Blame it on the teacher?

Usha Raman
The recently released ASER serves to remind us of our failure as educationists once again. With children displaying abysmal reading and writing skills, the fingers of blame are pointing towards the teacher. But when we have an education system that produces ill-equipped teachers, can we blame the teachers alone? We have to find solutions to equip our teachers with good teaching-learning skills so that they in turn can produce good learners.

The adaptive advantage of play

Priyanka Padhy

Surely we have all heard the saying, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ And yet we often grudge children their play time. Or we put in riders, asking them to finish studying before they go play. There is enough research out there to prove the above mentioned proverb. Play contributes greatly in a child’s development–both physical and mental. So the next time your little students say, “Ma’am let’s play today instead of reading a lesson,” perhaps you should give it a thought

Meeting diverse learning needs

Neeraja Raghavan

A brand new column in Teacher Plus, In the staffroom will have teachers discussing solutions to problems raised by fellow teachers. Expert educationist Neeraja Raghavan will collate these responses and put them in perspective for our readers. This month the topic of discussion is how teaching can be tailored to suit the needs of each child in the class. This discussion will be featured in three parts. This article is the first of the three installments.

Where learning springs from

Aditi Mathur and Ratnesh Mathur

So where does learning come from? No, not so much from school as from the children themselves. When children are exploring, reasoning, asking questions and finding out the answers themselves they learn. Working is an essential part of learning–whether it is working your mind or your body. And you work best when you are energetic. Creative energy is the best kind of energy that spurs us to better ourselves. So help your children let lose their creative energies as they plod through their learning journeys.

Science teaching with a difference

Pooja Birwatkar and Sugra Chunawala

India is a land of diversities. Why then are our classrooms treated as a homogenous group? Children coming from different backgrounds bring with them their own knowledge of their culture and society. When we teach let us not disregard this knowledge of theirs. By not acknowledging this diversity of knowledge in the classroom we are producing confused, passive, or indifferent students. Based on a small study by the Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education, the authors here share how science teachers can respond to this diversity in their classrooms.

Reaching across, building bridges

Chintan Girish Modi

December 16, 2014 will come to be considered a black day in education as nearly 140 innocent children lost their lives inTaliban’s attack of the Army Public School in Peshawar. In this short piece students in India share their heartfelt grief.

A reading marathon? No, just a readathon!

Anamika Kundu

One of the best ways to improve language is to start reading as much as possible. In order to inculcate the reading habit in her students, this teacher set them on a fun project. Read to see how students began to enjoy reading even as they learnt to bond and improve their language.

Insights from teaching verse

Ajita Paladugu

Poetry is often considered one of the more difficult forms of literature to teach. But helping students interpret poetry can also be one of the most satisfying experiences that a teacher can have. Here’s why.

The lingering effect of labels

Devashree Prabhu

Fatso, stupid,good girl, bad boy. Familiar with these labels? Calling each other names is very common in schools among not just the students but the teachers as well. As teachers at least let us refrain from indulging in this practice. For even though these labels may seem innocent they could have damaging effects on children.

A dream realized

Pramod Maithil

The author who takes a keen interest in education and works towards democratizing it shares his journey of opening Anand Niketan Democratic School in Bhopal.