The Progressive Teacher Vol 06 Issue 01

ICSLMAGS

This issue of The Progressive Teacher focuses on "Futuristic School Cultures". In addition to articles by educators and school leaders, this issue introduces several new features including "World Education News", "Career Tips", "Photo Feature", and "Festivals of the World". Happy Reading!

Life with Values

This Value Education series for classes 1 to 8 aims at augmenting capabilities, attitudes

and skills that would endure throughout the learner’s lifetime.

Besides values and life skills, adequate coverage has also been given to current topics

like emotional intelligence and judicious use of social media.

Key Features

More Books In This Series

Learner-centric approach with graded and

structured chapters

Varied range of texts from diverse sources

for a holistic approach

Exercises and assessments structured to test

multiple levels of intelligence

Classroom activities to work towards the

building of an interactive class

Inviting parents to participate as values are

embedded in every sphere of the human

thought process and action

The series seeks to empower learners to

be active contributors in making a better

society on the principles of tolerance,

secularism, peace and fellow-feeling.

Author

Virender Kapoor

Package Coursebooks and

Teacher’s Manual

Subject

Classes 1–8

Board

Value Education

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Price ` 230–265

Life with Values

Teacher’s Manual

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Class

Life with Values, a series on Value Education for classes 6 to 8

is designed to be an extension of the Life with Values books

for classes 1 to 5. It adheres to the Curriculum on Education

for Peace prescribed in the National Curriculum Framework

(NCF). The series aims at augmenting capabilities, attitudes

and skills that would endure throughout the learner’s lifetime

by regulating and guiding their behaviour and actions on a

day-to-day basis.

Also Available

Key features of the Teacher’s Manual:

Web Support &

Teacher's Manuals

for all classes

• Guidelines for teachers for tackling the chapters

• Post reading questions based on the text

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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK

Welcome to the new academic year!

As the examination results begin to pour in, you will discover

a few surprises and shocks amidst the expected delights.

The deviation between expected scores and actual scores

is difficult to predict because of the ‘hidden forces’ behind

students’ performances. One of the strongest such hidden forces is

“School Culture”. In this issue, we will focus on some aspects of school

cultures that may help us prepare students for an undefined, unpredictable

future.

A school’s culture, in my opinion, is defined by the thinking and behaviour

of all stakeholders. It is defined, put into practice, and nurtured by

members of the management and administration with complete support

of the teachers and parents. Establishing the right culture takes a lot of

effort, time and patience. The positive impact of the right school culture

is powerful enough to justify everyone’s efforts and inputs.

Can you describe the culture of our school in less than 100 words? Ask

each teacher, student, and staff member in your school to answer this

question in less than 5 minutes. Get ready for a lot of surprises and

shocks as you browse through the responses. This exercise will allow

you to gauge how effectively your school culture has been established.

It may also prompt you to introspect if the culture aligns with the vision

of your school and the needs of the future. After all, cultures evolve over

time. And, the start of a new academic year seems to be a good time to

initiate this change.

The Progressive Teacher, your favorite magazine is also ready to evolve.

Succeeding Mrs. Rita Wilson, the founding-editor of the magazine, is a

daunting challenge for me because of the high standards of excellence she

has set in place. Under her guidance, the magazine has become the most

trusted source of inspirations and knowledge for teachers across India.

I hope I am able to continue her legacy forward with the same spirit and

passion. On behalf of our readers, contributors, and the production team,

I thank Mrs. Wilson for her contribution to the magazine.

Over the next few editions, you will notice several changes to the format

and content of the magazine. The size has been reduced to increase

mobility while the attractive layouts and designs will make the content

more appealing. The content will be more relevant, beneficial and

useful as it focuses on the school leadership domains identified by the

International Council for School Leadership. Taking note of the rising

amount of content that teachers are consuming online, we are piloting the

interactive e-version of the magazine. Hopefully, you will love it. Your

suggestions to improve the magazine are most valuable. Please do spare

a minute to write an email to editor@progressiveteacher.in

MAR/APR, 2019 Vol. 06 Issue 01

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to the exclusive jurisdiction of competent

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Happy reading!

Dr. Atul Nischal

Editor-in-Chief

www.icsl.org.in


CONTENTS

MARCH/APRIL 2019

06

WORLD

EDUCATION

NEWS

10. Help Students Develop A

Positive Self-Worth

Sarabjeet Kaur

13. Involve Parents in Building

School Cultures

Anju Pande

14. Addressing the Futuristic

Trends in Education

Ritwiz Gaur/Ashi Gaur

18. Career Tips for Teachers

Feature

20

INTERVIEW:

EVGENY BARANOVSKY

Unfold the Mysteries

of the Future of

Education with a

Global Perspective of

Pedagogical Best

Practices

23. The 21st Century Teacher

Gunjan Nijhawan

24. A School Website: An

Integral Aspect Of Future

School Cultures

Ashwani Duggal

26. Photo Feature:

Unveiling Of

“Lead The Change”

30. Expand your Vision to

Redefine Schools of the

Future

Poonam Kumar Mendiratta

32

CHARACTER

EDUCATION:

A NEED OF THE

HOUR

Aditi Sharma

34. A Peep into The Future

Ajit P. Thosar

36. We Need To We Look At

Things

Roli Tripathi

37. School News: Suncity

School Represents India

at International Gokcan

College Children’s Folk Dance

Festival

38. Spiritual Intelligence Should

Balance Technology

Arun Kumar Das


40

ALIGN CULTURE

TO THE NEEDS

OF THE PEOPLE

Sudeshna Sanchety

42. Homage To The Martyrs

Tina Olyai

44

HABITS AND

BEHAVIOUR

REFLECT

EDUCATION

Prasanti Shadangi

46. A Culture Of Righteousness

And Resilience

Sharda Mahajan

48. Creating A Culture Of Caring

Rashmi Jain Bayati

50. True Essence Of Education

Komal Ravi Shah

51. School News: Environment

Protection - A Road Show

52

INCLUSIVE AND

LIFE-ORIENTED

SCHOOL

CULTURES

Dr. Jeny Rapheal

54. Some Simple Ways To Build

A Positive School Culture

Yogita Krishna

57. A Teacher By Accident

Rubina Majid

58. From The School Leaders’

Blog: Leaders Transform

G. Balasubramanian

61. Festivals of The World:

Ramadan

62. Book Review: Honest

Portrayal of Hostel Life!


WORLD EDUCATION NEWS

ROMANIA

Open Books Night

to Improve Reading Habits

Romanians are among the least avid readers in the European Union,

but an Open Books Night to promote reading now in its seventh year

has proved a big hit.

