& learning to teach

The Pioneer
Wednesday May 28, 2003



To explore newer and interesting approaches to teaching two of the most dreaded subjects, Mathematics and English, SMILE Foundation organised a two-day workshop last week. Twenty-five primary school teachers from seven NGOs of Noida and nearby areas participated in the training programme, focusing specifically on ways and means to help students develop a liking for these subjects.

The workshop also aimed at bringing qualitative changes in the teaching methodology of these subjects and making them more interesting and student-friendly.

Anupama Puri of SMILE Foundation said, “We have chosen English and Mathematics to make them vibrant subjects. These two subjects have been observed to be the bane of a majority of students – irrespective of their socio-economic or cultural background, and even the type of school they study in.”

The workshop reiterated that the play-way activity method is the most effective way to induce learning since seeing is believing, and doing is retaining. Children learn best when examples from their daily lives are used to reinforce the topics they are taught.

Teachers were taught to make inexpensive teaching aids from old newspapers, magazines, bottle caps, ice-creams sticks, twine and cloth. Educational expert Nirmal Kiran Puri coordinated the workshop.

“Quality of the teachers, their capabilities and the teaching approach become all the more vital, especially when the students are from impoverished families and are first-generation school-goers,” she said. The workshop recommended the need to create an environment where parents also appreciated quality education, thus lowering the school dropout rate.