A page from another teacher’s Covid diary. The author shares her experience of teaching online.
Sai prashanthi Neelda
Stories make for a wonderful teaching aid not just for the language teachers but for the science teachers too. Here are a couple of examples of how and why science teachers should start using stories to teach.
Education is supposed to help us evolve into thinking, inquisitive beings. Often though, in trying to reach this end, we falter and lose our way. It is in such times that alternative/revolutionary ideas are born. But even as we acknowledge the contributions of a Maria Montessori or a John Holt in education, we mustn’t forget the everyday battles that teachers wage in their classrooms around language, textbooks, assessments, etc. It is both the big and small contributions that ultimately lead to reforming a broken system.
A close look at the history of education will tell us that amidst all the different thinkers, systems, ideas and practices that evolved over the decades, the one thing that remained constant is change. From a gurukul system of education to mass learning during the Industrial Revolution, to inclusive education in a cognizant society, to multiple intellingences in a society that celebrated differences and now self directed learning in a society sensitive to individual needs, education is constantly adapting to serve the needs of a dynamic society.
Mass or mainstream education is the most widespread and popular means of transacting teaching and learning. However, this idea of ‘one size fits all’ has been challenged over the centuries by several thinkers, some of whose ideas led to the birth of alternative systems of education. Here is a brief history.
Art is all around us and yet not inside us. Why? If schools can teach us to count, read and write, why do they leave us feeling that art is not everyone’s cup of tea? Art is not just a beautiful means to express oneself, it can also become the means of instruction. It is time for the math, science and social teachers to think about using art to teach their subjects.
John Holt, a thinker who lived and propagated his ideas in the 1960s and 70s, is as relevant today as he was back then. Although Holt was a strong critic of the mainstream schooling system and was someone who promoted homeschooling, teachers of all kinds will do well to engage with him because of his deep knowledge of children. Reading Holt will help us reorient ourselves to the child and work to bring about reforms in the existing system.
John Dewey is hailed as one of the finest thinkers in the field of education, and yet all these decades later his ideas of pragmatism and democratic education remain absent from mainstream schools. With the concept of self-directed learning gaining popularity once again, it is perhaps time that we revisited Dewey and explored how to implement his ideas in mass education.
J Krishnamurti is one of India’s foremost thinkers, whose ideas on education led to the establishment of several schools where the child is at the centre of learning. This article offers us glimpses of the renowned thinker’s vision of education which primarily aimed at producing complete, free and critically thinking individuals.
Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur
Learning is a natural activity and not something that happens only within the four walls of a classroom. If we believe learning happens only in school, then we are drastically limiting the meaning of the word. Let us allow our children to choose their own teachers and topics of learning and in doing so let us give them the true experience of learning.