Views and Reflections

Generally when thinking or speaking about any theme sometimes it is possible to arrive at a consensus of various viewpoints while sometimes it is not. To look at the world with open eyes everybody has their own perspective. It is according to one’s thinking that one looks at the world. Our thinking impacts the extent to which we will be successful in life. We should always look at ourselves, our family and friends with a positive perspective and give them positivity too.

When we work in the realm of education we often realise that there cannot be any single/uniform pedagogy that can be claimed to work for every single child. It is important that we are not afraid of incorporating the various approaches to education in our own teaching style. I have always believed that each child is capable of learning, even if it may take a little extra time. In 2014 through my fellowship I travelled to Dehradun and it was in an office there that a poster captured my attention.

The moment we hear the word school, a picture of a building with many teachers and children appears in our mind. And when we talk about the academic activities of the school, we visualise a classroom where the teacher is facing the children who are sitting in rows in a systemic manner. There is nothing wrong with this imagery because this is how we see the classrooms most of the time.

I have been working in the Azim Premji School, Dineshpur (Uttarakhand) from February 6, 2012. Our school came into operation with effect from April 10, 2012. A month before that, we went around Dineshpur, visiting homes and gathering information from parents about the children – children going to school, those who left studies midway, in what circumstances going to school stopped, and whether or not they now wished to resume and complete their studies.

Academic Learning is an indicator that combines academic identification (which refers to getting along with teachers, having an interest in the subject matter, and related behaviours and attitudes) and academic participation) which captures the student's work effort both inside and outside of school, including hours spent outside the school.

I joined the teaching profession 30 years ago, at the time when computers were just became available for everyone. It was quite natural to expect Time Table Software to speed up the work and to save hundred plus hours of teachers. Writing individual time tables of large number of teachers by hand was a nightmare for time table committee. ( Even today, most of the schools are doing this tedious work by hand ! why ?)
 
The one thing you can observe when you enter the premises of a school is a display board or bulletin board. Most of the time visitors first look at the bulletin boards to learn about the school. The kind of information displayed there, the creativity used to display the information all adds-up for the person to develop a good impression about the school. It creates an impact on the visitor’s mind. Bulletin boards also serve other purposes. They served as a center for knowledge.

The greatest myth that we have encountered in our student life is the idea of a ​ safe future​ and as my physics teacher simply put it for me years ago –

“Work like a donkey for a few years and live the royal life of a horse for the rest of your life”

You have probably heard it one time too many but we will say it again: teaching is a huge responsibility. Shaping the younger generation's minds and preparing them for life outside the classroom is a tall order which becomes easier with proper research and planning. Moreover, you also need to find the balance between teaching the students what they need to know and giving them enough space to discover and learn by themselves.

Prof. Indira Vijaysimha talking about the key aspects of the M.Ed. Programme offered at Azim Premji University.

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