. But there truly is more to it than that. To truly disconnect - one must unplug. To unplug one must accept that education is not schooling. Learning includes and goes beyond paper and pencil academics. It is more than math. Life and learning are not mutually exclusive; in fact they are harmonically and organically, synonymous.
I strongly urge all parents to take a second look around from a new perspective. Step outside the proverbial box to truly see the forest from outside the trees; for this is the essence of the philosophy of Unplugged Education©.
For those of us who are unplugged, our intention is to pass on to our children the freedom to be who they are and learn about their world from their world without the walls of the classroom, without the boarders of a standardized curriculum and without the restrictions of the system.
In summary, Unplugged Education is not school at home. It goes beyond academics and is more than math. It is a bold and audacious step outside the box. It is making a choice to recognize the compulsory machine for what it is, and then unplug from it. It is a shift in perspective and a new broad vision. It is a new and wonderful life experience for the entire family. It is a disconnection from the artificial, manufactured schooling indoctrination and a reconnection to organic independent thought, action, and expression that is natural to humanity. It is not schooling - it is learning.
It is a new and yet ancient approach to learning that respects the natural balances of God and the Universe, and embraces an age-old wisdom instead of the modern artificial processing plant that is suffocating our humanity. You will not find this learning in any particular curriculum or a method. It is a conceptual understanding of natural human growth that utilizes life experience, exploration, hands on practice and interaction with a variety of people from whom to learn a variety of techniques, ideas and application.
There are no walls of curriculum, no system boundaries and no conformity. There is freedom to explore and appreciate all of the opportunities in the world that God and nature have already provided. We see it when we disassociate from our own indoctrination and adjust our perspective. We see it when we unplug.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Business Education - The Gateway to Global Economy

In today's day and age, the financial world is abundant with professional opportunities for all the young minds, who aspire to make a career in it, the only criteria being a wide spectrum of knowledge and understanding of this field, gained through formal education and training in business education. Business education reigns supreme, in the race for the title of the most sought after degree program, not only in the country, but also across the globe.
Over the years and with the growing demand and popularity of this course, global boundaries have begun to lose their meaning, as students and other aspirants in this field are ready to travel to countries (not necessarily in the vicinity of their own), which have the provision for business courses. Online learning proves to be very beneficial in this scenario and many online business colleges let you virtually travel across boundaries. This further enables them to choose from a wider range of specialisations within the business course they wish to pursue, such as studies in international markets, commerce, executive management, global finances, business law, entrepreneurship, e-commerce, marketing, and stock market. The specialisation courses mentioned above, enjoy majority in terms of popularity as well as course content on a global scale, while there are many more super specialisations as well that a student is still left with to explore.
Without a flicker of a doubt, it can be said that almost every college in the United States, Europe, Australia and among the many others, that students undertaking these business courses flock to, today offer business courses and degrees in multiple specialities, catering to interests of both the national as well as international student population. On many levels, these international courses, including the accredited online MBA programs, act as beneficial factors for the students allowing them to gain a considerable amount of international exposure, thereby adding to their understanding and knowledge of the financial arena.
Apart from the numerous business courses and degrees offered at the graduate level, the MBA program, Master's of Business Administration, enjoys the maximum popularity today, all over the world. An MBA course sets a student in a different league, also by acting as the first stepping-stone, in a highly influential financial career with a successful corporation, which is always soon to follow. This course also allows an individual to shift career directions, consistent opportunities for further advancement in their chosen career, and above all a secure career with even larger career earnings.
Colleges and universities across the world today, keeping in tune with changing times, offer these business courses, both by means of the traditional on-campus training as well as by means of the online business colleges adopting the latest technology structures. This is to suit the needs of the various profiles of students that apply for these courses year after year. The online course is particularly popular among the working students, who due to various reasons, wish to not put a halt to their career and multitask at the same time; where as the traditional on-campus training is much preferred by the high school graduates who wish to reap the social benefits of education as well, along with the formal training. Most of the information regarding such benefits provided by the colleges and universities are easily available on their websites, which are updated from time to time.
As mentioned above, global boundaries are losing their meaning in today's changing times, which further generates the need for global markets with vested financial as well as business interests in sync with government concerns. This course equips the students with a wide array of knowledge and hands-on experience (with the required internships for certain subjects of study), to be able to understand financial and commerce needs of economies around the world and help adapt them to function in a global economy.