This year’s event attracted thousands of visitors, from young Harry

Potter fans to seasoned history buffs.

A 2018 survey by the country’s national culture research institute showed

that 69 percent of Romanians had not read a single book over the last

Many rural homes still do not have electricity. ‘Solar cow’ charging

stations are installed in schools and pupils are given a milk-bottleyear.

“An economy, a country can only grow if it has an educated public,

and ... anywhere I look people become smarter with good teachers and

books,” said Dan Vidrascu, general manager at Romanian publishing

house Litera, that organizes the Open Books Night.

“This is a very good step to get people to read more,” said high school

student Andreea Negutu, who was more than half way through Haruki

Murakami’s “1Q84”.

Courtesy: Reuters

AFRICA

Solar Cow

Improves School Attendence

South Korean solar firm Yolk has designed a cow-shaped solar power

station for schools in Sub-Saharan Africa that can be used to charge

power banks for families while their children are in class.

shaped power bank which they plug into to charge if they attend class

and take home at the end of the school day to provide households with

electricity. Each milk bottle contains electricity to provide up to 10 hours

of light.

Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation

6 | www.progressiveteacher.in


ENGLAND

Free Sanitary Products

for Primary School Pupils

Pupils will be able to get free sanitary products at all the 20,000 primary

schools in England from 2020, the government announced on Tuesday,

after warnings girls were being forced to skip classes due to being unable

to afford them.

“This is fantastic news... Period poverty should never be a barrier

to education,” said Amika George, who founded the #FreePeriod

campaign pushing for free menstrual products for schoolgirls from lowincome

families.

Some 10 percent of girls in Britain have been unable to afford

sanitary products, according to a survey by the children’s charity Plan

International in 2017, with campaigners warning many are forced to

miss classes as a result.

Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation

SOUTH AFRICA

Water-storing Football Fields

to Improve School Attendance

Mohlapi, a math and science teacher at Boshoek Primary School in

South Africa, often had empty seats in his classroom when children

stayed home sick with diarrhea, headaches and stomach cramps. But

when a football field that stores and filters rainwater was installed at the

school in 2015, he noticed that the health and class attendance of his

pupils improved. “This was a lesson to me that water and education are

linked.” said Mohlapi.

Dutch engineers visiting South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World

Cup noticed two things: South Africans’ love for football and the

country’s water scarcity. That led to the GreenSource initiative and

since then nine fields have been installed across the country.

The fields can store and clean up to 17 million litres of rainwater

annually, or nearly 2,000 litres per hour, while children use them to

play football. Currently, each field provides water to an estimated 2,400

individuals.

“I use the (football) field and the clean water as a classroom. I teach

them about science, technology and nature in way that is real to them.

Plus, the field keeps them active,” Mohlapi said. “Active bodies, active

minds.”

Courtesy: Thomson Reuters Foundation

www.icsl.org.in | 7


WORLD EDUCATION NEWS

INDONESIA

Poised for

Education Reforms

Foreign investors desperate for more access to Indonesia’s huge market

can take comfort from the re-election of Joko Widodo as president for a

second and final term.

A senior government official said a big part of Joko’s second-term reform

drive would be opening education to foreign players and making the

sector a business.

Indonesia’s education system has long been identified as substandard.

Although 20 percent of the government budget is allocated to education,

international surveys show maths, reading and science skills among

secondary students badly lag those of the country’s neighbours. Business

leaders say poor schooling and a weak tertiary education sector also deter

investment.

Courtesy: Reuters

CHINA

To Spur Rural Development

Send Student Volunteers

China aims to send millions of students to work as volunteers in rural

communities to narrow a yawning gap between rural and urban regions.

The drive reflects the desire to raise the status of rural areas, where 577

million people live or which they call home, to avert a risk of social

unrest, boost consumption and investment, and rein in growth of big

cities. Such a move would once have been unthinkable for a nation that

considers urbanization a ticket to prosperity.

The Communist Youth League aims to organize more than 10 million

volunteering trips by 2022, seeking to deepen a “rural rejuvenation”

drive. Students taking such trips, mostly during summer holidays, will

spread knowledge on topics from science to finance and environment

protection, besides joining in cultural activities and helping in educational

and medical services.

Courtesy: Reuters

8 | www.progressiveteacher.in


HELP STUDENTS

DEVELOP A

POSITIVE SELF-WORTH

Sarabjeet Kaur

Our childhood has a long-lasting

impact on our lives. It shapes

us as a person, defines our

relationships and sometimes

leaves an echoing grief lingering on for

the rest of our lives. In middle school,

my relentless struggle with mathematics

and fear of public speaking emanated

in me a deep feeling of not being good

enough. To add to my misery, growing up

as a younger sibling of a gorgeous sister

made me feel invisible or that is what I

at least prayed to become. Gradually, the

demons of being flawed, imperfect and

worthless started taking control of my

mind and the definition of my teen life

became, “not good enough”! As a young

girl I craved to be noticed, but teachers

found it convenient to ignore me.

If we look around, the struggle is pervasive.

We witness people with stupendous

careers, stunning beauty, and endless

bank balances hustling and fighting for

something that we all have but seldom

embrace, self-worth! It is not uncommon

to hear about a top performing student,

falling into depression after scoring less

in one semester or a celebrity who leads

a life full of stardom dying in loneliness.

We struggle because we try to find our

worthiness in the eyes of others and in

outer accomplishments.

“ It is easier to build

strong children

than to repair

broken men!

Frederick Douglass“

10| www.progressiveteacher.in


As an educationist, my heart goes out to

the beautiful young souls I see struggling

to be loved, appreciated and accepted for

who they are. As educators, we not only

have the opportunity to touch lives but also

have the power to transform them. There

are some conscious efforts that we need to

take to ensure that we raise a generation

of children who would not lose their

self-worth because of a few failures. A

generation which is resilient and is aware

of its imperfections but at the same time

have self-belief and confidence.

Here are some suggestions that we can

follow to help students develop a positive

self-concept and ultimately become

confident.

Teaching self-compassion

As early as preschool and kindergarten,

we teach students to be nice to others,

to share, but we rarely teach them to be

kind to themselves. With the power of selfcompassion,

we can move through difficult

times with ease, and achieve the goals

we have set without getting stumped by

obstacles. Accepting flaws, imperfections

and mistakes is an important dimension to

develop self-worth. This could be achieved

by teachers not being overly critical

about students and also by having regular

activities which focuses on developing

mindfulness, meditation and gratefulness

in students. The teachers should encourage

children to write meaningful reflections

through which they can be taught to listen

to their inner voice and fight the critic

inside. This will help in reducing anxiety

and making peace with self and others,

hence enhancing self-worth.

