OPENING YOUR EYES TO THE WORLD… RELEASING YOUR CURIOSITY…
The beauty and the wonder of the world
The most beautiful thing is one’s power to see, to grasp, to understand the world.
It is man’s nature, to think, to have the power to understand how the world works.
From the time that man came into being from the ape, evolved and became a man like you and me, he began to wonder when looking at the world that presented itself to him.
Man looked at the twinkling stars, those lifeless things, hanging in the sky in countless numbers and he wondered …
What are those stars . . .
The world, the huge expanse of space and he in the midst of it . . .
He looked at the phenomenon of night and day, the way the sun came upon the east and set on the west, day in and day out . . . with no break, relentlessly and monsoon uniformly. He observed the way seasons came into being, from spring, tomorrow, to winter and the summer and he wondered …
He wondered about the earth too hanging in the wide expanse of space and all things falling on its surface when left free from a height.
He wondered at the pull of the earth that could act with no contact.
He felt the air around but could not see it and he wondered about a thing that exists but can’t be seen …
He wondered about winds and sometimes string winds, like storms. He wondered about the fury of nature.
This man looked at life – plants, animals and himself too and wondered about life itself…the whole mechanism of each plant, animal having learnt to survive.
About himself too, he wondered… Is there a creator, or is man simply another type of species? He wondered about his own capacity to wonder, to think, to grasp and understand things around him…
What does man fear, why is there joy, fear, guilt, jealousy, love – all the feelings?
What are the roots of these feelings? Who is man? What is man? What is man’s life? What is death, just, finishing, or what?
What is the strange uplifting feeding one gets, when suddenly one feeds totally free, when there is nothing to think…..
Man wondered most about man himself, and how he could and should live …..
Step by step, man got the answers … he saw deep laws at work, a deep regularity on things….he understood science by his eyes opening up.
There came many discoveries!! Man understood heal, light, sound, electricity and magnetism atomic structure, reactions, (chemical changes), seasons, earthquakes, volcanoes, formation of mountains, Oceans, winds, formation of earth and the solar system, the birth and death of stars including the sun.
He understood the chemical reactions and processes in the bodies of man/animals and also plants!!
Step by step, man uncovered so many hidden workings in the Universe!!
He understood by implication, the beast in man, the brain washed, grasping man, and out of terror, living with that blind state of mind that believes anything told - a dead, unthinking, unfeeling mind...
Only a man who learns by opening his eyes and becomes aware and conscious is truly educated, and lives in deep joy….
WONDER QUESTIONS ABOUT THE WORLD
MATCHING THE SYLLABUS
AN ASSIGNMENT TO KNOW THE WORLD IN ESSENCE!
Do you know the answers to the following 100 natural questions...if you do...you are on the road to be the top in your profession!!
If not, know these answers...they would give you the power!!
BUT know the answers really...
YOU should be convinced!!
Find out how the whole world works by getting the answers to the following wonder questions in
History, Physical Science and Natural Science and Geography
Some Hints/leads have been given!! ALSO GOOGLE WOULD GIVE YOU GOOD ANSWERS....
How did the universe come into existence? (Big Bang)
How were all the billions of stars formed? ( Nuclear Fusion reactions)
How were all the billions of galaxies formed?
How did our solar system come into existence?
How was the earth formed and how did it become what it is today?
How did the first life come into existence? (Conditions then led to the formation of life and that was REPEATED in the lab)
How did Evolution bring about the around million kinds of species on earth, each adapted to its surroundings?
How and when did man and woman come into existence?
What was the life and struggles of the early man? ( Nomad, faced the ice age)
When did the early man settle down in one place and why?( Discovered Agriculture)
How did the ancient civilizations come into being?
What was the story of the Egyptian civilization?
What was the story of and specific contribution of the Mesopotomian civilization?
What was the story and specific contribution of the Sumerian civilization?
What was the story and specific contribution of the Ancient Chinese civilization?
What was the story and specific contribution of the Vedic civilization?
What was the story of Judaism?
