India, where I was born is a diverse and culturally rich country. Canada which is my homeland, is also diverse with a melting pot of cultures. Having lived in India a big part of my adult life and over a decade in Canada, I have grown to consider knowledge, learning and the role of a teacher and learning professional in a unique manner. For example, the following excerpt from Encyclopedia.com one important clue about how knowledge is perceived differently in Indian and Western cultures.
In Western philosophy truth and falsity are usually ascribed to statements, propositions, or beliefs. In the Indian tradition truth and falsity are ascribed to a cognition or an awareness (the most common term is jñāna, but there are a relatively large number of synonyms, or quasi synonyms, such as vijñāna, buddhi, dhī and citta ). The word jñāna is derived from the root jñā, which is etymologically related to the English word know. …….. Furthermore, jñāna is a particular and momentary event, whereas knowledge often refers to a general and lasting acquaintance with facts.
Phillips.S, (2019) makes a similar statement around knowledge according to Indian philosophy, stating that “Knowledge is cognition that has been produced in the right way. Cognitions are moments of consciousness, not species of belief, but we may say that cognitions form beliefs in forming dispositions and that veridical cognitions form true beliefs. A knowledge episode—to speak in the Indian manner—is a cognition generated in the right fashion.”
Wijesinghe, G. (1987), highlights that Indian philosophy, has not only influenced art, religion and social culture, it has influenced culture, including education.
Given this context, the sources of knowledge and expectations from teachers also differ. According to the post Knowledge In Indian Philosophy (2021), verbal communication from a trustworthy person, sense perception, inference, analogy, presumption, inclusion and tradition are all considered means of knowledge and according to Haider & Jalal (2018) motivation, inclusion, sound knowledge, ability to share experiences, humor and ability to relate concepts to the real world are all qualities of a good teacher.
Now coming to my present, as a manager of learning in a credit union and is responsible for assessing learning needs, designing programs, evaluating progress, leading a team of learning professionals, inspiring people to learn and leading them through change; requires a range of other skills which include design models like ADDIE, technology proficiencies and people skills.
Being born in India, and having adopted Canada as home after working out of seven countries, I am shaped by my Indian roots, nourished by my Canadian homeland, tempered by my experiences across, Asia, UK and the Middle East with superpowers that may not easily be visible and may even be difficult to fathom.
I have illustrated by super powers with an iceberg analogy and elaborated on how I use my super powers and design tools in a grid below.
Bates, T. (2015). Chapter 4.3 The ADDIE Model, Chapter 4.7 ‘Agile’ Design: flexible designs for learning, and Chapter 10 Trends in Open Education. In Teaching in the digital age. BCcampus.
Encyclopedia.com. (2021, December 6). Knowledge In Indian Philosophy. Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/knowledge-indian-philosophy.
Haider, A., & Jalal, S. J. (2018, March). Good Teachers and Teaching through the lens of students . ResearchGate. Retrieved December 6, 2021, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/324106485_Good_Teachers_and_Teaching_through_the_lens_of_students.
Phillips, S. (2019, February 13). Epistemology in classical Indian philosophy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Retrieved December 5, 2021, from https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/epistemology-india/#KnoKnoSou.
Wijesinghe, G. (1987). Indian Philosophy as a Means for Understanding Modern Ashram Schools. Comparative Education, 23(2), 237–243. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3098989