Avoiding social comparison

Adolescence craves for novelty and

popularity. There is a close association

between social media and depression,

anxiety, loneliness, and FOMO (fear of

missing out) amongst teens. Regardless of

what teens choose to do online, many of

our schools are also structured for social

comparison, like labeling and grouping

students based on their abilities are some

examples.

As teachers we can consciously reduce

social comparison in schools if we:

• Provide opportunities to revise and

redo assignments,

• Avoid over-praising or over-criticizing

children for their abilities or lack of them,

• Focus on individual growth and

improvement, and

• Acknowledge small successes.

Nurturing individual talent

Not every child needs to excel in academics.

Schools should not only recognize individual

talents but also nurture the uniqueness in

each child. Many children lack self-worth

or confidence when they are judged with

universal parameters of academic excellence

and their own talents go unexplored leading

to developing frustration. Talk to children

about their personal values and priorities,

celebrate their talents, and tailor activities

and instruction around their abilities as much

as possible to give them opportunities to

succeed.

Creating opportunities for random act

of kindness

When teens reach out to others, they are

more likely to feel better about themselves.

Researchers have found that adolescents

who are kind and helpful in general have

higher self-esteem. Schools can take

initiative by giving them opportunities

and projects involving contributions to

the community. When teens regularly

contribute to a larger cause, they learn

to think beyond themselves, which may

ultimately help them to be more positive,

empowered, and purposeful.

As many teens struggle with anxiety and

perfectionism, we need to help and cheer

them on as they develop positive mental

habits and strengths that will support them

throughout their lives. We all are imperfect

but still are worthy of all the beautiful

things in life.

www.icsl.org.in | 11


12| www.progressiveteacher.in


Involve Parents

in Building School Cultures

Anju Pande

Education is a powerful weapon

to change the world, and in

our class rooms lies the future.

When young children enter

schools, they are like wet clay that seeks

to be moulded and carved into beautiful

sculptures. Schools, teachers and parents

together are those sculptors who shape the

young minds and are responsible for their

future. The new age of technology that

our kids are entering into, is experiencing

incessant use of computers, calculators,

smart phones, drones, robots. Advanced

software technologies are replacing

humans with machines. ‘Artificial

intelligence’ is the new buzzword and all

kinds of information is available at the

click of a button.

The need of the hour is therefore, to

halt, ponder, and find ways of giving

our society a progressive, positive and

creative demographic dividend. Schools’

vision needs to be clear. Schools need to

strive to build a culture, an environment

of positivism. The priorities need to be

set right. It is the beliefs and vision that

the school instils in their children and

teachers will become the backbone of the

school. Learning is always better when

there is a feeling of belonging, well-being

and secure surroundings. Only when

teachers and children take pride in being

a part of the institution, will they work as

a team and strive towards its success.

The unharnessed young minds are always

ready to learn and question and their teachers

are their role models. Teachers must realise

that children learn more by observing them

rather than by mere lectures. Good teachers

must teach by example, by walking their

talk they become personalities who others

want to follow.

It is important to inculcate in children a

love for learning which will lead to new

inventions and creative ideas; this is the

need of the hour. Creativity and critical

thinking must be encouraged. This will

require change in teaching strategies.

Kids should be taught the techniques to

access information. New gadgets should

be provided. Digital tools like Google

Classroom, which is a digital platform

for schools designed to simplify the

assigning, grading and distribution of

school assignments and papers, should

be used. It will save time and provide

easy means of communication between

teachers and students.

We cannot ignore the third most important

arm that plays a vital role in bringing up

children, their parents. The culture and

positive environment that we intend to

build in our schools has to be developed

in cooperation with the parents. It is

important for parents to keep a happy,

calm and welcoming house. Assurance

and involvement of parents towards

their children is essential. Interaction of

teachers with parents at regular intervals,

and organizing parent orientation meetings

and parent counselling is imperative. The

feeling of belonging, care and security will

boost children’s self-esteem. This, in turn,

will give rise to strong personalities. The

reverberating positivity exhibited by these

bundles of energy when they first step into

a school, must be provided a welcoming

arena. The day we succeed in building such

a culture, education will surely become

a weapon and the world will definitely

change for the better.

“ Interaction of

teachers with

parents at regular

intervals, and

organizing parent

orientation

meetings and

parent counselling

is imperative.


www.icsl.org.in | 13


Addressing the

FUTURISTIC

Trends in

EDUCATION

Ritwiz Gaur & Ashi Gaur

There is an old Hebrew proverb,

“Do not confine your children

to your own learning for they

were born in another time”.

Students today need new methods,

innovative technologies and a renewed

vision of ‘well-equipped’ schooling. It

is time to move standards to a new level

and to foster an unprecedented school

environment for students to grow into

successful adults. John Dewey aptly

remarked, “If we teach today’s students

as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them

of tomorrow”.

In today’s fast changing times, students

need to learn to think critically and

creatively, embrace diversity and

ambiguity, and create as well as

consume information. They need to be

resourceful and self-reliant, while also

be skilled at collaboration and group

processes. They need to understand the

many “languages” of modernity, such as

mathematics, science, and technology

and also be fluent in varied forms of

communication, such as persuasion,

presentation, and self-expression.

For a futuristic schooling, “Democratic

Education” may prove to be an idealistic

reality in which democracy will both

be a goal and a method of instruction.

It brings democratic values to education

and includes self-determination within a

community of equals, as well as values

like justice, respect and trust.

We also need to look at the age-old

connection between strong minds

and strong bodies which has always

made good sense. The culture in

futuristic school has to rely upon

14| www.progressiveteacher.in

“whole environments for the whole

child” concept. If we want our children

to have sound and agile minds, we need

to help them achieve sound and agile

bodies. To evolve the “whole child”,

schools must devote themselves to

more than the mind-body connection

alone. They must attend to the

emotional and social learning needs of

children, as well as to more traditional

objectives of academic achievement

and physical education.

Recent research reveals that schools

are currently “hindered” by inflexible

graduation, time and attendance

requirements. New measures of school

schedule and time-table must be

devised to meet the new challenges of

futuristic schooling that emphasizes

real-world learning and allows students

to pursue alternative approaches outside

the classroom to acquire knowledge

and skills. Futuristic learning cannot

fully flower when embedded in a rigid

19th century calendar. More flexible


units of time than the typical 35-40

minutes class period are required for

project-based work or interdisciplinary

themes. Schools are bound to adopt

to block scheduling to create bigger,

more adjustable time slots for student

learning, and for teaching planning and

professional development

Educational institutions also need to focus

on integrating sustainable development

into the everyday lives of school children

and teach them about handling uncertainty

and risks which are associated with climate.

