Learning About the World Through our Senses
“From the time we wake up in the morning till we go to bed at night, we are learning through our senses – we look and learn, we listen and learn, we act and learn,” says Yogesh Sunoo, a teacher at DAV secondary school in Mauritius. “ICT tools can provide facts, information and knowledge in various forms such as text, sound, interactive materials. Hence, educators can make use of these tools so that sensory learning can take place.
Sunoo’s philosophy led to the project, “Learning about the world through our senses,” which combines learning styles with technology and encompasses multiple disciplines. This project was recognized at the national level in Mauritius and was selected among the best projects in Middle East and Africa region to be represented at the Microsoft Partners in Learning Worldwide Global Forum 2011 in Washington D.C
Can you describe the teacher who most influenced you?
Everyday we have to face different circumstances of life. The real experience is when you are alone, making decisions and facing the outcomes of these decisions – at work, personal life and others. “The circumstances of life” taught me multiple lessons and also influenced who I am today. For me, “life” itself is the teacher – and life teaches us apparently infinite lessons.
What advice would you give a new teacher (or to anyone wanting to make a difference in education)?
To make a difference in education, teachers should ask themselves the question, “What do I want to achieve together with my learners?” Answers can be diverse and multi-faceted. The context in which teachers evolve is diverse. Societal and learner needs vary – as well as the resources available to the teacher to make a difference in education. Hence, teachers should know their strengths and limitations, as there is always room for making a difference in whatever way possible.
What was the most inspiring day you’ve experienced as an educator?
The day a group of students – who were considered ‘hopeless cases’ at school (in terms of academic performance and behavior) – successfully passed their examinations and admitted that I happened to be a role model for them in transforming their behavior and igniting in them a sense of responsibility.
If you could change one thing about today’s “system” of education, what would it be?
The present educational system needs a more thorough emphasis on development of
self-directed learning skills in children. This requires a revision of the curriculum that makes learners become more reflective on their actions, including their behavior as well as adoption of a pedagogy that is more learner-centered. Once learners become autonomous and empowered with necessary skills, they can take responsibility of their learning processes. They then become more responsible citizens of tomorrow.
And you, how do you help students to become self-directed learners?
About Yogesh Sunoo
Yogesh Sunoo is an educator at DAV College (a secondary school) in Mauritius, where he has been teaching ICT for the past 14 years and is head of the computer department. He is also part-time lecturer at the DAV Degree College, a tertiary institution in Mauritius. He believes that educators should be learners’ guide, friend and philosopher.
Current residence: Mauritius
Education: MSc ICT, MA Education, PhD Education
Website I check every day: http://www.facebook.com
Person who inspires me most: Alvin Toffler, the great American writer and futurist
inspired me through his works. His famous quote “the illiterate of 21st century will no longer be those who can’t read and write but rather those who can’t learn, unlearn and re-learn”
Favorite childhood memory: Trying to count the stars in the sky and confused about the starting point and ending point.
Next travel destination (work or pleasure): Australia (holidays)
Favorite book: “The Monk who sold his Ferrari”. The book is about an inspiring tale that provides a step-by-step approach to living with greater courage, balance, abundance, and joy.