YSP Forum: New initiative from GESP for Adults!
This year the Office of Global Education and Strategic Programmes (GESP) delivered a very successful online YSP 2020 which saw the participation of over 300 students.
Office of PR & Communications31 August, 2020 | 8 min read
This year the Office of Global Education and Strategic Programmes (GESP) delivered a very successful online YSP 2020 which saw the participation of over 300 students. Like every year, the team received several requests from parents and school teachers for hosting a YSP-like programme for adults. The GESP team took this opportunity seriously and for the first time created a virtual platform called the YSP-Forum for school counsellors, YSP parents and teachers. The vision is to give this group a glimpse of the YSP classroom and a chance ‘to laden their lockdown with learning’. The YSP Forum enables school counsellors and parents to understand the liberal arts pedagogy and be better informed about the world of academics at Ashoka.
The YSP Forum was designed as a series of three sessions and was held on Fridays from 14th to 28th of August. Three popular sessions from YSP 2020 were showcased for a new audience. The first session in the series was by Prof. Pratap Bhanu Mehta who spoke on “Democracy in Motion” which had been a very thought provoking session at YSP. Before the session, participants were send in one question about democracy that Prof. Mehta took up in in the Question and Answer segment of the session. At the end of the session participants were left with new insights about democracy. One participant said, “In these times of conflict and challenges, it is always good to hear someone like Prof. Mehta who breaks up problems into very simple and easy to understand equations and provides possible solutions too. Process of sortition seemed very interesting.”
The second session by Professor Madhavi Menon was very unique entitled “IX Ways to think about Love” and included perspectives on love from nine different disciplines. In the highly interactive session the audience asked a range of questions from mythology, Bollywood to biology and reflected on the dominance of one understanding of love. The session was well received and stoked the curiosity of audiences who felt that “There is so much more to a concept than the unidimensional idea we have grown up with”!
In the final session of the series, Professor Saikat Majumdar spoke on “Understanding Liberal Arts Education” to throw some light on the implications of the model in the context of the changing educational landscape. He circulated excerpts from his book “College: Pathways of Possibility” ahead of the session and invited the audience to critically engage with questions like ‘how deeply should a college education be rooted in one discipline’ and ‘what are the curricular relationships between the arts and sciences’.
The GESP office looks to continue engaging with the adult audiences and sustain their enthusiasm to learn and reflect on commonly held perceptions and ideas. YSP Forum and similar platforms surely contribute towards generating more interest in liberal arts in the future.