Creative pedagody

A curious 11-year old boy walks up to his teacher to ask, “What is a flame? What’s going on in there?” After a brief pause, the teacher replies, “Oxidation”. Factually speaking, the teacher was right on point, but the student felt deflated, wondering if there’s more to explaining the science behind something other than giving it a different name! The kid in this story grew up to be the famed Hollywood actor and director, Alan Alda.
Richard Fernandes co-founded Centre for Learning (CFL), Bangalore - an ‘alternative’ school, where he developed and implemented laboratory-based curricula for learning Physics. A strong believer in the dictum that “Physics is best learnt by doing”, he enjoys building experimental apparatus from material found in scrap yards or cannibalized from discarded instruments. In this interview, he shares his experiences of being a Physics teacher at the middle and high school.
 
This article explores the role of beauty in science education. The authors use research in science education to highlight the importance of teachers consciously making connections to aesthetic aspects in science. Caring about beauty in science can inspire a sense of wonder and curiosity among students.
 
Horses and rainbows make the world seem more exciting, not science”– student quoted in Mark Girod’s dissertation research study
What if teachers were to provide interesting but also confusing contexts to students? Would it encourage students to ask questions, and do their own investigations? In this article, the authors present an example of how a plant with variegated leaves provoked students to conduct a series of investigations to satisfy their own curiousity about the natural world.
 
When you google reading comprehension worksheets, you are inundated with passages followed by questions. Familiar sight?!Questioning is often seen as the only way to approach reading comprehension. And inevitably, it is in context to English as a subject, maybe extending to the social sciences - God forbid were we to see it in math class or in the chemistry question paper! Levity apart, this mode of the passage- followed -by -questions is mostly an evaluation of reading comprehension.
If real learning has to happen in children in the classroom, a good preparation on the part of the teacher is a must. We teachers need to know what kind of preparation is necessary. It’s always better to think ‘How does the child learn?’, rather than thinking ‘How to teach the child?’, because the child learns only when he is ready to learn by himself. There is no end to learning, education is a continuous process. While learning in school is one stage, adopting the same in life is another stage.
If we ask our colleagues or friends whether there is any connection between learning mathematics and language, perhaps their answer would be ‘no, there is no connection’. This is because the relationship is not evident. Based on my experiences and certain articles that I have read, I would like to share a few things about how language has and can contribute in mathematics. They are as follows:
 
In this article, I shall discuss two important aspects of school life. First, the aims and use of the school assembly and second, teaching the same subject at different levels.
 
The Assembly
 
One must tune into what one’s natural inclinations and talents may be, and once aware, nurture them.
 
Like most who have been to school, I felt I was assimilating so much of information every second that the word cramming seemed appropriate! What was troubling was not just the high intake, but not being able to express what ‘I’ thought, felt or understood. How did we as young people see the world – did it seem happy, confusing or conflicting; what did we give importance to; what we liked/disliked vis-à-vis what others would want us to like? What did I think about happiness, family, success, school and friends?

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