From seeing to thinking

Yasmin Jayathirtha

During the years I was writing ‘Let’s Experiment’ I was experimenting in my own classrooms, trying to find the best way to integrate experiments into the teaching of the subject. It is very clear to me that no meaningful learning of chemistry can happen without work in the laboratory.

Different strokes with starch

Jyotsna Vijapurkar, Aakanksha Sawant, Swapnaja Patil

The starch test is an easy-to-do test, commonly included in school textbooks (generally from grades 6 through 9). All one has to do is add a few drops of iodine to test if something contains starch; if it does, it turns blue. This test is usually done on potatoes or rice or cereal flours.

Time-table: A regulatory tool?

Manisha Yadav

“The school day, week, month, term, and year need to be planned for a mixture of routine and variation, as children need a little of both, and the kinds of learning we would like them to experience have different requirements”….pp 97, NCF (2005).

Those difficult conversations

Thejaswi Shivanand and Rohan D’Souza

This is the first of a two-part article on teaching about caste in urban schools. The authors’ interactions with teachers from different schools over the years have indicated a woeful non-engagement, especially in urban schools, with a phenomenon that is as pervasive as it is influential in the lives of millions across the sub-continent.

Matters of money

Toolika Wadhwa

This year I complete two decades of my engagement with the disciplines of accountancy and management. In 1996, when I joined class 11, I started on my journey with the two subjects by making, what at that time, seemed a simple choice between studying the theories of management and cutting frogs!

To “Bio Sir” with love

Jyotsna Vijapurkar

This morning I had a glorious start to the day. A sun bird, sporting resplendent crimson on its front, visited the little balcony garden I maintain. Along with two female companions, it was feeding from a few blooms of Clitoria alba.

Bias by design: and how to deal with it

M Latha

Design For Change (DFC) is a programme conceived by the Shree Niketan Group of Schools, Chennai, which addresses social issues. This year the students worked on a project titled “Saaindha Tharasu – Fighting Gender Imbalance” (Saaindha Tharasu in Tamil means Skewed Scale).

Changing mindsets, changing minds

Pooja Vijay

One evening, when I was at office a bit longer than usual, a Facebook message request pops up on my screen. I accept it and am pleasantly surprised to receive an invite to give a talk on gender equality at a school in Chennai. Mr. Vishnucharan Panneerselvam, the Correspondent for Shree Niketan Schools, a group of schools based in Chennai and its surrounding towns, had heard that I am a stand-up comedian and is intrigued to know the prospects for women in this highly male dominated field.

A courageous classroom culture

Chintan Girish Modi

Are human beings capable of achieving great feats? Can a heroic act be attempted by ordinary individuals? How can we nurture heroism in the classroom? Heroism is an attitude , the act of heroism is being able to take the jump into the unknown, to take a stand, to ask why or even to challenge the status quo. Can these attributes or heroic habits be developed ? Can a teacher be a hero by willing to take risks in terms of the pedagogic choices she makes, by her presence in the classroom, in the way she relates to her students? Answers to these questions can help decide whether we are all heroes in waiting.

They’re all around us

Rama Sastry

Can anyone become a hero? Even if he or she does not have the necessary skills or knowledge? Or does he or she have to train like a sports person trains in his specialized sport? Do children need to practice being heroic everyday in subtle ways?