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Issue 99 | December 2013 | www.ei-india.com

This Month’s Issue Learning Through ........... 01 DukeTIP .......................... 02 Akanksha Adv ................. 03 Year Planner ................... 04 Year Planner ................... 05 Classroom Arrangement.. 06 Teacher’s Bite ................. 07 Mindspark Poster ........... 08

Learning through Heroes Heroes inspire! Everyone wants to be associated with ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary feats. Recently, educators have recognized the importance of using heroes to teach children and adolescents, various subject matters ranging from values to science. Tony R. Sanchez, Assistant Professor of Social Studies Education at Purdue University recognizes that using role models and heroes can be quite effective when imparting value-education. He claims that examining the spirit of heroism, serves as an invitation for the

students to adopt the heroic spirit for themselves. Dr. Mae Jemison, the first AfricanAmerican in space, created the Jemison Group, which aims to bring technological advancements to people across the globe and hopefully nourish students’ love for science. This explorer hero is very active in her undertakings. Schools on the other hand are actively using her as an example when teaching science. A few years ago, West Clayton Elementary School invited the astronaut to give a talk about space travel. After the visit, a significant number

By Brian Stocker, Writer and former teacher

of students became more engaged in the subject matter. This means that children are inspired to learn about the countless possibilities that await them if they try hard enough to pursue their dreams. The use of heroes in the classroom is becoming more and more popular. However, careful thought should be given to the curriculum design if educators want to ensure the effectiveness of the method. The instructor needs to find a suitable hero to use. It is not advisable to use a generic hero across all subject matters, although heroes by and large have universal attributes. For instance, it may be more appropriate to use Michael Jordan as a role model when teaching sports rather than using Oprah. It is important that the instructor retains the human-element in heroes. Heroes are not super humans, and it is important for children and young adults to understand this. They need to know that they can be their idols; they can be the heroes who always put things into perspective, who make sound decisions based on careful reasoning and who think of the greater good more than self-interest. Students need to be able to see the hero potential in each of the heroes they are introduced to.


Myriad Myths about Giftedness

Upon hearing the word ‘myth', one may think of tales from long ago. However, modern myths exist as well, and some of the most prevalent modern myths in education surround giftedness, gifted and talented programs. In this article, we provide two lists of myths published by researchers of giftedness. Myths about Gifted Students, by Joyce VanTasselBaska and Susannah Wood 1. They are aloof, proud of their own abilities, and care little for others. 2. They are good at everything and should be reminded of a time when they may fail to perform at high levels. 3. They do not need special programs as they will be able to perform at high levels regardless.

DUKE TIP

1. Academically gifted children have a general intellectual power that makes them gifted in all school subjects. 2. The gifted are those children with a high ability in academic areas. Children with a high ability in music and art are talented. 3. Giftedness in any domain depends on having a high IQ. 4. Giftedness is entirely inborn. 5. Giftedness is entirely a matter of hard work. 6. Gifted children are created by pushy parents driving their children to overachieve; when pushed too hard by overambitious parents, these children burn out. 7. Gifted children are better adjusted, more popular, and happier than average children.

4. They even have profiles in respect to intellectual ability, academic aptitude, and social emotional development.

8. All children are gifted, and thus there is no special group of children that needs an enriched or accelerated education in our schools.

5. They benefit from being the second teacher in the room, tutoring others in greater need than themselves.

9. Gifted children, especially prodigies, go on to become eminent and creative adults.

6. They work well in randomly assigned groups to ensure that the work gets done correctly.

Conclusions

7. They enjoy independent work and are motivated to complete projects.

There are many reasons for the development and persistence of these myths. Sandra Kaplan, in her article on the myth, "There is a Single Curriculum for the Gifted" wrote that, "Myths are created and continue to exist because they explain phenomena that are not easily understood or appear to validate ambiguous ideas with ambiguous evidence." Researchers must continue to develop unified theories that explain both typical and atypical development. And, most importantly, parents and educators must recognize that a single theory should not be confused with a singular way of raising and teaching all children, regardless of whether they are gifted.

