Holistic Learning: Masai’s Mantra for professional success

The current education system seems to be falling short in forging personalities that start delivering the job expectations from day one. One of the big reasons why this happens is the lack of focus on providing education that is outcome driven.

Holistic Learning: Masai’s Mantra for professional success.
Holistic learning develops competence at four levels: social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic abilities. 

When we compare the job roles of developers of today and the job roles of developers from 10 years ago we find some startling differences between the two.

Apart from writing lines of code, today, developers are required to bring to the table various other skills that involve a lot of human interaction. It is essential that developers of today are equipped with the ability to learn newer concepts easily and have the potential to lead teams.

Employers also give priority to individuals who have the ability to evolve into a personality that can contribute both at the individual as well as the functional level.

The need for holistic learning

The current education system seems to be falling short in forging personalities that start delivering the job expectations from day one. One of the big reasons why this happens is the lack of focus on providing education that is outcome driven.

And this is where Masai comes into the picture with its holistic approach of learning that has seen more than 1000 students build a successful careers in tech. To explain the concept of holistic learning let us consider an example.

Recruiters from a big firm have to make a hiring decision between either of the two candidates- Ramesh and Suresh.

Both Ramesh and Suresh have almost identical functional acumen. But, Ramesh has something extra to offer. Apart from the functional skills, he brings to the table other sets of skills that make him good enough to be trusted with a wider range of responsibilities on the job.

Thus, who should the recruiters choose? Obviously, Ramesh.

What Ramesh brings to the table is a unique set of skills including excellent communication skills, empathy, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work together in teams. All these skills will not just help him but also the company grows alongside. And this is what holistic learning does.

A holistic approach to learning refers to the approach where individuals gain skills and competence by developing their social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic abilities.

It brings about a gradual shift from the mindset of earning money to a mindset that focusses on building skills that lure in high-paying jobs.

Apart from learning to code, Masai students help develop qualities of teamwork, communication skills, commitment, and time management.

At the end of the 30-week curriculum, Masai students have the necessary skills in their arsenal to present themselves as well as their ideas in a manner that helps them swiftly climb the ladder of success.

This article will set the base by giving out details about the different ways students undergo holistic development at Masai and how it helps students kickstart a career where skills become the catalyst that produces money as the by-product.

Holistic learning at Masai

Masai’s holistic approach toward learning helps develop an individual at the following 3 levels:

With holistic learning individuals go through a complete transformation in a 7 month perios at Masai.
Holistic learning empowers students by making them aware of their unique abilities. 

Cognitive

This is one of the vital aspects of holistic learning and is concerned with the development of an individual’s intelligence. It involves thinking, problem-solving, and understanding concepts.

Here at Masai, we develop the cognitive ability of an individual through the gradual process of mastery-based progression. The core mission of this project is to make sure that not even one student is left behind.

This process allows students to learn at their own pace. Students who do not demonstrate the level of proficiency necessary to get through a particular unit are termed “Async” and have to repeat that particular unit until the necessary level of proficiency required to get through that unit is displayed.

With Mastery based progression, students get enough room for self-discovery. They are able to figure out their own learning structure and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Throughout the duration of the course, students make the gradual shift from a mindset of scoring marks to a mindset of mastering the core competencies needed to ace a software developer job.

Communication

One skill that is of utmost importance in the workplace is communication. It is necessary to communicate effectively at the workplace as it boosts teamwork, facilitates better collaboration, and makes sure everybody on a team stays on the same page.

Communication skills and behavioural training (the CSBT team) at Masai enables students to gain an extra edge over the other students when it is time for placements. The CSBT team consists of instructors who put in work daily to better their communication & interpersonal skills good enough to crack the placement code.

The CSBT team also helps our students inculcate good interpersonal skills. Students learn to communicate in an open, honest, and empathetic manner. They also learn ways to respect and accept differences.

Social-Emotional

Developing the social and emotional sides of individuals requires them to go through experiences that foster strong relationships with other individuals in a space that is safe enough to convey their emotions.

The Masai experience creates a space that is conducive for individuals to socialise and develop strong relationships with their peers. And we do all of this while making sure there is enough room left for them to convey their emotions.

Peer learning: During the 30-week Masai curriculum students get many opportunities to interact with their peers on assignments (both individual and group). These interactions help students inculcate within themselves the quality of teamwork.

They act as the perfect gateway for students to socialise with each other and enhance their critical thinking. Since opinions on a particular subject might vary from person to person, peer learning makes it possible for students to share different ideas and get into the habit of finding out various ways to solve a problem.

Since these students work towards achieving a common goal, the feedback from teammates is tailored towards achieving success. It caters to everybody’s needs and fosters an environment that teaches students the importance of giving and receiving positive feedback that is geared towards achieving a larger goal.

Instructional Associates: Former Masai students also help us in fostering a safe and secure environment in a big way. Passed-out students from a particular batch of Masai get the opportunity to become Instructional Associates (IAs).

These IAs stay in close touch with the students throughout their Masai journey, develop personal bonds, and in some cases act as their lifeline. This allows students to perceive them not as teachers but as a person who is a friend, a facilitator, and a companion with a considerable amount of experience.

With the presence of an IA, students get to develop a friendly connection and this is where we get to see a culmination of all the aspects of holistic learning.

Firstly, the IAs impart learnings to students and ensure they have no doubts left on the curriculum side.

Secondly, both the IAs and the students work together to resolve doubts, they get ample amount of opportunities to practice open and honest communication. With the age gap being minimal, it becomes easier for both the IA and the student to develop a sense of empathy which with long-term practice becomes a habit.

How holistic learning helps develop careers?

Holistic learning by working at the levels mentioned above makes an individual aware of unique personality traits, interests, preferences, values, attitudes, strengths, and weaknesses.

It empowers students by first making them aware of their unique abilities and then by teaching them the various ways they can channelise them to meet the job demands.

Masai started out in the year 2019 with a single goal to bridge the gap between the availability of potential and the availability of resources in the country.

Apart from focussing on building skills, holistic learning hands individuals with the tools necessary to navigate professional challenges and add a new dimension to the working culture thus helping themselves as well as the organisation thrive and drive the vehicle of growth.

The approach of holistic learning toward building careers at Masai is a small step toward bringing reforms to the Indian education system.

By taking a holistic approach to solving this problem we have been able to successfully bridge this gap. But the lack of reforms in the Indian education system has ensured that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.