After all, to think is human!

Is formal school education going for a toss?

Progressing to become Robo Sapiens from Homo Sapiens?

Supremacy of the human race rests in its power to think, ability to comprehend, subsume, scribe, communicate. Especially connect with all other living beings on the planet. Thinking has always been an autonomous act of the human brain. It over time has become a much talked about subject. We teach our students at schools ‘as you think so you become. Hence, one must think of bright and beautiful things to be successful in life – goes the conventional prophecy.

And then comes the concept of ‘thinking to think’ – the metacognitive skill of the human brain. Since it is a skill, it can be obtained through training and practice and that is how the science of learning got a wider sphere of experimentation and research. Metacognition essentially begins with the ability to think. Experts train their subjects for ‘how to think’ to ‘think to learn’ from others’ experiences. It aims at making learning easier, deeper, and experience-driven. So, to put in simple words, students today, in schools and colleges exposed to such a learning environment where their ‘ability to think’ is coached to make them aware. Like a) how to think and learn b) how to behave as a thinker and learner. It enhances the students’ ability to absorb, adapt. Thus, apply their learnings to new or similar contexts and tasks in their lives.

A cognitive mind being trained to enrich its dimensions to think and act through metacognitive learning and teaching tools seems to be a natural progression of the human mind.

But can one think of a situation where a human mind is tamed and dwarfed to be a non-thinking organ of the human body?

Yes, that is what is the tragicomedy of the human brain – proceeding towards Data Cognition from Metacognition. With the advent of online teaching and learning due to this Corona Pandemic, the Big Data Theory is rapidly being taken over by the Cognitive Data Theory. Now, the fundamental distinction between the two remains the ever-increasing influence of Cognitive Data Science in education. Also, children of tender age supposed to be sharpening their thinking edges of the mind. But are becoming dangerously dependent on Artificial Intelligence. This prohibits them from thinking ahead. This does not make them delve deeper into a problem and instead makes them happy-go-win with a smart device in their hands.

If the internet, for some odd reason, stops working for some time. Our children’s learning will stop abruptly and probably will even go back in time. The role of teachers and mentors has become so insignificant. That students these days hardly care about the ‘who’ factor of a teaching-learning setup.

The trouble is not in the generation of these Robo kids who cannot think anything abstracting the internet from their lives. The problem lies in the centuries-old education system. That probably is taking turns for good now after the NEP 2020 came in force. Children these days would argue that why is it so important to write manually and what is so wrong if one writes digitally?

A day, thus, would come when this race of humans would probably no more remember the skill of writing. What if this goes on and never ends? Probably there will also be a time when students would not talk, converse and communicate verbally with the human voice. As the Alexas and Siris are becoming so adroitly smarter every day that they would probably be cloning even a human voice. Thus be communicating with your dear ones in the cloned voice! So, loss of physical dexterity and loss of human skills. Hence, ultimately loss of human emotions – the devastation of human civilization!

Human - Feeling ,emotions

Are we not heading towards converting this species called homo sapiens to robo sapiens ?

The fact that the volume of knowledge and the speed transmission required from one end to the other have gone multiple notches higher than normal. After having gone so far now there is no come back from there. No need for a comeback either. Because that is what development of the human civilization is. What needs to be pondered upon is finding ways and means to grill and grind basic human skills and practices in the formal years of school education. Well, the thought of efforts needs to be taken for that, and love for such human activities needs to be inculcated in these out of the world worldly generation.

Dignified or Digified…must be discussed and debated with today’s kids through and through. Thus they probably can be saved from becoming pawns in the hands of technology and scientific wonders of tomorrow. After all, to think is human.

Do read : Color Matters – A Tussle of WHITE vs All Within India’s Alter-Ego

Sandeep Mukherjee


  • All this development from meta cognition to data cognition happened in last decade i.e 2000-2010 era and now results are floating in front of us before it’s time to out and credit goes to pandemic. Ironically brain behind this data cognition were trained through meta cognition and no one realises that in ease of capitalism.


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