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Planning stage I

Planing Stage I: Understanding Children

Very young children are self-centred. Many of them love to talk – mostly about themselves or their experiences. Many others are shy and don’t open up. Factor these in to ensure that all students are comfortable in the learning situation.

Children are comfortable if they are not confused, threatened or bored. Not understanding what is happening in the class is the first sign of discomfort. Left unattended, children become more and more restless. This is when they learn to disturb the class; complain; sleep; daydream; act truant;…

Young children are very afraid of displeasing elders. This fear starts at home where children are generally blackmailed into obeying elders. Children must be encouraged to speak out their mind and teachers should think twice before imposing their hopes and expectations on children. Will this not lead to under-performance? Not if teachers succeed in mapping the real potentials of children.

Children are bored when asked to do meaningless (to the child) tasks or when the class work is dull or trivial. A popular strategy to overcome this is to bring in the fun element. But even the most imaginative fun activity cannot camouflage a dull work. Children will see through this easily. The best strategy is to be truthful and honest.

Children are confused when they don’t follow the teacher or when the teacher does not see their viewpoint. Under such circumstances, they are at their wits end because they are incapable of understanding that the “teacher is not understanding them”.

No matter how hard teachers try, they cannot cater to all children simultaneously. The only hope is in fostering group work and getting children to help each other. Cooperation is possible only if teachers encourage students to stop being petty, nasty and selfish – traits that get reinforced by unhealthy competition.

 

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