One of my first conclusions from observing government teachers in action was:
Teachers should talk less, and students should talk more, preferably to each other.
Most teaching in government (and private) schools is still dominated by the teacher, standing at the front lecturing, while the students sit passively, doing nothing.
This term we’re trying to encourage our teachers to follow a ‘teacher active – students active’ policy. We really wanted to call this approach ‘teacher passive – students active’ but were afraid that might give teachers the wrong idea.
Most simply, this approach means teachers need to create some activity as part of the lesson, which requires students to talk (to each other) or do something. The characteristics of good activities are:
- students work in pairs or groups
- they may involve some physical movement
- there may be some teaching material involved
- it requires teachers to do some planning before the lesson
- it’s fun!
Here are some examples of this in action. Password: janauddhar
In reality, this type of good practice is still rare in our school, but we are trying to encourage it by asking some of our best teachers to sit down with other teachers and talk through ideas and plan things together. This sort of teacher improvement is very gradual, but we believe the most effective. We are always delighted when we see this happening, as in the photos from our staff room below: