Saturday, July 31, 2010

Learning Taxonomies

Training, mentoring, coaching has become a core part of modern professional job description. Often this needs to be imparted in short periods and on short notices. One needs to understand the purpose of that training/learning and use suitable techniques to achieve specific learning goals.

My list of such goals include:
  1. Memorization/Enumeration
  2. Understanding
  3. Performance/Execution
  4. Analysis
  5. Problem-solving
  6. Synthesis
  7. Envision/Discover
General purpose taxonomies have been developed. There is a need to create more specialized taxonomies in specific domains. I propose to compile such lists in various areas - specifically in skills, technology, and management - to start with. 

The most important taxonomies are:
  1. Anderson, L.W. & Krathwohl, D.R. (Eds.) (2001). A taxonomy for Learning, teaching, and assessing: A revision of Bloom’s taxonomy of educational objectives. New York: Addison Wesley Longman.
  2. Bloom, B.S. (Ed.), Engelhart, M.D., Furst, E.J., Hill, W.H., & Krathwohl, D.R. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: Handbook I: Cognitive domain. New York: David McKay

Friday, July 30, 2010

Skills Development in India

Sustaining India's growth story is a challenge and the top three issues it is grappling with are:

  1. Infrastructure
  2. Energy
  3. Skills Availability
The first two can be addressed with relatively more concentrated efforts but skills cannot be developed without a very large scale participation by its educated professionals.

Success or failure in skills development can make or break the India story. Many such issues are highlighted in Navi Radjou's post Can India Reap Its Demographic Dividend? 
India has set an ambitious target of training 500 million people by 2020. It presents a great challenge and a great opportunity for professionals to mentor India's young. Working on PanIIT Alumni's IITians for ITIs initiative there are interesting thoughts and experiences that I plan to share in this space.

पहले शब्द

एक सम्मलेन में पैन आइ आइ टी के पूर्व अध्यक्ष अशांक देसाई ने कहा था कि आज के दौर में प्रेरणा स्रोत होना भी एक आवश्यक उत्तरदायित्व है. आज के  विस्तार और फैलाव को देखते हुए अपने  समकालीन और विशेष कर कनिष्ठ सहयोगियों के साथ अपने विचारों का आदान प्रदान एक महत्वपूर्ण दायित्व बन गया है. अपनी त्रुटियों और खामियों की पूरी जिम्मेदारी लेते हुए बड़ी  विनम्रता से शुरुआत कर रहा हूँ.

पिछले पच्चीस सालों के अनुभव से यह बात तो ज़ाहिर है कि अब के माहौल में विश्व के स्तर पर भी और भारत के अन्दर भी काम करने के अवसर बड़े भी हैं और अधिक संभव भी हैं. साथ ही ये संभावनाएं और तेज़ी से बढ़ रही हैं. तो हमारे बाद आने वाले सहयोगियों से अपेक्षाएं भी ज्यादा हैं. तो उनके साथ हमें मिल कर काम करना होगा.

Thursday, July 29, 2010


I feel both curious and a trifle uncertain as I start my first note.

The freedom to express myself is perhaps the first motivation. Even a relief.

As a professional, as a citizen of India and the world there is a lot to share with colleagues and friends.

I feel inspired by a little story in Mahabharat where a king asks a sage what the purpose of the ultimate learning was? The sage says that on attainment of all learning man realizes that he is indebted. Indebted to the king (or society/country), to his parents, and to his teachers. He can repay these by giving offerings (or serving the king/country/society), by bringing forth (and bringing up) children, and by teaching (mentoring and inspiring) others.

So that's a framework I hope to follow.

These are remarkably interesting times, challenging times, and complex times. So my two bits here.