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A focus on humanizing education


New Delhi: In a communication received from the University Grants Commission (UGC), the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and the Distance Education Council (DEC). Readmore...
The teacher as a Choreographer PDF Print E-mail
The teacher artist has the rare acumen of when and how to place the child into his own creative circuit. He puts the child in driver's seat to choreograph his own dance. The teacher artist believes that it is the inborn trait of the children to be curious, and he takes it for granted that pupils coping with real problems and concerns will want to learn and explore. Pupils, who are clear in mind and psychologically safe and sound, are free to open out and express themselves creatively. Over the years, they learn to trust their own presence of mind and can undertake educational voyages on their own. Each child can find his own best level of functioning. Some children welcome direct coaching and filtered materials with key; others are soloists and need full autonomy in categorical terms. In classroom, each child has his own tune and style of dance, but the grand finale occurs only when all children are at one place.

If the ultimate function of education is to nurture individuals of autonomous kind, the environment must provide a divergent framework that enables children to become autonomous. Autonomous living requires both freedom and responsibility. In a humanistic classroom, all children need to be guided into increasing degrees of autonomy, but they must move according to their own stages of readiness and internal integration.

The teacher assists the child in keeping main ideas and events in focus. He fits lessons and materials into the context of an open environment, so that the materials are applied to the need and necessity of the child - not the child to the materials. He integrates each activity into the events of the classroom that are in progress. He fixes reasonable boundaries with in which children may explore and create. He organizes and earmarks space for work centers in a way that facilitates communication and the flow of classroom tasks. He foresees children's reactions to situations and adapts to moods and anxieties, or other manifestations. He stays at the background and moves children into the arena of action. He allows children to work according to their capacity and rhythm. He watches timing, errors and performance speed when boredom occurs. He decides when to redirect and rejuvenate an activity or when not to.

A good teacher does not draw out; he gives out, and what he gives out is love. And by love I mean approval, or if you like friendliness, good nature. The good teacher not only understands the child; he approves the child. ( A. S. Neil, The problem Teacher, p.11)