8. They have pushy parents who expect the school to do more than is possible or reasonable for their children. 9. They are good students, rarely causing behavioural problems of any kind in class. 10.They are rarely at risk for educational achievement or attainment beyond high school. Gifted Children: Myths and Realities, by Ellen Winner (1996) Basic Books: New York. Winner's book begins with a chapter in which she lists each myth and its roots, clearly setting the stage for the rest of the book to explain the research findings. Winner proposes nine myths that are frequently perpetuated.

This article is brought to you by researchers from Duke Talent Identification Program. Follow this space for more such articles on Giftedness in students.


All it takes is one strong leader to transform an entire school

Akanksha & Thermax Social Initiative Foundation (TSIF) are looking for School Leaders We are seeking qualified and experienced educationists to fill the positions of

Principal and Vice Principal in our Pune & Mumbai Schools. Apply online at: www.akanksha.org Or email: hr@akanksha.org The schools are Pune Municipal & Mumbai Municipal Corporation Schools. The Pune Schools are jointly managed by Akanksha Foundation & TSIF and the Mumbai Schools are managed by the Akanksha Foundation

15 schools, 25 centers, 4400 children


2014

YEAR PLANNER JANUARY

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窶連 WORLD WHERE CHILDREN EVERYWHERE ARE LEARNING W


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WITH UNDERSTANDING’


Classroom Arrangement The set up of a classroom is very important to how a classroom is being managed. The teacher needs to make sure his/her classroom is arranged for the students to be productive. The teacher also needs to make sure their classroom has a positive environment for the students as they enter the classroom. Another key fact a teacher needs to consider is that their classroom needs to be ready for learning every day. This is because a product and active classroom set-up is important, in order to manage a classroom with proper discipline,. The students need to be placed in an arrangement that will keep them focused on the lesson and not deter them from learning. In this article, we will discuss and provide ways for a lower elementary classroom to be set up. Classroom Arrangement Our map shows the classroom arranged in centres for students to sit in groups of six in four different groups. The reasoning behind the groups is that the students will be able to learn how to work with others. The students will also be able to motivate each other to do their work. The desks are arranged in the middle of the classroom so it will allow the teacher to walk around the room freely. Plus the teacher will be able to control the students in a more compact area. The setting of the desk will also help students to stay on task. Reading Corner In the corner of the classroom is a “cozy” reading nook which will contain the classroom library. This area will provide a “home” feeling and help the students to feel relax when they are in this area. The reading nook will also be a place for students to go to when they have completed their work and want to read a book in a cozy area. If a child is able to feel at home in the reading nook this can cut down on behaviour problems for the teacher. In the reading nook, this area is a quiet place. The reading nook is not located in the same area as everything else in the classroom. By having the reading nook in the corner of the classroom, it will help promote reading in the classroom. Centres The listening centre and computer

station will be placed on the outside of the classroom. The centres will face the walls because the students will rotate to the variious centres within the classroom. Plus, while students are at their centres they will need to be able to concentrate on their work. Also, located on the outside of the classroom are the storage areas for materials

related to Science, Math, Art and Writing materials. This will help students receive and place their materials as well as enables the teacher to keep his/her classroom organized. Student’s desk will also serve as centres. During centre time students will be able to move around the whole room to gain information. At each group there will be a different theme for students to learn about. Centres both on the inside and the outside of the classroom will enable the teacher to focus the students’ attention to their centre activity instead of just rotating around the room. This will keep the flow of the classroom and will not give the students time to mess around maintaining the classroom structure and discipline. Teacher’s Desk Location The teacher’s desk is located at the back of the classroom as it will help the teacher promote a student – centered