Schools have to make the approach and

attitude for sustainable development an

intrinsic part of pedagogy, classroom

transaction, curriculum and school policies

and its execution.

New digital technologies have

revolutionized “learning experience”

in today’s education world. Educators

and transaction facilitators need to

integrate technology seamlessly into

the curriculum instead of viewing it

as an “add-on, an after-thought, or an

event”. Research shows that student

learning gains are greatest when

technology is fully integrated with

“content, sound principles of learning,

and high-quality teaching” – all of

which must be aligned with assessment

and accountability. In fact, conceptually,

technology is knocking at the doorstep

of current pedagogy and in no time,

technological invasion - in the form

of e-books, epistemic games, probes

& sensors, better simulations and

models, storytelling and multimedia,

design programs and tools for creative

expression - will form the intrinsic

and integrated form of classroom

transaction. Life and career skills are

honed by students’ experiences with

communication, presentation, and

productivity technologies. Further,

the “new rationale & inquisitive breed

of learners” will learn very valuable

research skills which they can transplant

at high levels of education, at universities

and beyond. Technology can be used to

enhance critical thinking and critical

literacy skills, evaluating the legitimacy

and accuracy of online content is the

central part of futuristic education.

Furthermore, a knowledge centre, or

media library should be the nerve centre

of the school which must play multiple

roles: carrying out its traditional role

of bringing information resources to

learners; and providing the tools and

infrastructure that enable learners

to analyse, synthesize, and evaluate

resources in ways that demonstrate

learning and create new knowledge.

These centres must also connect

students to the wider world beyond the

school by providing the audio and video

communications technologies that build

bridges between people and places all

over the globe. Hence, “learners of

today” need access to the digital tools

and media-rich resources that will help

them explore, understand, and express

themselves in the world they will inherit

tomorrow.

Research shows that an educational

community imbued with a positive

culture is more likely to foster innovation

and excellence. Leading educators such

as Deborah Meier and Ronald Ferguson

have shown that a “climate of mutual

respect” and “trust” among children and

adults is essential to an effective and

equitable school.

Today we are at an incredible but

transitional moment of opportunities; but

our ethical learning transactions and its

assessment are subjected to antiquated,

arbitrary, and confusing standards.

In fact every school and educational

institute must devise and develop its own

ethical curriculum for students based on

the specific needs and suiting specific

moral deviation. The school curriculum

and system has to be so devised which

incorporates character building as an

integral part of the curriculum.


Promote

interaction

and a sense of

community that

enable formal

and informal

learning.


www.icsl.org.in | 15


Since the teachers play a major role in

education of children, their own education

becomes a matter of vital concern.

Teacher education must, therefore, create

necessary awareness among teachers

about their new roles and responsibilities.

Education of teachers needs to strengthen

and stress upon the main attributes of

a profession inculcating the intrinsic

and extrinsic values of professional

competency, professional commitment

and professional ethics

Teachers of futuristic schools have to

shoulder more responsibility in the

digitally distracted world. In order

to keep up with technology and the

ever-increasing global infrastructure,

educating teachers and students on cyber

ethics becomes critical.

According to Norton, “acceptable

behaviour on the internet is very

much the same as acceptable

behaviour in everyday life.” But the

new vocabulary of “cyber ethics”

is catching many older teachers off

guard, requiring a crash course in

internet communication. In order for

students to receive that education,

each teacher needs to go through

adequate training in order to provide a

solid foundation to each student.

School learning environment must

essentially be “inviting, respectful,

supportive, inclusive and flexible

for student success”. The adult-child

relationship has to be more religiously

re-visited so that every school provides

an environment in which each child

has positive, nurturing relationships

with caring adults. The school must

promote a healthy, active lifestyle

where students are encouraged to make

responsible choices.

Learning environment in futuristic

schools, as an aligned and synergistic

system of systems, must encompass

creating learning practices, human

support and physical environments

that will support the teaching and

learning of futuristic skill outcomes.

Further, it should support professional

learning communities that establish

a culture of shared leadership,

collegial relationships, and support for

constructive change and diversity and

enable educators to collaborate, share

best practices, and integrate 21st century

skills into classroom practice. Such an

environment fosters learning tailored to

the needs and wants of the individual.

Presently, more often schools have been

silos of isolation – classrooms isolated

from other classrooms, teachers isolated

from other teachers, schools isolated

from the outside world. Research

shows, when people are connected

through technology or collaborative

arrangements, their effect are multiplied,

for communities “can accomplish goals

that would be impossible through more

isolated efforts”. Experts say futuristic

learning must take place in contexts

that “promote interaction and a sense

of community that enable formal and

informal learning. John Dewey long

ago conceived of schools as “miniature

communities” that mirrored the social

relations and activities of the larger

society in which they were set.

Schools cannot close the achievement

gap without partnering with families.

The most effective “parent involvement”

is distinctively marked by the factors

viz. all parents have strengths and know

they are important; all parents can

contribute to their children’s education

and the school; all parents can learn

how to help their children in school; all

parents have useful ideas and insights

about their children.

To summarize the learning environment,

quote of ‘A New Day for Learning’ is quite

apt, “What counts is not the time spent in

the school building, but the learning that

the student masters.” Futuristic learning

environments promote this integration of

formal and informal learning, for “when it

comes to learning, there is no final bell”.

16| www.progressiveteacher.in


www.icsl.org.in | 17


18| www.progressiveteacher.in


www.icsl.org.in | 19


INTERVIEW

EVGENY BARANOVSKY, Chairman, EIED

Unfold the Mysteries of the Future of Education with a

Global Perspective of

Pedagogical Best Practices

European Institute

for Education

Development

(Poland) is

organizing Global International

Pedagogical Forum (IPF-

2019) in association with NL

Stichting Education Support

(Netherlands) from 4th – 8th

November 2019. The forum

to be held simultaneously in

Helsinki, Singapore, Warsaw,

Washington D.C. and Berlin,

will see a participation of

more than 2000 teachers from

different countries. Millions of

teachers across the globe are

expected to sign-up for online

live access of the proceedings

of the forum. EIED has tied up

with International Council for

School Leadership (ICSL) to

encourage teachers from India

to participate actively in the

IPF-2019. The Progressive

Teacher interviewed Evgeny

Baranovsky, Chairman, EIED

to know more about the

organization and the forum.

20| www.progressiveteacher.in


What are the different activities that

EIED undertakes for professional

development of teachers?