What is the story of the Buddha and what was his influence?
What were the story and the great contribution of Greek Civilization? (Birth of Philosophy....serious inquiry into fundamental questions....Socrates, Plato and Aristotle...had a great influence on later history and still influences us today....)
What was the story of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire?
What is the story of Jesus and how and when did Christianity become an official, political power?
What were the dark ages? How was life then?
What is the story of Prophet Mohammad and Islam?
What were the crusades and why did they happen?
What was the renaissance and how did it transform the way the world thought, worked and lived? (re birth of the Greek spirit)
What was the reformation? And why did it happen? (Christianity challenged from within)
What were the roots of the Scientific Revolution? ( Mathematics that was natural and experimentation...father of this Revolution was Newton)
What were the major core discoveries that happened during the Scientific revolution and after in Physics, Chemistry and Biology?
(Our High school syllabus in science!!)
What is the story of the American Revolution and why and how did it happen?
What is the story of French Revolution and why and how did it happen?
What is the story of Napoleon?
Who was Karl Marx and what did he propogate?
What is the story of the Russian revolution?
What is the story of World War-1? Why did it happen?
What was the Great depression?
What is the story of World War-2? Why did it happen?
What was the Cold War? How did the USSR fall?
What are the problems in the world today?
( All these above stories from history are fascinating...google the questions>>.You will love the answers and really wonder and grasp the world too!!)
What does History teach us with respect to those problems?
( if you answer all the above slowly and carefully, you will come o your own actually obvious understanding)
PHYSICAL AND NATURAL SCIENCE
Why don’t things fall in space? Why do things fall on earth?
Why don’t bodies moving in space ever stop?
(Newton's laws of motion)
Why do bodies weigh lesser on the moon and nothing in space? Yet, why is it as difficult to move a body in space as on earth or anywhere?
( Difference between mass and weight)
How do Rockets go up?
( Newton's third law)
Why do the planets go around the sun?
(How does any body go around in a circle? ...google this)
Why do some bodies float and others sink?
( you need to understand the difference between mass and density)
Why do an iron nail sink and a ship made of iron float?
( Same as previous question)
How does a Pressure cooker work?
When do we feel hot and when cold?
( Your hands can deceive you!! Google this question)
What are the 3 ways by which heat is transmitted?
( Conduction, convection and radiation)
What is the difference between heat and temperature?
( It is interesting. please google this)
Why do things become heated when there is friction of any kind?
Why does heating expand substances?
Why do some things become heated more quickly and others more slowly?
How and why does solid become liquid and liquid a gas when heated?
( All the questions connected to heat is rooted in the basic question- WHAT I HEAT?)
Why is a solid, a liquid and a gas each in that particular state?
Why/ how do we hear sound?
Why are some sound loud and other softer?
Why are some sounds at a higher pitch and others at a lower pitch?
How does the ear work?
Why is music pleasant to hear? What is music?
Why and when do we hear an echo?
( ask yourself why can't we see the vibrations and how can such a minute pressure make "sounds" )
What is needed to see things?
Do we see light or do we see because of light?
How do know that light travels in straight lines?
How/ why do we get reflection of light?
Why do we see ourselves in the mirror?
Why can’t we see air/glass?
How do we see colors?
Why does a prism break light into the 7 colors? How do we get a rainbow?
How are mirages formed?
How do microscope and telescopes and spectacles work?
( Light is invisible" Wat does it mean? if you can answer this, you have got the whole concept of light)
How do motors work?
How do generators work?
What are Electro - magnetic waves really?
How do we know that atoms exist?
( Dalton's law of definite proportions was the first lead...THERE IS SOMETHING INSIDE!!)
What is an electron and how was it discovered?
What is a proton and how was it discovered?
What is a neutron and how was it discovered?
How are the electrons distributed in atoms?
What are nuclear fusion reactions and what is happening in the sun?
What s nuclear fission?
What is radioactivity?
What are valence electrons and how do they determine the properties of things?
How/ why do two substances combine in a chemical reaction?
