Building Thinking Classrooms

Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think.

Albert Einstein


‘What is my child actually learning in school?’
When we talk about learning, we do not mean learning about the rivers and mountains of the world, the world wars, the periodic table, laws of motion or the digestive system. This is just information, available to us at the click of a key on the internet.

Is my child asking questions, thinking, connecting dots? Is my child learning to become aware of her feelings and regulating them? Is my child learning to be empathetic, mindful, compassionate and ready to reach out to others when they need her?
Does she believe that she is an active changemaker who has the power to bring about change in her community? Is she learning to create and find a more innovative way to do things?

As parents, or even responsible members of the society we need to continuously ask us the above questions. As teachers our job calls for critical analysis on the outcome of education we are providing in our schools and colleges, and whether it is covering the essential questions raised above.

Role of Center for Developing Child, VGS

At VGS we give special emphasis to building a Thinking Classroom; a place which is emotionally safe and encourages innovation, learning and growth. A place where no child is invisible and all have their own spaces. A place where each child would love to walk into- without any inhibition or fear.

As teachers we must always remember- Our role is to teach children and not the subjects. Subjects need to be at the periphery, and the child needs to be at the centre of this learning.

The seven practices at the foundation of every ‘thinking classrooms’ are:

  • Planning
  • Hummingbird learning
  • Letting them take charge of their learning
  • Give them choices
  • Guide on the side rather than sage on stage
  • Play and creativity
  • Smorgasbord for all kinds of minds

If I can’t learn the way you teach, can you teach me the way I learn?

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