EIED and NL Stichting Education

Support (SES) based in Netherlands

organizes school teachers’ international

experience exchange. We actively

communicate with teachers’

associations from various countries,

national governments, and diplomats

to identify and contact teachers in their

country who create and implement

the most progressive educational

methodologies and who are able

to share this experience with their

colleagues from different countries.

How did the idea of Global

International Pedagogical Forum

2019 originate?

For more than ten years I have been

organizing international pedagogical

forums in various countries. Regardless

of the forum’s location, the issues which

teachers face in their daily practice

are more or less the same. A teacher

wants to teach a class effectively.

A teacher wants to educate a kid.

Therefore, teachers communicate

with each other with pleasure, sharing

their experiences, education systems,

and innovative practices that they can

implement. Nowadays, technology

has made it possible to collect and

distribute the best teaching practices

among teachers around the whole

world to give them an opportunity to

easily use these in their classrooms.

What was the rationale behind

choosing the locations for IPF 2019?

We would like to examine and

present the experiences of not only

those countries where education is

considered as the best in the World

like Singapore and Finland, but also

countries that are facing various issues

with schools and to examine how

teachers in those countries solve them.

As we know, Germany is witnessing

a strong demand for methodologies

to educate pupils of migrants; the

USA has a burning issue of bullying at

schools and in Poland school teachers’

strike is at an unprecedented scale.

IPF 2019 is definitely poised to

become the World’s largest education

conference in terms of participation

of teachers. Do you feel that the scale

of IPF 2019 is over ambitious?

No, I do not feel the scale of the event

is over ambitious. However, the aim

of this event is very ambitious. The

real ambition is not in the number of

venues but in the desire to help each

teacher in every country by providing

the best educational content. The

content generated during IPF 2019 will

be a huge encyclopedia of educational

methodologies and techniques from all

over the world. This pool of knowledge

will allow teachers to increase the

effectiveness of classes and improve the

quality of school education.

How many countries are expected to

participate in IPF 2019?

Almost half of the existing countries

have already sent or have agreed to

send their list of participants. But, we

are aiming to find the best teachers

in every country. We believe that a

dedicated teacher is the one who raises

and educates future presidents and

super businessmen not in a greenhouse

of the government but without any

government support. We are hoping

to find such teachers in all countries

despite the political regime and

economic situation of the country.

How can teachers from India

participate?

We are expecting about 90,000 teachers

from India to benefit from IPF 2019.

To participate, teachers will have to fill

a registration form on the ICSL website

www.icsl.org.in Once their application

is processed, they will be able to join

the live stream of all sessions of the

forum at any of the venues or access the

recorded broadcasts.

Will teachers be able to access the IPF

2019 content after the forum is over?

Yes, teachers can access all the content

and recordings of the forum till

September 2020. This gives them the

freedom to review the best practices

and innovative methodologies at their

own pace and use the same in their

classrooms.

How will teachers benefit from

participating in the IPF 2019?

I strongly believe that teachers will

get exposure to a wide spectrum

of commonly faced universal

challenges in education such as

inclusive education, working with

underprivileged children, combating

violence and aggression in schools,

identifying and working with gifted

children, modern motivation systems,

and advanced methods of teaching and

raising children.

The main aim of the Global

International Pedagogical Forum is to

raise the status of teaching profession.

Teacher is the person most responsible

for the future of the world. Teacher

is the one who motivates young

people to solve global problems and

inculcates innovative ideas. Teachers

affect younger generations for years by

forming the vision of the future and

attitude towards current events.

Participating teachers will learn about

the different ways of resolving global

issues and developing values and skills,

required in the contemporary society.

IPF 2019 will also address the gaps

in the common understanding of

goals of education in contemporary

ever-changing global environment.

Educational programs of schools and

universities in several countries do

not meet requirements of the modern

world. This results in discrepancy

between knowledge of high school

graduates and university expectations,

and between skillsets of bachelors

and employers’ requirements. A

discrepancy between students’ grades

and their real skills leads to not only

negatively impact the labor market

but also effects the image of higher

education, decreases the status of

teacher’s profession and education in

general. IPF-2019, in turn, promotes

a totally opposite trend in education

development and indeed increases the

status of school teacher.

www.icsl.org.in | 21


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The 21st Century Teacher

Gunjan Nijhawan

Teachers play a crucial role in shaping

lives that impact society, nations and

the world . As societies get besieged by

changes and ever-new complexities,

teachers need to be equipped with

the knowledge, skills and attitudes for

constantly redefining themselves.

Besides having updated content

knowledge of the subjects that they teach,

teachers need the knowledge to take

students beyond their books, providing a

holistic perspective.

To address the diverse multicultural

needs of the classroom, teachers must

possess knowledge of different cultures.

This will help them to understand the

dynamics of the classroom and student`s

individual learning needs.

Many teachers have theoretical

knowledge of the content areas but find

it difficult to relate and connect the

theories to real life. Teachers need to

discover learning processes that lead to

practical engagements and experiences.

Another pivotal area relates to the changing

techniques of teaching, specifically

teaching with the aid of technology.

Today, the students are in an environment

driven by technological advancements.

Asking students to type assignments on

computers; listening to audio books; using

phonics apps; are some regular classroom

practices to enhance learning.

Skilled teachers make significant

contributions in the development of

children and inculcate in them skills

and knowledge to face the challenges of

the world. Teachers should be able to

synthesize and evaluate the standards

and conditions of their classrooms. A

teacher`s metacognition will help her

to analyze not only her own thought

process but also respect and consider the

different thought processes of students.

In order to understand the intricacies of

`how of learning`, teachers must have

skills for interpreting learning.

Communication is the essence of

learning and only teachers who have a

good command over the language can

get across to the students in an effective

manner. Teachers must be able to express

their ideas clearly and logically. Proactive

communication skills will enable

teachers to handle conflicting situations

in the classrooms and build healthy

relationships with their students. Clearly

communicating the expectations of a

task; conducting comprehension checks

for student understanding, responding

with paraphrasing and mirroring the

student responses are some simple ways

that can be a part of regular classroom

practice.

Teachers cannot function in isolation.

In order to achieve the learning

objectives for students, teachers need to

collaborate and engage with each other.

Collaborating with other teachers is not

only conducive to their personal growth

but that of their students too. When

teachers exchange ideas and engage in

healthy conversations related to studentlearning,

pedagogies and classroom

practices, they develop an open-minded,

non-judgmental and non-threatening

culture that benefits students` learning.

Being caring, positive, open-minded and

having a desire for self-improvement

are essential qualities which a teacher

should possess. Teachers are role models

for children and they must lead by

example. Students will practice kindness

and develop a caring attitude when they

observe these attitudes in their teachers.

