• The pros and cons of outsourced testing

    Garima Bansal
    The introduction of CCE has compelled teachers to assess students’ learning levels continuously, provide timely feedback and remediation. This has increased the workload of teachers leading to stress and overwork. In this scenario, the notion of outsourcing assessment by schools to external bodies has gained ground. What are the pros and cons of this kind of outsourced testing? Is it a convenient tool to assess students’ learning levels comprehensively? Are all schools able to invest in technology and human resources? Finally, what are the positive effects for the teaching- learning process?

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  • (Un)learning economics

    Alex M Thomas

    Economics textbooks teach students only the now popular and mainstream economics otherwise called ‘neo classical economics’. But studying this will be a uni-dimensional way of understanding the subject especially when several noted economists have charted out different ways of understanding the subject. So to understand what economics is we have to unlearn what we learnt as economics and explore the subject in several different ways.

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  • Navigating the non-curricular stream

    Devika Nadig
    Most schools have a purpose and goal in their educational process that can be broadly divided into economic and social. This is towards attaining what is called ‘holistic development’ of the child. But how can the schools realign their goals to include certain individual aspirations of some students ? This is something that needs attention and is now neglected. Here are some smart strategies that schools can employ given the complexity of achieiving the two important goals — one that is school driven and the other that is individualised

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  • Anchors away! The travel imperative

    Sharmila Govande
    The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky – Margaret McMillan
    A young preteen couldn’t …

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  • Taking the challenge

    Vijay A. Singh
    Competitive events related to academics such as the Olympiads in math and science celebrate the best young minds in high school. They are an excellent educational resource and need to be used wisely. School managements and teachers must realise that they offer a glorious opportunity for students to be exposed to the beauty that lies in the subjects especially mathematics. Our Cover theme gives an overview of the Olympiads and how teachers can nurture their students to participate in these events.

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  • Grannies in the cloud

    Milan Kaur

    With the Internet at their disposal and a facilitator to guide them if necessary, can children become their own teachers? Are self-organized learning environments (SOLE) as proposed by Dr. Sugata Mitra really possible? Teacher Plus participated in a SOLE session at Gocharan in West Bengal to see how a SOLE Lab works, how children learn there, what the role of the grannies who provide the stimulating environment is and it turned out to be quite an interesting experience.

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  • Teaching like Gandhi

    Krishna Kumar
    How can a teacher teach like Gandhi? If a teacher wants children to be happy and self- reliant in their lives, she or he must give them experiences that require all-round care and exercise of responsibility. This explains in simple terms the Gandhian idea of education. Read up this article to get new and fresh insights into how your teaching can be made more delightful.

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  • Laugh out loud… with affection

    Rohan D’Souza

    Which of us doesn’t like a laugh now and then. And children, with fewer tensions and problems, laugh unabashedly. When we all enjoy a little humour, is it worth looking at how we can make use of our ‘funny bones’ in pedagogy? Also how important is it to inculcate in children the ability to laugh at themselves and others without denigrating them?

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  • A problematic mix

    Mounik Shankar Lahiri
    Do schools which serve a critical function in society also turn out to be spaces that are faced with different kinds of power struggles? What is the kind of internal dynamics that pervades the school space? Does the interpersonal relationship between teachers and other members of the staff, or the power struggle between the teacher and the student in the classroom impact the nature and quality of learning? Our cover story this month is an attempt to acknowledge that though politics is an unavoidable reality in any institutional set up, school leaders need to be aware of how it operates and how it can be regulated.

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  • The U turn: Dibs in search of self

    Neerja Singh

    Every book, every film, or every idea that a teacher comes across is a learning instrument for her. As part of its Teacher’s Day offering, Teacher Plus brings you a bouquet of resources that teachers have learnt from and recommend to fellow teachers. Neeraja Singh, former teacher and now a writer, talks about the impact that the book Dibs in search of self can have on teachers. Reading this book will help one understand what an enabling relationship between teachers and their students can help achieve. The book is a child therapy classic that sends out a strong message–never give up on any child.

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  • How politics impacts school practice

    Anjali Noronha
    Education in India has always been guided by educational policy at the national, state and local levels which in turn is a product of political interaction between diverse forces and by practice at the classroom level. Where does this change happen? Mostly, at the level of curriculum, textbooks and assessment. So, how does this kind of politics impact school practice? The author,while exploring this relationship, suggests that if education is looked upon as transformative, then political change and its influence on classroom practice can be seen as opportunities to engage in intense learning.

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  • Living Kindness

    Nyla Coelho

    In our cover story this month, we ask our readers an important question. Should human values like kindness and compassion be confined to the weekly once moral science classes alone? And in some cases not even that. Kindness will not be imbibed by children only by listening to stories or moral lessons. Adults around them have to practice kindness ever day. We have to lead by example to show them the beauty of this wonderful value.

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  • Why Physics?

    Saroja Sreekanth
    Teaching physics is always a challenge especially when students consider the subject to be as difficult as math. So, what can teachers do to keep their students motivated and interested in questions that come up all around us? First, the learning process has to be made exciting and this can be done by explaining the subject’s relevance in a real life context. Second, the Internet would be a great tool to whet the children’s appetite. This way, the teaching- learning program will be rewarding and meaningful to both students and teachers.

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  • Of what (and how) are teachers made?

    Kuldeep Garg
    Post NCF (National Curriculum Framework) 2005, there has been a significant change in the way we view teacher development. …

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  • Understanding structural issues

    Ketaki Chowkhani
    In the background of three cases of sexual assault reported against children of different schools in Bangalore, the questions that we need to ask are: How can we nurture different ways in which adults relate to children? How can we ensure that the relationship between adults and children in school is not based on discipline, punishment and a sense of power?One solution would be to have sensitization programmes on sexuality and gender for the adult staff at the beginning of every school year. This will go a long way in undoing the unequal power relations that result in child sexual abuse.

