A Few Old-School Classroom Practices and Techniques
02 April, 2020
In the age of advancing educational technology and personalised learning, A Few Old-School Classroom Practices and techniques are obviously taking a backseat. Some are even calling for the total abolition of those practices as the modern ones are research-backed and possess proven effectiveness. However, not all old school classroom practices have lost their touch. Advancement cannot be so rapid that students are made to jump rather than transit. Even the best of modern learning practices have their share of drawbacks and nothing can exist in totality abolishing the existing. Here is a list of the old-school practices that the top 20 schools in Gurugram still hold onto for the mentioned reasons. The benefits of these are too profound to ignore completely.
Face-to-face parent-teacher’s meetings
Our lives have surely become busier. But a phone call or a detailed email cannot substitute the essence of a face-to-face conversation. Even a 5-minute discussion that parents used to have with teachers while going to schools to pick up their children at the end of every day was way more effective than today’s method of daily text messages. Face-to-face parent-teacher’s meetings need to stay and cannot go digital from all sides. There will be exceptions. Not always can parents and teachers align their times. But the effort must come from both sides to prioritise face-to-face meetings and not fall back to the available convenience.
Reading aloud in class
Teachers now look to fit media into their lessons, gamify a certain portion, conduct informal assessments and make room for discussions. Then, there is the actual lesson that must happen amidst all these and in the struggle to accommodate all, reading aloud is losing its place. It might not take the throne, as it once used to, but it must exist on the side-lines. Reading aloud in front of the full class builds confidence, improves comprehension, and boosts verbal and listening skills in a simple way. In this era of silent information consumption through audios and videos, reading needs to co-exist on an equal footing to give the mind some space to absorb information slowly as well.
Greeting the class
Movies and TV are increasingly showing classes where teachers merely walk in and start teaching. There are no greetings exchanged, there are no light conversations. This is a direct result of the educational burden that the teachers have on their plates as the modern curriculum is more elaborate today than any other time in history. However, the play schools in Gurgaon still maintains the greeting routine and continues it to the senior grades as well as the exchange of pleasantries daily humanises the entire process. When students feel a personal connection to their teachers, they will willingly accept what the teacher has to say. A simple good morning or how are you today can do that.
Inquiry-based learning, application-based learning, project-based learning, and collaborative learning – these are quite popular terms in the education domain for obvious reasons but the debate to replace direct lectures with these does not hold any substance. Direct lectures hold an ill reputation owing to the fact that teachers previously used to follow the textbooks strictly. Nothing beyond, no extra discussion. But modern teachers have evolved the concept of direct lectures. Today, even when there are no questions or projects or discussions, the direct lectures are still engaging where the teacher is speaking and the students are listening. This is one old school classroom practice that cannot go out of date.
Awards, prizes, and incentives are frowned upon in modern education as studies have shown that they do nothing to increase students’ motivation to learn anything. Trophies act as external gratifications that dip intrinsic curiosity and incentive-driven learning tends to remain shallow. Holding that thought in place, hardly anyone can deny that children do need some awards from time to time. They need rewards as tokens of appreciation for their grit, determination, and good deed. Yes, not always do students have to receive prizes but sometimes they need that validation to develop. Any top school in the list of CBSE schools in Gurgaon will still hold award ceremonies to appreciate the work of its students.
True progress always happens when it acknowledges the relevance of the past. And that is what the Alpine Convent School believes to the core as every strategy has something to contribute to the students’ academic development. Alpine remains old-school wherever it is necessary. It does not seek to change anything when it is already working. Sure, the space for modification always remains but total elimination only happens when the tactic has effectively lost its ground. Schools like Alpine know how to combine the best of both worlds – the technological era of today and evolution-based concepts of the past.