The safety and well-being of staff and students is a primary concern of most schools today. In order to meet this challenge, decisions are taken and systems adopted without any consultation with the key stakeholders. Introducing surveillance cameras in schools to monitor student and teacher activity may have its advantages, but several questions need to be asked and answered before any decision is arrived at. Clearly, school administrators must realise that consultation with all teachers , parents and students before any change is implemented will find greater acceptance than simply forcing everyone to accept and adapt.
Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur
Is assessment in learning necessary? Can we not learn new skills because we enjoy it or because we can see the value in learning? Our learning environments should be designed in such a way that they invite children to do, to learn and to play, not because they are going to be assessed but because they can learn and enjoy and benefit from the learning.
A quick exploration of science books shows that there are several laws, principles and definitions that students learn
by rote. Most of these concepts are abstract in nature and one wonders how they originated. Tracing the history of the concepts makes for interesting learning. The concept of photosynthesis was explored at a workshop conducted by the Azim Premji Foundation. This article explains how this could work out in classroom teaching.
Anindita Dutta, Ashmita Chatterjee, Shazia Akhtar
This lesson on States and their Capitals was prepared for a competition that required teachers to use technology to teach students— namely music tracks, power point presentations and movies. The result was that the teachers used all the eight multiple intelligences to teach the topic.
Sukanya De, Suman Sarda
Algebra comes alive in this teaching methodology used by teachers to teach the complicated concept of Sets. The lesson plan was designed to explain abstract mathematical concepts in a simple, lucid way by developing a connection with real life situations. Audio- visual aids were used such as pictures, videos and photographs, all of which were put together into a movie.
Here is a delightful story about two sisters and their learnings from working with their hands, from planting a seed to seeing it grow into a tree. The story is enjoyable for children, but for parents too, it makes a deep impact.
Rishabh Kumar Mishra
Has learning in schools become a burden as compared to learning experientially? When learning happens in an everyday setting, that is, while cooking, driving or playing cricket, there is an inherent sense of joy which is otherwise missing in a school environment. The article makes a plea to rethink the processes of learning as practiced in a school, so that learning becomes more of an exploration and less of a burden.
If you wish to learn more about insect behaviour or insect development and are not put off by wasps, bees, ants, hornets or moths, then this book on the curious world of insects by Geetha Iyer is definitely for you. With so many interesting stories in every chapter, most insect haters may find themselves drawn to insects whenever they see one.
Katie Bagli’s book on Sangla is about a four year old girl from Mumbai who spends one year in the mountains and her experiences. Since it is for children, schools could add this book to their collection in the libraries . A good read.
Most teachers would have had problems in their class trying to get students to learn up the spellings for every new word that was taught. From dictation to oral spelling tests, teachers have tried it all. But in order for children to get their spellings right the first time, why not make use of a combination of images, letters and blanks so that instead of rote learning, children can associate the words with the images which they will never forget. Here are some activities that teachers can take up.