Tap Excellence In Students With Innovative Experiential Teaching

Panel Becoming Outstanding: How highly Effective Leaders Drive Fundamental Shifts in School Culture and Instructional Practice That Deliver Results_A case study Chaired by Mona Mehdi, Principal, Jain Heritage-A Cambridge School, Panelists on the session were eminent heads of educational institutions including Dr. Karun Kumar Gaur, Director, JKG International School,Dr. Ashok Kumar, Principal, Muni International School.

Dr.Ashok Kumar began the session with his observation on the fundamental errors that the education system is trying to deal with,” As per my understanding education today, is seen in 3 aspects first, Transfer of Information from the teacher to the student or from books to the students. Second storage of information by memorising and other methods. Third, representation of Information by the name of examinations. Education is a science to live and understand relations and what we are giving to our students is not education but certain skills and time and again new skills like AI have been introduced into the system.”

Kumar pointed on inculcating values in the students and the utilisation of their energy in an ideal way and how we are missing out on certain key aspects, “Education is all about inculcating values in children from the very beginning and values never change, as values stay in the society, have stayed in the society since time and will stay in future too. Our system has so many contradictions like the students who are full of energy are asked to sit silently in discipline, while the teachers who are already exhausted after a half day of work are supposed to lecture 7 periods as per the school time table.”

Kumar made a valid point to draw educator's attention towards the school timetables, that after every 40 minutes a child is put to learn a different subject like Mathematics, Science, English etc, so when is the student given an opportunity to do what he wants and aspires? Our schools need to facilitate an environment for the child, so as to inspire him to learn and not by only putting them to learn. 

“We need to encourage our students to create something new, invent their own theories based on the existing knowledge, analyse evidence and have a viewpoint of their own of what is happening in the world around them, that we do in our school. So in our school children learn, discuss, find solutions to their queries, correct themselves,  and celebrate life. Our school is a truly democratic school where each student is given an equal opportunity to learn, express, share, lead and contribute in matters of learning, management and development.” added Kumar.

Dr Karun Kumar Gaur talks about how little things affect a child's psychology, “I started my career 20 years back, initially there was no connection with education, being a keen sports person. During my school days, I had a tag on me that I was a weak student that stated till I finished my graduation. I suffered a lot with all that because my teachers had a mindset that I was a weak student. I did not answer any questions in the class since I thought I will be wrong. So today I think of it how this kind of behaviour hampers student’s psychology and so I take care of each and every child in my school. 

Adding to what Dr. Ashok Kumar said on students struggling with multiple subjects Gaur said, “We have integrated all the subjects in our curriculum and don’t have individual subjects. Students learn from experiential learning methods so, if we make our students study a chapter on crop production, we take them to a village and introduce the process of the farming thus making learning experiential for them. 

Elaborating on how learning can be made experiential Dr.Gaur explained the process ," We have an area in the school to produce a crop or the vegetables that a group of 5 students choose to produce. Once the vegetables grow we also send them to the parent-teacher meeting, so that parents too know what their child is learning in the school through practical methodology. It not only helps students learn the process of farming but also teaches them the importance of the food and why they should not waste the food, because now they know the hard work it requires to produce it. We take the students to distribute food to the slum children and in this way we teach values to students and in this fun learning process they love coming to the school. Our courses like ‘Duties of a leader’ is about developing reasons, targets, goals in which we try to involve parents and students together for exercises.”

Dr.Kumar drawing attention to how his organisation relates to the importance to ease learning processes for children, added”We found that children found difficulty in writing, so we introduced shorthand that is a skill in itself. Though concentration is important to the students we take them one level above to achieve it and thus teach them to do Meditation. Our idea is to identify the individual talent of each child in our school, make them aware and help them achieve their highest potential.”

Mrs.Mona Mehdi pointed on fundamental issues that education institutions have to deal with by saying, “Certain fundamental things like indiscipline in students, parents, not a participating the school activities and not being proactive, teachers losing their empathy to support students and support staff, which all of us face.”

Elaborating her point with a case study Mehdi said, “ So our school has a philosophy called ‘PITCH’ Where P stands for Personal touch, I stands for Involvement of parents, T stands for teaching Values, C stands for Child-centric Curriculum and H stands for the Holistic development.  So keeping the philosophy in mind we have started a project called ‘Kudos’, which is ‘All for One & One for All’. We bring all stakeholders students, teachers, parents and support staff to decide among themselves, on one behaviour that they expect from each other. Like what students expect from the teachers or parents, while the Teachers discuss what is lagging in the students?"

Elaborating on how the process helped to improve behavioural patterns inspiring the stakeholders to display the best behaviours Mehdi said, “The school goes through an entire cultural shift that happens through a game as you observe the behaviour of discipline. We give them stamps,so if a teacher sees good discipline in a student say in a playfield gives him a stamp to the student or when a student sees a teacher be empathetic he gives a stamp to the teacher, or when we see a parent or staff being proactive we give them a stamp. The exercise goes around and year and then the stamps are collected, which is followed by an award ceremony where each of them and especially children are awarded in a grand celebration an annual award ceremony. The students look up to as they are too excited to know who got the highest number of stamps for best behaviour and conduct.”

BW Education Conclave & Awards too does not keep any stone unturned to reward the Best Educators in the Education Industry. This year too in its initiative to promote Best Education Practices BW Education Awards were presented toEducational Institutions following the session. 29 awardees from the Educational Institutions from Across India were awarded to celebrate their excellence in bringing out the best in students, creating best educational practices and environments and introducing best tools of learning, that help students grow and reach their highest potential.

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