SMILE Foundation, organised a unique two-day workshop on 16th & 17th May 2003 for 25 primary school teachers of 7 NGOs of Noida and surrounding areas. The training specifically focused on exploring newer and interesting approaches to teaching English and Mathematics with the aim to bring qualitative changes in teaching methodology of these subjects, hopefully making them more interesting and student friendly.
Anchored by Mrs. Kiran, an educational expert with over 25 yrs of experience, the workshop was attended by teachers of Nai Disha, Sankalp, Efrah, Nav Jyoti Development Society, Amit Asha, Sai Kripa, and Ambedkar School.
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. There is need for creating an enabling environment where not only the children, but also their parents, come to realize and appreciate the indispensable need for education. This will be of great significance in reducing the dropout rate. Moreover, teachers, being the first interface, need to be more versatile than merely being academic experts. They need to be prime movers, motivating favorably about the value of education in shaping individuals life and future.
The 2 subjects English and Maths were chosen as they have been observed to be the bane of majority of students – irrespective of their socio–economic, cultural background, and the type of school. Often problems faced by students in understanding and developing command over these subjects act as positive deterrent towards interest in studies itself.”
The workshop reinforced that play-way / activities method is the most effective way to induce learning since seeing is believing – doing is retaining. Children learn best when examples from their daily lives are used to reinforce the topics they are taught – from the known to the unknown.
Teachers were taught to make inexpensive teaching aids from – old newspaper, magazines, bottle caps, ice-cream sticks, twine, cloth etc.
The workshop was participative in nature and concept of using puppets, poems, crossword puzzles, quizzes, and more interestingly gestures and enacting of the subject by the teacher to enhance learning was also discussed and greatly appreciated by the participants.