Making children think

Anugraha Rao
Monday, 13 January 2020

The pressure of scoring marks restricts the development of cognitive thinking among children. Cogitus, an educational platform, encourages them to think out of the box

Childhood is precious. It’s the time when you can pick up most of the skills. Keeping this in mind, and with an aim to develop high order thinking among kids across the globe by 2030, Anju Modi and Ruchi Jhawar came up with Cogitus, an educational programme. The name Cogitus came from a Latin philosophical proposition, ‘Cogito, ergo sum’ which translates to ‘I think, therefore I am’.

Right from their childhood days, Modi and Jhawar had a keen interest in education. They pursued their passion further by executing various after-school programmes. While raising their own children and actively participating in their learning, their dissatisfaction with the current education system became even more stronger. They realised that while the world was talking about developing 21st century skills, the Indian education system still revolved around rote learning.  

“As we interacted more with kids, we realised that the Indian education system still doesn’t encourage reflective thinking. In a world where all the information is at the tip of your fingers, we wanted children to move beyond the obvious,” says Modi. 

The Cogitus programme is a reflection of their vision. It helps build cognitive, critical and creative thinking skills in young children. They don’t work on repetitive learning. Cogitus teaches children how to think, analyse, reason, solve problems and innovate.

The programme has been developed by a global team of subject matter experts with a combined experience of over 100 years. The four engaging modules of the annual programme include:  

Cogitus mathologic: This module strengthens the decision-making and problem-solving skills in a child through games like spatial puzzles, placement mats, abstract questioning and much more. Their unique and fun approach to this module keeps kids engaged and helps them become mathematical and logical wizards.

Cogitus explore: With the world exploring inter-planetary elements and achieving milestones, it becomes essential to nurture the exploration skills of the child. Cogitus’s collaborative and interactive sessions encourage inquisitiveness in children, making them curious about their lessons, and helping them understand the similarities and differences in the world around them — across continents, countries and cultures. This dynamic module is updated annually to give children an experience of exploring a different perspective in diverse situations.

Cogitus steam: It is an innovative and contemporary curriculum, based on the idea of educating students in five specific disciplines of science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics in an interdisciplinary and applied approach. 

Rather than treating the five disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, STEAM integrates them into a cohesive learning paradigm based on real-world applications. It not only helps develop technical skills but also generates curiosity.

Cogitus create: This module enhances a child’s imagination. Their exposure increases, enhancing their spectrum of thinking along with upping their problem-solving skills and creative thinking. It encourages out-of-the-box thinking, enabling them to create new products, advertisements, architectural designs etc. The module is carried out in a way that enhances both the convergent and divergent thinking of a child.

The modules have been categorised and designed for different age groups. “We operate across five levels of age-groups ranging from 4 to 14 years,” says Modi.

“A child may enroll with us for yearly (40 weeks) or half-yearly (20 weeks) package. Centres work on a franchise model. There is extensive training and hand-holding to ensure consistent and quality delivery of the modules. Classes are held on a weekly basis for 1 hour 30 minutes across one age group. There are 5 tiers of age group across which the programme is run,” says Jhawar, adding that Cogitus focuses on making kids decision-makers and problem solvers in the real world.
 
“We, as educators, feel that we should aim for good marks but not at the cost of a child’s creativity and cognitive thinking. There should be some element of learning, where the child fearlessly tries new things without having the stress of being judged when s/he makes a mistake. They should have ample exposure to the out-of-the-box thinking,” says Jhawar.

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