4 Corners of Education – Learning Network


‘The beautiful thing about Learning is that no one can take it away from you’. Annonymous

To start with let’s understand the topic right. Learning is a permanent change in behaviour consequent to an experience or practice.

Education is the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. Holistic development of the student is the goal. It is a powerful weapon that can change the world.

Learning Network is a process of developing and maintaining connections with people and information, and communicating in such a way as to support one another’s learning.

Network and networked learning theories can be traced back to the 19th Century.

Ivan Illich’s book, Deschooling Society, in the 1970’s rekindled the spirit of networked learning.

Let’s now look at the 4 corners of education.

The entire school ecosystem is an evolving system. Students are dynamic. Holistic development is one of the goals of NCF. So it may not be advisable to place them within a frame.  Also, Development is not linear It is spiral. Therefore, it cannot have corners but can have pillars to support and help in development.

In which case, what are these 4 pillars of Education?

Jacques Delors, [ jack dulo pronunciation] prepared for UNESCO, a bibliographic research called the four pillars of Education:

They are learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together and learning to be. The four pillars are interdependent and form a single learning. To take it further…. Stanislas Dehaene, [pronounced Duane]  a professor from France put forth 4 pillars of learning.  As a cognitive psychologist and neuroscientist, he has highlighted the main contributors to successful learning.

I have combined both these herein.

What do The 4 Pillars of Education and learning For the  21st CENTURY refer to?


This pillar deals with the knowledge of the current world that we live in and to develop the appropriate skills to deal with the reality.

What should the teacher do first on entering the class? grab the attention of the students. Attention is selective, it acts as a filter which catches some bits of information and lets others slip through. Make the subject interesting enough to hold the attention.

Let me narrate an anecdote: Dalai Lama was giving a lecture in Tibetan and his translator Thupten Jinpa was standing next to him. Jinpa was listening intently. Dalai lama spoke in large nuggets and Jinpa was as attentive as ever. At the most he scribbled something in  his little notepad. At one stage Dalai lama spoke for 15 minutes before stopping. Jinpa took a little time to breathe in and spoke for 15 minutes. When asked he said he had studied Buddhist scriptures as a child and had to chant them. Some of them could be 30 pages long. This made the memory sharp.

  • So, attention leads to memory , understanding, and reasoning. – the teachers should provide situations that move from concrete to abstract, from inductive to deductive method. Techniques that deal with critical thinking, problem-solving and also collaborative working methods.

Egg drop challenge – problem-solving

Vegetarians can use a ripe tomato instead of egg. Boiled egg can be used so there is less of a mess.

Problem solving is to develop a contraption that would protect the egg from cracking from a high fall. Students have to illustrate the design and explain why their design is going to protect the egg. Carry out the experiment to prove it. If they fail, they will analyse why they failed. Try again.

The internal padding that surrounds the egg cushions it like airbags in a car that protect passengers in an accident. The external protection on the outside of the container protects the egg by absorbing the impact felt when the landing craft hits the ground.

Have a friendly competition: who can get their egg to the surface the fastest? The slowest? From the farthest distance? With the fewest bounces?

  • Learning is evolutionary
  • Personal competence, creativity and innovation are essential factors. This is the reason the NEP mentions competency based Identify the skills that you would like to develop through the subject and help them to gain mastery over it. They should be able to apply the knowledge. Only then will the learning become complete. This Pillar covers the vocational skills and digital competence along with problem solving abilities, communication team work and innovation.
  • Nothing implants new knowledge in one’s brain and memory better than that intellectual struggle – Put the student in the role of a discoverer, learning by doing, experiential learning.
  • POE technique can be used for teaching science to predict – observe and Explain

Steps are

  1. Present a phenomenon. What will happen if the pepsi light can, that floats in a jug of water, if oil is poured into the jug.
  2. Students predict.
  3. Then the experiment is performed. Observation shows that the can levitates in water.
  4. If their prediction and observation does not match, it means an ‘disequilibrium’ has been produced. They are unable to apply Pascals Law which states that “The external static pressure applied on a confined liquid is distributed or transmitted evenly throughout the liquid in all directions”.
  5. They have to change their predictions and suppositions with adequate proof.


  • Deals with learning to live with others, with respect to dignity & diversity,
  • The deepening of the teaching of religious, ethnic and cultural diversity can be fundamental for this learning

It deals with communications, conflict resolutions, cultural sensitivity and multilingualism.

Encourage the students to debate, encourage public speaking, celebrate festivals of different states, learn songs and cuisines from different states, present dilemmas to hone decision making and conflict resolutions.

Eg: After COVID the lady lets call Padma, took her daughter swimming. She also invited her niece to join so that her daughter will have company. After reaching the venue she started to unload the car and asked the girls to go and get ready for a swim. What she did not know was that the girls had gone swimming. She ran to the beach when she heard the girls scream.

Her daughter knew swimming but not a very strong swimmer.

Whom should she rescue first? –  daughter whom she loved dearly or niece who is currently her responsibility.

It helps to develop emotional intelligence, critical thinking.

making errors can be beneficial – : it allows the learner to move past the mistake and correct it, provided they feel confident and encouraged rather than criticised and mocked  – specific feedback. Good, satisfactory – instead it should you need to work on the construction of sentences. Improve your vocabulary. These successive adjustments favour learning.

  • contributes to the integral formation of the individual & lifelong learning
  • Both in the classroom and outside it, children acquire the ability to discuss and explore relevant issues in a context of mutual trust and respect. Consolidation is the basis of this domain.
  • Whether learning how to count, how to read fluently, or how to drive a bicycle, the brain must repeat the mechanisms which govern that learning many times, until it is truly mastered. Overlearning can lead to mastery.
  • Over time, the effort fades and transforms into a routine, which frees up space in the brain to learn and do new things! While learning to drive, one would think of clutch, break and shift gears till the action moves into the autonomous system.

Finally I end with a quote, “ “Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn, and you will.



Published by Dr. Pramila Kudva

I am a teacher educator currently worrking as a Principal of a reputed school in North Mumbai, have more than 30 years of experience, with several publications to my credit and have authored a book -"From chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching.

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