A teacher with a positive attitude will

make the environment positive in the

classroom.

Being open–minded will help a teacher

to accept different viewpoints and

perspectives that the generation of today

has to offer. A teacher should be openminded

about changing her teaching

methods on the suggestion by students.

Last but not the least, an attitude of selfimprovement

and reflection will enable

today`s teachers to face the numerous

challenges they face in schools.

“ Being open-minded

will help a teacher

to accept different

viewpoints and

perspectives that

the generation of

today has to offer.


www.icsl.org.in | 23


A SCHOOL WEBSITE:

AN INTEGRAL ASPECT OF

FUTURE SCHOOL CULTURES

Ashwani Duggal

The role of a school website has

never been more important

in this era where the web

technologies and digital

communications have been evolving at

a rapid pace. It’s the communications

hub for your school, so it’s critical

that you have a modern website that’s

compelling, effective and easy to use.

It is not easy to keep pace with

advancements in website technology

even for the most tech-savvy and

experienced school IT teams and school

owners/administrators. The decision

makers at a school have to wade

through many issues that should go into

its decision of what is a good website.

These are the questions to be answered as you chart out what you want your next

website to do for your school:

1. Does your school website just sit there and not ‘work’ for you?

2. Does it accurately reflect your school’s image?

3. Is it difficult to navigate?

4. Do parents complain that they are not able to find information they’re looking for?

5. Is it hard for your IT Team and teachers to manage and upload content?

6. Is it reliable? Does your web site load slowly?

7. Does it meet the demands of mobile users?

8. Does your website have teacher and class pages? Can and do teachers actually use

these pages?

A school website is strategic

Your school website is the nerve center of your school’s communication. It should be

a strategic hub for all your connections to students, parents, staff and the community.

24| www.progressiveteacher.in


It might not be common for school

owner and leadership to think in terms of

strategy when it comes to their website.

Teaching and learning strategies, yes,

but a website strategy for our school!

Yes, it is extremely important.

Parental involvement, student-staff

engagement, community support,

academic achievement – these are all

areas where a strategically designed

website can have a spectacular impact.

Some of the important advantages of an

effective school website are:

• Improve internal and external

communications

• Improve service to all school

stakeholders – parents, students,

staff and community

• Increase teacher, departmental

and school efficiency

• Enrich educational outcomes

• Enhance school image

• Use as a strategic tool in crisis

management or emergency noti

fication

• As a communications pillar in

parent involvement program

• As an integral part of your alum

ni relations and college admis

sions process

The list goes on as to how your website

can be the most powerful strategic tool

for your communications. Ultimately, a

strategically planned website can have a

profound impact on student achievement.

Make it easy

Your website should be inviting and

simple enough to use. This is important

so that everyone keeps visiting the site

to create, find and share the information

they need. On each website visit, parents

should feel fulfilled rather than frustrated,

and teachers and IT team should not be

intimidated in managing the content.

You want teachers who look forward to

updating their teacher pages; IT team that

appreciates trouble-free administration;

and website visitors who are delighted.

Parent involvement drives student

achievement and successful schools.

Don’t frustrate parents with a hard-to-use

website.

A great design

A beautiful school website is much more

than one that looks great. It must be

truly accessible to strengthen connection

between the school and all its audiences.

Some design imperatives for your new

school website are:

• Content clarity

• Appropriate and fresh content

• Pleasing graphic design elements

• Usability

• Functionality

Accessibility

Responsive design is a vital element of

modern website design. A responsive

design means that the website can be

accessed on a computer, a mobile or a

tablet. It resizes and reformats pages

as per the type of device to provide a

seamless user experience. A responsive

design website can be shared and viewed

through email links or social media sites.

Reliability and security

You can have the best-looking, easiestnavigating,

content-packed and welldesigned

school website, but if your

vendor’s server goes down consistently,

you’ve got problems. If your data gets

lost or compromised, your school can be

exposed on many fronts. A dependable

data storage, backup and recovery

program is critical. Privacy and security

issues continue to of paramount concern

to all of us. When you’re dealing with

personal information about your students,

staff and parents, it’s critical to protect

all your users from theft and breaches in

privacy.

Other functionalities and features

There are many features that would

help any school stimulate dialogue

and engage your school community –

discussion boards, parent portals, mobile

apps, ability to conduct online polls etc.

These are functions that could present

challenges for the school not equipped

to manage the processes involved.

If you don’t have the resources to

oversee the content, then maybe you

shouldn’t have some of these tools.

Biggest is not always best. Find the

functionality that’s going to move your

school forward, and get it implemented.

“ Your school

website is the

nerve center of

your school’s

communication.

It should be a

strategic hub

for all your

connections

to students,

parents,

staff and the

community.


www.icsl.org.in | 25


PHOTO FEATURE

UNVEILING OF “LEAD THE CHANGE”

The unveiling of “LEAD the Change” was

held on 11th January 2019 at Hotel

Taj Mansingh, New Delhi. 120 school

leaders from Delhi, Gurugram, Noida,

Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Dehradun, Pune,

Firozpur, Indore, Imphal, and Kollam

attended the event.

The event was kicked off with a panel discussion on “School Leadership” moderated by G. Balasubramanian, Former-

Secretary, CBSE and Chairperson, Board of Advisors, ICSL. The distinguished members of the panel included Lata

Vaidyanathan, Pramod Sharma, Sangeeta D. Krishan, and Rajesh Hassija.

26| www.progressiveteacher.in


PHOTO FEATURE

The audience thoroughly enjoyed and actively interacted with the members of the panel.

Questions posed to the audience got diverse and extremely relevant responses.

www.icsl.org.in | 27


PHOTO FEATURE

Dr. Atul Nischal,

Founder-Director of ICSL,

shared the mission and

vision of the organization,

highlighting some of the

activities planned for the

coming academic year.

Mr. Himanshu Gupta,

Managing Director,

S. Chand Group was the

Guest of Honour. He shared

his passion and desire to

make sure that every school

in India delivers the best

education to each student.

Padamshree

Professor

Dinesh Singh,

Former Vice

Chancellor,

Delhi

University,

graced the

occasion as

the Chief Guest. His mesmerizing speech

was full of pearls of wisdom. He stressed on

improving the quality of school leadership

and connecting education to the fundamentals

of human existence. He encouraged all

school leaders to create an environment

where students could identify and pursue their

own drumbeats.

The anthology, “LEAD the Change” was unveiled by Prof. Dinesh Singh, in the presence of the guests of honor and

the members of the board of advisors of ICSL. Participating school leaders recognized the event as a landmark in the

evolution of school leadership in India and pledged their support to ICSL and its initiatives.