What are acids and bases?
What are metals and non metals?
What are the main processes in plants?
What are the main processes in animals?
What is a cell and how does it function?
What re the core ideas of evolution and mutation?
What is genetics and the function of DNA?
What is the reason for the seasons and also why do the seasonal patterns vary across the earth?
How do we get winds and what are the major large scale winds?
Why do we get earthquakes? What is inside the earth and how do we know that?
Why do we get volcanoes?
How were the oceans, deserts and mountain ranges formed?
How was the moon formed?
Why is the earth tilted?
Why does the earth rotate around itself and revolve around he sun?
What are the time zones and what are they dependent on?
There are three aspects to teaching - the proficiency in the language(medium), the mastery of your subject and the third is - relating to the child.
How do you see a child? One of the most remarkable books is Montessori's "Discovery of the child ".
Look at the word here- " discovery". Normally when we see a child, we see him as either a person who needs to be controlled, or a being who is inferior and who needs to be pumped with some information.
That is all most people feel...
But if you look at a child keenly with no prejudice or previously held belief, you open your eyes to that child out there....
You will see an active, restless being. He is actually, naturally enthusiastic, eager to learn. if he could feel that thrill, he would become boundless in working hard. He would be sensitive if he hears a genuine VOICE of feeling silent. He would be in deep attention, if something makes sense to him.
In fact, he is all this and more and this is the deepest, most profound thing to understand that the child is already hungry , that he is naturally ambitious.
Only then we would understand why, we must have a deep understanding of the subject, why we should link it to life and why the subject should actually EMPOWER THE CHILD.
The child is the father of the man - the moments of discovery, of being deeply touched, by the daily lessons, year in and year out over a decade is that base that makes our CHARACTER AND LIFE.
This is the NOBLE task of a teacher - to help the child in flowering and blooming into a beautiful, sensitive, powerful man/woman...
Monitoring is very important. It is the process by which we know whether we are really carrying out what we decided to do.
The following excel sheets could be filled under each heading with students’ names on the left and appropriate filling in,
Text book comprehension (TBC) monitoring sheet
Vocabulary worksheets 1 & 2 monitoring sheet
General Book reading monitoring sheet
Creative writing monitoring sheet
Text Book Comprehension (TBC) monitoring sheet.
Activities monitoring sheet ( 1, 2, 3, …)
Worksheets in Math and Monitoring sheet.
Term wise participation monitoring sheet
Song / Dance
Art / Craft
The sum of all these activities would be presented in report card along with the routine evaluation.
Continuous and comprehensive evaluation has to be both formally carried out and also informally and intensely. Education is exactly CCE, each moment, and we need to ask all the time – Am I getting the learning outcomes? Are all the activities carried out? Are the activities making sense to students? Is the child growing in knowledge and power by the illumination of real understanding?
All of the above has to be flexible to suit the particular school’s culture, aims and also the local conditions.
CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES - ITS IMPORTANCE AND IMPLEMENTATION
A school should be a lively place. Children cannot always listen to lectures and do writing tasks. They need holistic activities. In the following we have covered these activities and under each heading we have explained its importance and the way it should be implemented in the school.
The daily assembly is a wonderful opportunity to gain confidence in public speaking, learn the importance of team work and organizing things, be in touch with the daily news, express himself through song, dance and drama. These are no ordinary skills and very much a part of vibrant school curriculum.
But it is very important that the presentations during the assembly should be done not as rote but with spontaneity and originality. To bring this about, one of the most important things to understand is that a child is to learn from mistakes only. Hence it should be deeply understood that the process is greater than the product.
If you look within you will find that the fear of failure is a dominant attribute of our psychology that has inhibited us from trying out things and growing out of our fears.
Does this not inhibit our character? A deep understanding of this issue will liberate all of us - teachers and learners. Life is nothing but a continuous process of growth, blooming, discovery and learning. Process is Progressive.....
