…& Learning To Teach
Wednesday May 28, 2003
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
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
“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.