A fantabulous networking

lunch was served to

conclude the event.

28| www.progressiveteacher.in


www.icsl.org.in | 29


Expand your Vision

to Redefine Schools of the Future

Poonam Kumar Mendiratta

Be it present or future, a human child would remain

human, their ability to learn as vast as it is, would remain

unfathomable and boundless forever. To quench their

thirst of knowledge, satisfy their inborn curiosity, dispel

their doubts, douse their inquisitiveness with fulfilling remedies,

one has to develop a conducive environment and be equipped

with all sorts of modern, futuristic and cutting edge technology

not only at home but also in the educational institutes.

A futuristic school is the one where education would not just be

about class lessons or imparting of knowledge by the teacher but

would be about experiences, innovations, sight and incidental

learning and of course serendipity. It would be a place where

children find their own answers, form their own opinions, have

their own kind of explanations for all day to day phenomenon.

A successful school of the future would cater to the facilitators

in learning as well, by providing them more than adequate time

for professional development and grade-level team meetings.

Teachers would get sufficient time to prepare lesson materials

and educators would also have the opportunity to collaborate

and develop new ideas with other facilitators and staff members.

Students will complete their classwork knowing it will be

shared with classmates and other interested teachers. Ways to

make this publishing and sharing possible will include blogs,

wikis, and apps. Through these channels, students will reflect on

their work and the work of others, share perspectives, provide

feedback and assist classmates in the write-edit-rewrite process.

Since technology is not going anywhere and does more good

than harm, adapting is the best course of action. Technology

would, of course, be playing a significant role in what “the

school of the future” can look like. Positive and prosperous

schools are already encouraging student growth and students’

development of critical thinking, logic, and reasoning skills

through the creative use of technology. Schools of the future

will not only have access to technology but teachers will also

give students projects and tasks that encourage students to

think creatively and would sharpen the problem solving skill.

Students will use technology to create their own media and

perhaps, even online portfolios.

One has to keep in mind that standardized testing is not always

an accurate measurement of students’ learning. We must

acknowledge that there are, in fact, many ways to learn, and

many ways to assess students’ learning. The sooner we realize

that as a person can be multitalented or multifaceted, he can be

differently abled or differently talented also and judging them

30| www.progressiveteacher.in


y pre-set criteria or notions will not be the most appropriate

evaluation. New methods of assessment and analysis based on

case specific scale would be a part of an upcoming institution of

knowledge in the future.

It would be under few of these favourable conditions that

realistic and colossal learning can happen with long lasting

impacts in the entire history of education of mankind.

The concepts and ideas presented in this article are just a few

building blocks regarding what we believe can make a solid

foundation for our future generations. As it is important that

the cosmic magnetic field be in perfect sync for the cosmos to

be hassle-free, one has to get their magnet right for one’s life to

be flowing zero-defect. There are three components for one to

get their magnet right:

1. Our dominant thoughts and feelings have to be right.

2. Our processes have to be in congruence to our desires.

3. Our energy levels have to be high.

We should definitely focus on expanding our vision for

education in the future. By redefining our “schools of the

future,” we redefine our education system, our value system and

our future as a nation.


It is rightly said by

Malcolm X

‘Education is our

passport to the

future; tomorrow

belongs to the

people who

prepare for it

today.’ The best

way to predict

future is to create it.


www.icsl.org.in | 31


Character Education:

A Need of the Hour

Aditi Sharma

...nothing is of more importance for the public weal,

than to form and train our youth in wisdom and virtue.

For it is within the character of the citizen that

lies the welfare of the nation.

-Benjamin Franklin

Our world is passing through

trying and troubling times.

It is becoming imperative

for schools to take the

responsibility for equipping children

with the skills to make wise and ethical

choices.

Everyone around the globe is talking

about the importance of character

education in the school curriculum.

The increase in crime, suicide rates and

mental instability in children between the

age group of 12 to 17 years is a cause of

concern. Statistics show that one in every

four Indian children in the age group of

13 to 15 years suffers from depression.

Every hour, across the country, one

student commits suicide. WHO has said

that India has the highest suicide rates

among ten South-East Asian countries.

These alarming statistics should be

a wakeup call for educators who have

been entrusted with the responsibility

of shaping our young children into

responsible, empathetic, morally upright

and purposeful adults. Schools need to

partner with parents to make teenagers

mentally strong and responsible members

of the society.

In our school, a consistent and

conscious effort is made to help

adolescents build capacities, serve the

community, manage their emotions, and

develop a personality that transforms both

the self and the society . From a young age,

children participate in activities like All

Religion Prayers, Mock World Parliament

Sessions, Prayer for Peace for the Whole

World, Junior Youth Empowerment

Programme, Model United Nations, etc.

These activities prompt children to give

reason for their actions and follow it up

with reflections of choices to be made.

Choices, which are from within and not

superficial or forced upon them.

The youth today is brought up in a

culture of competition. Throughout

the school years and later in the public

sphere competition has become an

institutional norm. By exposing them to

this ‘cut-throat’ culture of competition

we are only increasing social disparities

because competition promotes short-term

32| www.progressiveteacher.in


material interests. Such an atmosphere

undermines the efforts that could be made

to solve the more complex problems that

we are facing today with the youth who

is disengaged, depressed and mentally

unmotivated.

Dear educators, time has come to cull

out the gems lying hidden within each

child to be cut and polished by you. A

pat on the back, an encouraging word

of praise, an amiable rich environment

and a hearing ear can do wonders for this

group of disoriented youth. Assign them

specific tasks with a purpose. Teach them

to treat each other with respect by setting

an example while interacting with them

and among yourselves. Involve them

in self-realization activities on anger

management, bullying in school, respect

for school property and other similar

situations that they encounter every day

at school. Let them deliberate on posts on

social media sites or advertisements; and

ask themselves whether they are helpful

or hurtful posts. Encourage them to

discuss incidents when they felt grateful

for the help that they received from a

peer and how they can pass it on to others

whenever such an opportunity arises in

future. Involve them to turn text into

talk, as it is a reality that teenagers are

spending too much of their time on their

cell phones. This activity challenges them

to turn short texts into long real-world

conversations.

The kind of transformation that needs

to take place in the school education

system seems an uphill task but as

Benjamin Franklin said “…nothing is of

more importance for the public weal, than

to form and train our youth in wisdom

and virtue. For it is within the character

of the citizen that lies the welfare of the

nation.”

www.icsl.org.in | 33


A Peep into

The Future

Ajit P. Thosar


The tablet will

contain different

forms of content

mapped for

respective

classes and

subjects including

e-books and

e-games.