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  • The connected classroom

    Divya Choudary

    It has been some time now since the introduction of ICT in education. But with the rapid progress that technology is making, have our schools and teachers adapted? How effectively do schools use the Internet in the classroom, for the teachers, and with the parents? With increasing online crimes do schools make it their responsibility to teach their students cyber safety?

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  • From academic excellence to administrative acumen

    Devika Nadig
    The role of a school principal has changed dramatically over the last few decades. From being an academic head, a principal is now more of an administrative head. Are principals equipped to take on this double burden? With several schools going the corporate way, there is much emphasis on trivialities leaving principals with hardly any time to concentrate on academic exercises.

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  • What is a story and how to tell it?

    Amit Kapoor

    They say stories are all around us. But then can all text and information that we come across be considered stories? And how do you tell an audience a story? How do you make your stories work and help the audience come to the conclusion that you want them to after listening to the story?

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  • The disruptive child

    Phyllis Farias
    Conflict situations abound in the school, in the classroom, among teachers, and between parents and teachers and within ourselves. How can we negotiate all these differences peacefully? Can children be taught that compromise is the most effective way to end conflicts? These are some of the questions raised by our writers in this month’s cover story.

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  • Constructivism: A pedagogical conundrum?

    Rohit Dhankar

    Constructivism is a pedagogy that is gaining in popularity among educationists and practionists of today. But constructivism as defined and explained by theorists does not take into consideration the practice of the pedagogy or keep in mind the ground realities. This is quite evident in the way constructivism is defined as the theory of practice in the NCF 2005 document. In this article the author analyses constructivism as mentioned in NCF 2005 and tells us why while what the document says is worthwhile it cannot be taken as the complete truth.

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  • Why Ulta Pulta?

    Aditi and Ratnesh

    This issue of Teacher Plus, to mark Teacher’s Day on September 5, stands apart for being different in its approach to the content published and hence the title, Ulta Pulta. Conceived in the spirit of inviting a school/community of teachers to take up the challenge of creating one issue of the magazine, the articles here give us a glimpse into the learning and teaching journey of teachers, parents and children.

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  • Learning from one another

    Meeta Sengupta
    “When children teach each other, they learn better.” I remember hearing this from a teacher in a simple school …

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  • Ideas are for free

    For this anniversary issue, Teacher Plus asked its contributors to share one ‘Big Idea’ that could transform education, an idea that could be implemented, or an idea that teachers have lived with for long but have not seen it take shape. So, here we offer 25 ideas, big and small, which can be put to work in your own spaces.

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  • Why here and why not there?

    Dyuti Basu
    Geography is concerned with aything and everything that is related to the Earth and people. It is a very vibrant and exciting subject. But in schools it ends up being dry and boring. Geography needs to be redeemed in schools and for that teachers have to show students how the subject is interwoven with all other disciplines and our lives.

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  • Fun, fitness and inspiration

    Santhosh Padmanabhan
    Why is physical education not seen as a priority area by most school managements? Why is it viewed as a luxury and a wasteful exercise that does not add value to a child’s mental development? A schooling system that sees sports and physical activity as an integral part of the classroom and the life of its students and staff creates a healthy community that learns joyfully. Our cover theme this time explores the idea of how the pursuit of sport can impart some of the greatest life lessons that there are to learn and calls for integrating sports into the curriculum.

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  • The Uncounted tasks of a teacher

    Kanupriya Jhunjhunwala

    When a person joins the teaching profession, is he/she ever given a job description? Apart from a vague mention of the responsibilities the school expects from the new teacher, there is nothing concrete said or written. Does the state have rules and guidelines about the teachers in its schools? Are there stipulated work hours for teachers? What is a teacher actually meant to do and what does he/she end up doing in the course of his/her work as a teacher?

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  • Multiple roles, many responsibilities

    Simran Luthra and Mounik Shankar Lahiri
    Are schools assuming a more corporate-like structure with teachers taking on newer roles and responsibilities? Why is this so and is this a way to create more opportunities for teachers to complement classroom pedagogy? Is this an ‘additional’ responsibility or is there huge value in being inspired from these corporate-like practices?

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  • Branding education

    Divya Choudary

    Once upon a time education was considered a service but today it is a business like any other; started to make a profit. With more and more schools opening up, marketing them to parents and kids is becoming necessary. With many schools concentrating on the razzle-dazzle, is the quality of education taking a beating?

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  • Uniforms down the ages

    Vandana Aggarwal
    School uniforms or dress codes remain the preferred manner of clothing in many nations around the world, many of which base their school system on the Western model. Different countries and communities have different approaches to uniforms. The uniform as it is worn today has seen a lot of change over the centuries. What remains constant is that it was present then and it is present now and it is still following its primary principle which is to promote team spirit, discipline and equality among all students. A look at the history of uniforms.

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  • Texts and the context of learning

    Hriday Ranjan

    In the era of technology in education, how relevant are textbooks? As against the visual graphics of the multimedia, can the textbook still hold its own? How much have the textbooks changed and how dependent are we on them now? Find the answers in this times cover story.

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Cover Story

Garima Bansal
The introduction of CCE has compelled teachers to assess students’ learning levels continuously, provide timely feedback and remediation. This has increased the workload of teachers leading to stress and overwork. In this scenario, the notion of outsourcing assessment by schools to external bodies has gained ground. What are the pros and cons of this kind of outsourced testing? Is it a convenient tool to assess students’ learning levels comprehensively? Are all schools able to invest in technology and human resources? Finally, what are the positive effects for the teaching- learning process?