The teacher at work

Usha Raman
This Special issue, curated by one of our long-time contributors, Neeraja Raghavan, is the outcome of an idea to get teachers to reflect on the contextualization of their lessons. The articles that we received reflect the level of detail and the diversity of the teachers’ lived experiences. If one teacher brought alive ancient cities in ruins through a contemporary experience, another showed how to develop English textbooks from the children’s own experience. In other words, ‘indigenous pedagogy’ is really all around us.

Contextualizing textbooks: Glimpses from Sikkim

Nisha Rajkumar Butoliya
Textbooks hold an important position in classroom teaching and learning. A child’s world can be visualized in the classrooms if textbooks are enriched with the context of children. So when the SCERT, Gangtok, decided to revise English textbooks for grades 1 to 3, teachers engaged in this work felt the need to include and appreciate children’s experiences and knowledge.

Bringing Hindi alive in Bengaluru

Indira Vijaysimha
How can a teacher get disinterested children to learn Hindi? While Hindi prose can be easy to tackle, Hindi poetry with all the metaphors and similes drawn from nature can be tough to handle. Did the teacher in question manage to achieve a breakthrough? Read on for a lively account.

Engaging with children’s experiences

Shahbaan Shah
Social and emotional learning of young people happens through conversations in classrooms in the municipal schools of Mumbai. Stories from the students’ contexts or their lives help them connect to the learning and also help them talk about what matters to them. This article throws light on how facilitators can build open spaces for student learning

Keeping it local

Gita Krenek
The author’s approach to teaching English to primary school children in Uttarakhand has reaped enormous rewards. From writing their own textbooks to making sure that the situations in the stories and dialogues mirrored the children’s lives and experiences – that is, a rural hill culture of small holdings and a semi-subsistence lifestyle, it felt like an uphill task initially. But when the stories resonated with the children, there was greater engagement, interest and motivation.

Ideas for a desi classroom

Nabanita Deshmukh
Here is an interesting account of how the author managed to make her teaching more desi so as to connect to rural children’s unique ways of learning.

Being a cheerleader for your students

Chintan Girish Modi
How can teacher turn around a messy situation that she may find herself in? Sandeep Rai’s book Grey Sunshine stitches together real-life stories from the Teach For India (TFI) fellowship that trains and places young professionals in government schools across India. Read up this book for more inspirational stories.

First-hand facts

Leena Satuluri
From arranging a visit to a temple to help children understand the term ’inscriptions’ to teaching conditional clauses, to explaining scientific facts in the kitchen, the author shows that examples of indigenous pedagogy can be found all around our environment, if only we care to look for them.

Designing a city

Anand Krishnaswamy
A teacher uses a contemporary experience to bring alive ancient cities in ruins and helps children imagine their dream city. Using local resources to create extensive learning, children learn what is needed to live in a city.

Math @ ‘The Juice Shack’

Kalyani Mekala
A parent teacher recounts how her son who had a great affinity for gadgets was able to take his mind off them and physically and mentally involve himself in selling lemonade and learn math at the same time.