Music and Dance
Music and Dance are the things that children love to do and also do it spontaneously. The untouched innocent minds and hearts of children can express very well in music and dance. So the teacher should always try for expression in children as a primary thing and be gentle in the way, he teach us music and dance.
There is a huge difference between abstract and the concrete. To read about mountains and rivers, for example, is a lot different from actually seeing mountains and rivers.
There is so much to see in the world!!
With a proper selection ,children must be SHOWN places, industries and all the things that he doesn't see around him like great monuments, rivers, beaches, hills,places with a different climate and culture..etc.,
It is obvious a child should also see industries with his own eyes. For example, he should also see how a ship is made in the ship yard or the how the rockets are constructed. It is such through such sights that a child discovers the thrill in science and technology, But in field trips, care should be taken to make it truly an educational trip. A resource person should be a good guide bringing out all the information and knowledge. He could talk about the History, Geography, Science.
Art and Craft
A picture is worth a thousand words. This quotation is really true in many ways. Art develops visual imagination, sharpens one’s power of observing things around us, develops a sense of beauty and wonder actually. A child should do art not just to become a painter but to express his inner world.
Craft is a hand skill which sharpens the mind and hand coordination which as Gandhi once said is a very basic skill to acquire. A developed motor skills is a kind of intelligence. Also craft concretizes many Maths concepts like geometry, area and volume. The various kinds of craft also help in developing a feeling of beauty and design.
Any job today requires specific computer skills like Microsoft Office, Creating videos, blogs, designs, websites and basics of program.
Those who lack the skills find life to be limited. In a good school, children should have hands-on- activities, doing projects effectively and beautifully using computers. This high comfort level with respect to computers will go a long way to help the students ascend in his career and life
Games could be one of the most important activities for a a growing child. Games help in keeping the mind fit and healthy, develops team spirit, getting used to winning or losing, provides enjoyment and provides the satisfaction of deep need for physical activity to the growing child. Games are absolutely an integral part of a school curriculum.
English for Indians and for many is a foreign language. We need a step wise approach to enable each student to master English.
The first step is to grasp the words. The ability to read / listen, write/speak all Basic Words.
We must use the phonetic method, the method of breaking a word into the letters, which serve as sounds.
Thus the word
“Agree” is really not ‘A’ but the sound, A, ‘G’ is the sound and so on with ‘r’ and ‘ee’.
Only then, the student fully grasps the reading and listening of ‘Agree’.
We need to know the meaning too
Thus, we must teach with this method and here multiple inputs must be given from – stories, songs, poems, dramas. In each activity, he must LSRW – Listen, Speech, Read and Write each word with clarity and command over a period of time.
This is the result we must work towards.
100% clarity in sentence formation (Grammar)
Grammar in simple terms is really situational English.
With a different situation, the sentence changes in the verb’s place.
Thus we have
Active voice and Passive voice in Tenses and Modals and also ways of joining sentences. When each structure is learnt with around 25-30 examples and again, read and written, the students find it easy to observe grammar used in real life!
Thus his reading/listening or speaking/writing seems clear cut and sharp.
He notices ‘Grammar’ in stories/ text book/conversations, songs or AV content.
Lots of Listening/ Reading/ Speaking/ Writing.
This step really helps us!
The students should read/ listen – Text books, story books, essays, and especially the treasures contained in Literature. He should also freely check his English by writing a lot. Spoken English needs to be frequently used.
This is what is done in good schools including.
So every teacher should be conscious of this process and himself complete step 1 & 2 & 3 with the resources provided. Slowly, but surely, his mind and heart would open up to the power and beauty of Lnguage!!
The teaching of any other second language follows the same pattern.
The teaching of subjects
The most important thing to do is to implement TEXT BOOK READING in Social, Physical & Natural Sciences.
The text books have been prepared by eminent scholars/scientists who have an in-depth knowledge.
So the teacher himself should read the text book word by word and implement the same in students. Then the concept does unfold! The Text books have many activities and all of them should be done by students. It is part and parcel of the learning process.
