Even a couple of years ago when you thought about a teacher, you always associated him/her with the classroom. But with the education space changing constantly, teachers these days are finding that their skills and experience can be put to use for related opportunities outside the classroom. And while these opportunities are exciting and liberating, teachers should continue to value and take from their classroom experiences.
The process of rolling out the new education policy is on, but the key influencer in the core process of learning — the teacher — does not seem to be consulted in any substantive way. It is time teachers begin to see themselves not just as implementers of the curriculum, but as having a creative and central role in education.
This May-June, Teacher Plus explores the subject that pervades every aspect of our lives–economics. While we haven’t been able to do justice to the subject by any means in our 120 pages, the Teacher Plus economics issue hopes that it will bring its readers a good assortment of articles that add value and knowledge to their idea of economics. Apart from this, the May-June issue is of special significance as we reach the 100 monthly issues.
With the summer holidays looming ahead, it is time teachers took that long awaited break to do the things they want to do but could not. Some of them can bring out their books to read, others can spend time watching their favourite movies. A relaxed atmosphere will help trigger fresh ideas that teachers can take back to their classrooms once the vacation is over.
What is education? A question like this will have several answers, most of them focusing on the theoretical definition of the word. But in looking at education purely in terms of theory are we losing sight of what education means in practice?
When ‘teachers’ are the focus of attention in a mainstream Hindi film, it is time to celebrate even though some of the characters in the film are stereotypes. ‘Chalk and Duster’ is a simple film with a simple story but makes teachers feel good about being in the profession.
Teachers have the difficult yet important task of readying their students for the world tomorrow. While we are fulfilling our responsibilities by making them literate, our teaching practices are yet to train them in applying their knowledge for the society’s growth. We are yet to train our students to become sensitive to the situations in the world today, identify its problems and find practical solutions. Reading and writing is important but they alone don’t make the word ‘education’.
In this issue we explore the model of education proposed by Mahatma Gandhi — that of the unity of the head, heart and hand. Does this idea continue to hold relevance today? Can Gandhi’s ideas offer us a different vision of education? While some of the essays argue that it is not impossible to recover those ideals, others stress that these ideals have to be recovered if we have to combat the divisiveness in our society.
What is the point of learning something when you are never going to use it in life. Surely, all of us as students have wondered about this at some point. As teachers now it is our duty to show our students, wherever possible, the applicability of what they are learning to life situations. Everybody needn’t be good at everything but it is important that we help them understand that everything is worth learning.
In recent times, there has been an increasing emphasis on schools and teachers to impart life skills or soft skills to children. These include empathy and conflict resolution. Most of the times, these skills are touted as being important in the job market and less about how essential they are in everyday life as well. With a lot of political turmoil happening in countries around us, may be it is time children are taught about interdependence and empathy and to respond to crises with compassion.