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Teaching Environment & Methods:

 

  • Once Divinity dawns, the negative attitude to life goes far away.

    - Pujya Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj

     

    Practically speaking, today education is viewed quite lopsidedly as something that will train one for making good livelihood and just that. Competitiveness and commercialization of education is not a surprise. No one really cares about the impact on young minds the current stressful environment of education has. Given this backdrop, how does one plan for an Integral Curriculum serving the real purpose of education? We will present here an approach to curriculum being taken in SATKAMA School that offers totally free education to school children.

     

    Curriculum can be defined as learning experiences to be given to the children to teach them certain content and produce learning outcomes as   desired. The learning experiences essentially are methods of teaching and it includes the environment in which learning is provided. The school needs to provide such an environment where educing or drawing forth of universal values of sharing, service, cooperation, love, fraternity etc. in children happens naturally as part of the learning and is not treated separately. These values are not preached to children, nor are these exclusively dealt in a separate moral science class. The curriculum must treat these as intrinsic in the learning experiences and content to be provided to children.  SATKAMA School uses the following approaches in providing learning experiences to children.

     

    a.       Association of values in the content: Instead of focusing only on the content or theme to be taught, the content itself can be associated to values that it innately expresses. For e.g., if children have to be taught about Air, one value that is associated with air is equality.  Nature has given air equally for all. No one can possess it. We can appropriately associate this with human behavior so that non-possessiveness as a value gets implicitly impressed on children.

    b.      Learning experiences

                                                      i.      Discussion – Through interactive discussion with children on the theme and its value, the content is taught while its value gets underlined associating it to human behavior.

                                                    ii.      Stories & Rhymes– Children like and remember stories and rhymes. An interesting story and rhyme on the theme that underlines the importance of the aspect of equality and being non-possessive will help children remember this.

                                                  iii.      Games - A simple game on the theme reinforces the learning and association that is brought about by the discussion and story.

                                                  iv.      Arts & Craft – This is where the creative aspect of child gets scope for development. Through painting and other simple craft work, while the creative development happens, the values are implicitly reinforced.

     

    c.       Learning environment: As part of the learning environment, these are few things the school has implemented inline with its philosophy.

                                                      i.      Students start the day with flag hoisting, national anthem, and prayer in the assembly. The prayer is as given by our Master Pujya Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj.

                                                    ii.      There is a 5 minute silence observed in the classroom everyday.

                                                  iii.      The school does not stress on homework. All learning is imparted in school.

                                                  iv.      The school does not have marking system. Teachers provide grades to students and competitive behavior is not encouraged.

                                                    v.      Noble thoughts of Mahatma Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj are written in each classroom for contemplation. A value is written on board each week. Teachers are requested to draw spontaneous associations of that value with the subject in hand they are teaching where possible.

                                                  vi.      Activities like telling stories, story writing, enactments, games and field trips are used extensively to reinforce values in higher classes also. Children are encouraged to share their feelings and thoughts with teachers.

                                                vii.      Children are told the importance of Universal Prayer as told by Pujya Sri Ramchandraji Maharaj. As the understanding of children matures, simple meditation practices as prescribed in Sri Ramchandra’s Rajayoga will be introduced.