Beyond the culture of fear

Lakshmi Karunakaran
When you arrive at your school every morning, does it welcome you with a smile and open arms? Or are you overwhelmed by it? Discipline, punishment, rules and authority are words usually associated with schools. But how do teachers teach freely when bound by rules? Can children learn when gripped by fear? Learning environments must be happy and safe places, if any learning is to happen at all. Happy people and some minor adjustments in terms of infrastructure is all that you need to create welcoming learning spaces.

Playing outside school spaces

Anirban Ghosh
Physical Education needs to be redefined from its present idea of regimented drills, marching and annual sports days. Children must have access to proper play spaces to engage in rigorous physical activity either through games, free play or any other sport. A look at how sports can be taken out of the confines of school spaces.

How do we handle holiday homework?

Ankita Rajasekharan

Is holiday homework an oxymoron? Every child you know wants to be left free during the holidays. Most parents however believe that too much freedom will spoil their children. Therefore schools step in to give their students holiday homework that they believe is both fun and educative. But between reluctant children, distressed parents and anxious schools, does holiday homework achieve the results it is meant to?

Public education and its social accounting

Alex M. Thomas & Varun Nallur
How much does the Government spend on education? Should school leaders and teachers engage themselves with this exercise to know and learn how their own schools allocate their funds? Does a lower allocation mean that there is a learning crisis or even a shortage of teachers? The manner in which this kind of data is collected, classified and analyzed can yield useful insights.

Breaking news, making news, faking news

Usha Raman

Once upon a time we used to consume news through our morning newspapers or the TV at dinner. Today news has become perennial. We are constantly surrounded by it. Every ordinary citizen is able to dispense news, journalists are competing to bring us breaking news and opportunists are looking to take advantage. The ability to sift through this barrage of news stories is becoming more and more necessary. Try out some of these exercises to help your students cultivate the ability to consume news.

Entrepreneurship in education: the way forward?

Nupur Hukmani
Has entrepreneurship in the education sector become a movement that is reflective of a trend that is likely to revolutionise this space in the coming years? While there are huge challenges to be met especially in the government schools in the rural areas, what is heartwarming is the rise of a new breed of innovators who are trying to create a new supply of public and private schools and school systems.

Of skills, learning, intelligences and … the marketplace

G. Gautama
Why do we value only that which is measurable and devalue things that cannot be measured? Math, science and computers are valued because they can be measured in terms of their gains to the establishment while the other subjects are not. Schools are places of learning and an approach where the difficult- to- measure attributes are given due attention will make for a more sensitive and humane society. Our Cover theme this month explores the science versus the arts narrative.

Creating safe environments

Chandragupta Mishra
The idea that the school is a safe haven is fast turning utopian. From the moment a child leaves for school until he gets back home safely, a parent is more often than not anxious. Transport mishaps, accidents on the playground, physical and mental abuse, infrastructural lapses, danger seems to be lurking everywhere and all the time. Let us work to make schools safe again.

A walk down memory lane…

Simran Luthra
Do teachers model themselves on their own teachers or memories of their teachers? It seems so considering that nearly eight teachers recalled how their teachers influenced them. From trying to be kind to developing an ability to laugh at oneself to finding a passion for story telling—- all the teachers that the author spoke to were able to narrate instances where their teachers encouraged them to seek new learning all the time.