A Silent Revolution
Trip Start Jun 28, 2009
33Trip End Aug 07, 2009
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For the first time during this summer seminar we visited a government ("public") school. The impressive administrators and teachers there seem to have whole-heartedly adopted an activities-based curriculum in which students work cooperatively in small groups (no lectures!). These groups require varying levels of teacher attention- the most advanced students work almost completely independently. According to the headmaster, all students work toward achieving standards at their own individual pace, and their accomplishments are celebrated as they master each succeeding standard with a cute (but brief) coronation ceremony (which we witnessed twice)
Later in the evening our group met with state- and federal-level education evaluators- these reps asked us U.S. teachers for our honest impressions of the government school we’d just visited. Before I forget: we were sitting on a formal panel and each of us teachers had a personal mike- it was all diplomatic-like! The discussion got a bit tense due to some inevitable misunderstandings. However, I conquered my own shyness long enough to speak up and praise the attempts the government school was making to tailor instruction to students’ individual needs (an audacious goal for teachers everywhere).
Tomorrow is our last day in Chennai. We start the day with a very early morning walking tour- perfect for beating the heat. We’ll move on to Kolkata early Wednesday morning- supposed to be the hottest stop on our tour! Though I miss home and hubby so much, I’m savoring these last 2 ½ weeks of adventure in India…