By Debbie Cluff

classroom. By having the desk located in the back of the classroom, the teacher will have full sight of his/her entire classroom at all times. Plus, the teacher will only use the desk for paper work. The rest of the time, the teacher will be in the same area as the students. Print Rich Environment Not only is the arrangement of the desk important to the classroom but it is the motivation the classroom has to offer the students. To have a print-richenvironment, the teacher needs to have posters and signs that help to promote literature in the classroom. Posters and signs on the classroom walls and bulletin boards will help the students gain a great deal of experiences with the different types of literature. Plus the students can do a read around the room, while sitting in the reading nook. With a provision of a print-rich environment, the students will be placed in a positive learning atmosphere that promotes learning and prevent classroom misconduct. Conclusion In conclusion, the arrangement of the classroom is a key part of how well the students will learn and interact with their classmates and their teacher. If a classroom is disorganized and clustered, then it will be difficult for a child to work and learn new skills. Besides, the teacher needs to take time to make sure his/her room is set up for learning no matter how well your lesson plans are completed and ready to be presented. Only if the students are comfortable in the room, then the lesson plan can be implemented in the way the teacher intended.


Teacher’s Bite Ms. Rema Alex Daniel Principal, Summer Fields School, Kailash Colony, New Delhi

Q:

Who has most influenced you to become an educator, and how did they influence you?

I was admitted into a boarding school founded by British missionaries very early in life. The devotion and commitment of teachers was something to be seen to be believed. Imparting education, values and devotion to duty was their sole mission in life. If we had a few teachers with that kind of zeal in today’s times, our educational institutions would have been a haven for students and indiscipline and irresponsible behavior would have been minimal.

Q:

What is your approach to classroom management and student discipline?

Meaningful activities catering to multiple intelligences in a class would definitely help in the teaching learning process. A teacher should know her students well and try to adjust

his/her teaching methodology to cater to the individual needs of students. This will require a lot of hard work and initiative. But if it is done then indiscipline will not be an issue.

Q:

What are your views regarding the 'Importance of Teacher Training and Development' in educating Students?

Professional development of teachers is very important with the teaching learning process evolving at a rapid pace. To keep up with the latest trends and technology, teachers have to be well equipped and for that exposure has to be provided to them through trainings, exchange programmes and so on. Today’s students are tech savvy and well informed. If teachers don’t keep up to the changing trends then they will become redundant and will lose the respect of students.

Q:

What is your view regarding the ASSET Test?

The ASSET test is good as each student is provided with the individual score and also his/her ranking visa-vis others in the class and school. It is beneficial for the school as we get to know the concepts that need further reinforcement. Teacher support from experts does help and it has to be continuous and regular.

India – My Country Folk Cults of India The Baseli Cult of Odisha Baseli Puja is a popular folk cult among the fishermen community, Kaivarta or Keuta, who observe it with great devotion and austerity. The followers of the cult perform Chaiti Ghoda Nacha, a popular folk dance. The worship of Baseli and dummy horse are inexplicably connected with its ritual and celebration of the Keuta community. The colourful festival is held for an entire month (full moon day of Chaitra in March) and ending with Baisakha Purnima (full moon day in April). The festival and dance is connected with Shakti cult. Goddess Baseli, the horse-headed goddess is considered as the tutelary deity of the fishermen community. It is believed that the cult originated during the 10th century AD when Tantric practices of Shaivism and Mahayana Buddhism merged into one religious practice. Baseli is a form of Mother Goddess who was earlier formless. Legend says: When the world was in deluge, Lord Vishnu was not able to find a place to rest. He reduced his form and rested on a floating banyan leaf. He created a man out of the dirt of his ear zone. The leaf could not support both. The man was drowned and swallowed by a huge demonic fish called Raghab. Lord Vishnu became angry when he found the man missing. He killed Raghab and got the man out. In the mean time Lord Vishnu transformed the banyan leaf into a horse and summoned Vishwakarma and asked him to build a boat. Lord Vishnu said to the man that he and his community would be known as Kaibarta and he would be the king. As he was swallowed and almost got killed by a fish, so generation after generation they would kill the species of fish and live on them.

Baseli became the name of the horse and the tutelary deity of the community. More information on: https://www.facebook.com/indiadiversity


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ASSETScope December 2013