Sunday, 15 May 2016

Bringing Realism to the Classroom

"Recall any one thing you loved in your class", was the on-line question to 10,000 alumni of a leading engineering institution in India. Guess what was the majority response?
"Class what class?" and "Missing my absence"!

What do these responses signify? Given an option, students would bunk every class-- even in a top ranked institute in the country! We may argue that above responses may be on lighter side. But jokes apart, why do students detest classes? Because classes are so boring, theoretical and distanced from reality! Hope the blog readers who are teachers do not take offence. Ghumakkad the writer too is a teacher. Therefore, honest soul searching will tell us that we need to give our classes a 'real life' feel! How to do that? This was the focus of a workshop conducted by me for teachers of an engineering college recently. It was part of Faculty Development Program (FDP) organised by TASK- Telangana Academy of Skills and Knowledge. 

Some glimpses of the 1st of the workshops in FDP series.

The college motto reads "Giving wings to thoughts'. It was pictorially depicted in a mural in central foyer of the college.

Located on the northern outskirts of Hyderabad, the college has maintained a fine balance with its rocky surroundings.

Workshop topics included the following:
•Engineering Education- Challenges?
•Bringing Realism
•Current Generation- Likes/Dislikes
•Classroom Experiences
•Role of a Teacher
Participants had to answer questions like "What do the students want?" Students love outdoor activities like industry visits. Of course, every time we teachers can not oblige. But once in a while, a class under a tree is a great idea as seen in the picture below.

During the FDP, the participating teachers had to address following 10 aspects to make the classroom a fun place: This was a team effort with teachers of different subjects coming together to brainstorm and make a presentation.

1.What do the students want in an engineering college and its classes? 
     2.   How to encourage students’ curiosity? 
3.  What is the relevance of the subject you are teaching? 
4.   Innovations in teaching methods and pedagogy
5.  Teacher has to be a listener first. 
6. Class discipline Vs. empathy for students. 
7.  Do PPTs enhance learning? 
8. Integrative learning—moving across subjects. 
9. Using social media to enhance the learning experience
10. How to encourage students to read?

  The  teachers' presentations were assessed and best team awarded a prize during the FDP.

It was time for a group photograph. 

But with smart phones all around, selfies take over! Picture below.

Ghumakkad felt years younger on completion of the workshop! The teachers showed outstanding enthusiasm. Am confident they will make their classrooms a fun place for learning!

Credit goes to TASK Team in Hyderabad for taking this much-needed initiative.

Thanks for browsing

   Harsh-The-Ghuamkkad/ 15th May 2016