The Text Book comprehension (TBC) can be checked by ‘TBC’ exam by converting each para into 2 – 3 questions. This can be done twice for 100% assimilation. This method ensures top marks/ranks too.
The teaching of mathematics.
Math too must follow the textbook. In the text book, each TOPIC HAS BEEN INTRODUCED IN A CONCEPTUAL WAY THAT ANY CHILD CAN UNDERSTAND.
This must be strictly followed. Also when each exercise has been completed, we must give an exam that mimics that exercise and check 100% skill development before we go to exercise 2 .
In this way all the exercises must be completed BY THE STUDENT HIMSELF AND WITH FULL UNDERSTANDING!!
Teaching for the preprimary
Pre primary is very demanding and very difficult, in one sense. It is very simple, beautiful and also energizing in another sense. It is this second sense that I want to share with you.
The child at the pre primary stage, what is called kindergarten, is a totally different entity than even normal children. He is prodigious, active, restless, full of expression and feeling. He is an absorbent mind as Montessori made clear.
If he is naturally and already that, then we seriously need to think of how to guide that enormous and deep energy into actions that he would love in a natural way AND LEARN!!
What a gift that would be to give him that!
Think of a day, a typical day, where the child sang a song, but with full expression and with full happiness!! He then did clay work, and really played with that clay to his heart’s content and learnt to make the shapes occuring in his brain. He ran/jumped/skipped/played physical games all with a purpose of becoming strong in the mind and the body!!
He leant letters but as a phonetic game that he could make sense of and repeated and repeated endlessly to his heart’s content etc
I think the point is clear. The child loves to learn!!
We need to simply grasp that and then the way we IMPLEMENT the systems of learning would be marvelous for children.
This requires a kind of childlike, almost a kind of very active and energetic quality in the teacher also.
Given this understanding all the methods that are standard, would come alive and if done this way, the child would develop with love in his heart and nil fear. So love has to be combined with a deep understanding of the child. Needless to say, this would develop the teacher’s personality in a great way!!
Let us now understand what basically at root, is the subject of English. Is English only a language? What role does literature play in shaping / educating a student?
These are the questions we answer in the following.
Like any language, English is development of LSRW skills.
And LSRW skills start from sounds (syllables), ‘letters’ and the spoken and written form, the basic vocabulary sets, and grasping the content in listening and reading.
The structure of English, the way the words are ordered and manipulated to express meaning is of course grammar.
Seen this way, grammar matters. It is good to know parts of speech, tenses, modals and methods of combining sentences etc.
In fact, English has a remarkably simple structure and can be easily learned. This point should be kept in mind when teaching EFL (English as a foreign language) students.
Thus a holistic approach of practicing grammar with vocabulary (basic sets), a significant amount of reading and listening (with 100% comprehension), practice of speaking and writing gives us the core, basic power of LSRW skills.
But English as a subject begins with basic LSRW skills NOT ends with them. English as a subject is mainly literature, which means reading and appreciating deeply many samples of poetry, short stories, novels and essays written by great masters. These masters express the common human condition but in a manner that has the power to reach deep into us, and make us very sensitive and actually fully human. This is the real, actual, profound function of literature in education.
Understanding the subject of Physical Science & Natural Sciences
Science is a wondrous subject but difficult to understand ESPECIALLY WITH THE KIND OF INPUT WE OURSELVES got in childhood.
Physical science needs us to observe the data from which we can see patterns and laws. The data is the world out there.
But that is not how Physical science is being taught. The laws and discoveries are stated logically but authoritatively. The student does not understand from what observations the laws have come. So it becomes strange and unbelievable. If you simply say that everything is made up of atoms, what does it really mean? True, everything is made of atoms, but do you feel it, do you see it? Is it real to you? It would be, if some observations/experiments were done, the same that the scientists had done then, to arrive at the laws!!
Even the experiments are taught as theory. But the Dalton’s law, for example, came from numerous experiments that showed clearly that 2 substances combine in definite ratios. Now, why must this be so, wondered the scientists.
And then Dalton realized, that there must be something very small combining with something small in the other substance!! And this small one and that small one had fixed masses and hence each small one from substance one combined with a small one from substance 2 and hence the fixed ratios as a whole!! The small particles, internally existing were called ATOMS.
Then so many more experiments were done and the whole Atomic structure was revealed and with that so many doors were opened!!
We understood what is light, sound, heat, chemical reactions, strength of materials, liquids and gases all at once, deeply!!
So, as we see, the observations have to come first, then the thinking and then the thrilling discovery. And then when we teach like that, it feels like a rediscovery. The same freshness is there, the same power and beauty!!
The best thing about the good textbooks, written by eminent educators and scientists, is that this same approach explained above has been followed and very well. So the teacher can himself engage in learning and teaching both at the same time.
This has to be strictly followed and we have explained the monitoring process later in a section.
Understanding the subject of social sciences
Social science, especially history, is about the world of men, and how we live socially, politically, economically and even the geography.
History in that sense is the most important subject because it teaches us from where we have all come so far!! The present world is the result of the past, and hence to know the past is to know really the roots of everything!!
We can know the roots of science and technology, religions, the traditional rules, the systems of governance, and even the existence of countries. It is a great power to have that information, and social science does that!!
In the textbooks too, within the limitations of space, the whole story of man does unfold!!
And hence, here too, textbook reading as a base and the first step, is a must.
Understanding the subject of Math
Math is not at all a subject of mechanical rules. Math is a powerful tool by which we handle large measurements and convey exactly, the relationships among various quantities. This is the reason why math is a part of almost every subject. All the tools that math has were created by geniuses that has transformed the world today. We did not go to the moon by using Physics alone, we needed lots of mathematical tools by which we could design a spaceship and project its trajectory. This example can be multiplied in so many situations in practical life. Math thus is a direct power and understanding of math in such a way would lead you to a great global career.
A Manual for Teachers, Parents, Educators &Self-Educators
UNIT - 1
INTRODUCTION WHAT FOR?
For an education that is totally dedicated
To bring out the hidden and
The deep talents within each child
With a respect for his independent mind,
And his ability to bloom,
To help him discover the power of knowledge,
Fall in love with the freedom of expression,
And above all, be a human being
Who is fearless, intelligent, active and joyous!!
You have become a teacher OR in a role as a teacher. It is always good to make the most of what we have. It is a very wise thing to do. In any case, we have become teachers. Why not make the most of it?
In the following, we will like to make clear, how anybody and everybody can be happy and passionate teachers.
First and foremost, let us talk a bit about motivation. Before we become clear about how to fully enjoy teaching, let us be clear about - what for?
We must strive to be far greater teachers simply because, inside you, inside anyone is a being who wants to be the best.
Each and every human being is born with a desire to achieve, to be powerful and to make his life meaningful.
Each person has that desire and deep discontent. It is simply your nature. That person inside, that real giant, if released, would give you the way of living. So try to better yourself, because it will give you real happiness and great self confidence.
Now, let us specifically come to subjects and why you need to be a master in your subject and how to be a master.
The greatest pride and security for any teacher is mastery of his subject. But what is mastery of a subject?
Normally, there is no teacher, who is not a master. Every teacher knows his subjects. Yet, there is a difference between ‘knowing a subject‘and ‘grasping a subject’.
That is the difference between an engineer and an inventor, a person who has merely completed his PG/PhD in science and a true scientist. It is the difference between a lawyer who is merely a practitioner and a top lawyer who can argue in the most difficult cases. It is the difference between a mother who loves and brings up her child and a mother who turns out a child who is highly mature, prodigious and driven from an early age.
We have all some acquaintance with great leaders in any field. They all have something driving them from within! What is it?
It is nothing more or less than actual real grasp of their subject/ field.
They have true and real knowledge.
So, what is this ‘real knowledge’? Let us now open our minds to this kind of in-depth knowledge which alone is real power.
Let us go to the source in each subject, English, physical sciences, natural sciences and social sciences (especially history). Let us try to find out what it means truly to understand each of the subjects above.