The homework

will be assigned

to learners

through e-mail,

SMS, or any such

mode and the

submission of the

same will also be

done digitally.


The immense technological

development has brought about a

change in the scenario around us.

The kitchen, the classrooms and

the boards are all turning ‘SMART’ these

days. So, how would the schools of future

look like in the coming times as the new

technologies get introduced in the schools?

The infrastructure of the school, that is, the

school building itself will not be required

as such. The learners will use their PC’s,

Laptops or other devices to log in to the

school website, engage in day to day

interaction with teachers or friends from their

homes. The attendance would be marked

at fixed hours using an online system. The

teachers will interact with the learners

using video conferencing and other online

mediums. The play for the learners will be

majorly using technology which can also

be termed as ‘E-Play.’ The administration

will go paperless, smooth and effective too,

including online payment of fees by the

parents. The web resources will replace the

textbooks for online practice of the content

taught by the teachers.

The teaching – learning methods too will

become digital. There will be extensive

use of ‘SMART’ boards and other such

devices in the classroom. The learners

will use tablets instead of the textbooks.

The tablet will contain different form of

content mapped for respective classes and

subjects including e-books and e-games.

The homework will be assigned to learners

through e-mail, SMS, or any such mode

and the submission of the same will also

be done digitally. Therefore, there would

be a paradigm shift from the conventional

manner of the teaching-learning process to

the virtual platforms.

Besides the positive, there will be some

negative aspects of the digitalization of

the education system. Though there will

be a reduction in the travelling time for

the learners, the E-Library and E-Ground

will reduce the physical activities of the

learners. The increased usage of computer

and internet will lead to new ailments

for the learners viz learning impairment,

nervous breakdown, visual impairment,

audio impairment etc. The learners will

only have ‘Virtual Friends’ and would

lack in value education activities such as

school assemblies etc, that aid in teaching

life skills and character formation. These

aspects would have to be dwelled in-depth

to make learning through technology more

fruitful in the future.

34| www.progressiveteacher.in


www.icsl.org.in | 35


WE NEED TO

CHANGE THE WAY

WE LOOK AT THINGS

Roli Tripathi

Embedding social-emotional learning

into the classrooms will make curriculum

more significant. For this, counselling

should be provided to children from preprimary

to senior classes.


Don’t limit a

child to your

own learning,

for he was

born in another

time.

-Tagore

36| www.progressiveteacher.in


As humans, we can never

detach ourselves from

posterity. Our actions, dreams

and our plans are all futurecentric.

It’s imperative to understand

that education can’t be kept away from

the realm of new acceptances. There is a

need of futuristic schools that redefine the

process of education. A changed pedagogy

and technology is required alongside a

prosperous and constructive school climate.

We must have a goal that directs our

thoughts, liberates our energy and

inspires our hopes. Strong leadership,

monitoring of students’ progress,

a coherent curriculum and teacher

collaboration are the factors affecting the

effectiveness of educators.

“For relational trust to develop and be

sustained,” say Byrk and Schneider,

“both staff and students must be able

to make sense of their work together in

terms of what they understand as the

primary purpose of the school: Why are

we really here?”

We are at the precipice of a digital

revolution that will change every aspect

of our lives, with a global computer fabric

changing the way we interact, work and

live. The way students in India consume

educational content is transforming due

to technological invasion. Learning

should be made fun. Students should

learn about real-world issues and topics,

rather than individual subjects. By

learning the subjects through discovering

real-world contexts students get the tools

they need to function in the real world.

The use of virtual reality (VR) in

education is a revolutionary step. VR

gives immediacy and control created by

immersion: the feeling of “being there”.

VR simulated objects can be heard,

smelled, touched, hefted, and explored

in many sensory ways, increasing the

students’ cognitive abilities. Vygotsky’s

theory states that the social context is

important to the acquisition of domestic,

vocational, and communication skills

that can increase a child’s ability to do.

A child can be gauged by his ability to

engage with abstract concepts.


The human element, however, cannot

be undermined. Facilitating questions

is a teaching strategy to encourage

learners to think continuously to make

a given problem-solving process easier.

Established tools such as SQ4R (survey,

question, read, record, recite, and reflect),

make learning interactive.

It’s said, “Learning is not the product

of teaching, learning is the result of the

product of the activity of learners.”

A successful school needs to provide

adequate time for professional

development, teacher planning and

grade-level team meetings. Teachers

should be provided time and resources

for professional development. Educators

must have the opportunity to collaborate

and develop new ideas with other staff

members.

In future, the style of communication

among students will change radically to

include emojis and acronyms. Writing

instructions that foster communication

skills and develop critical thinking

will need to be reinforced. In futuristic

schools, digital devices and tools can

get kids thinking critically from the

very beginning. Its said, “change the

way you look at things and the things

you look at change”. In order to create

a futuristic school our job is obvious, we

need to get out of the way, shine a light

and empower a new generation to teach

itself and to go further and faster than any

generation ever has.

www.icsl.org.in | 37


SPIRITUAL

INTELLIGENCE

Should Balance

Technology

Arun Kumar Das

I

asked my students, “How can

humanoid robots with artificial

intelligence fulfil the aspirations of

students in education?” During the

discussion one of the most outspoken

students said, “Sir, if humanoid robots

with artificial intelligence will be used

for teaching in our school, then you will

lose your job.” For a moment, I shivered

inside and thought of my two school and

college-going children. But another child

relieved my stress by saying, “Sir, how

38| www.progressiveteacher.in

can a humanoid robot understand our

emotions and console us, the way you do,

when we feel homesick or sad?” When the

discussion was over, most students felt that

humanoid robots will never replace human

teachers. I feel they may be right, at least

for some time.

Let me admit, I am not as tech savvy as

my students. But, technology is going to

be the way of life in the future. There is

no doubt at all. Technology will induce a

great revolution in the field of education

and in defining the culture of schools.

Technology will drive the learning culture

of the schools in future.

• Children will no longer use printed books,

notebooks or writing materials. They will

be using computers for reading and

writing.

• Students will build their own library on

their computers.

• All classrooms will be connected to the

internet.


• All the systems will be operated with

voice commands.

• Learning will be personalised,

individualistic and multidisciplinary.

• Humanoid robots will help students

learn.

• Solar power will fuel the technology.

Teachers will assign online projects to

encourage students’ creativity.

The main aim of mankind is to remain

happy and make others happy. Some

people confuse spiritual education

with progressive education. Spiritual

education is a part of the happiness

curriculum as spiritual intelligence

is important for children to be happy.

Future school cultures will need to

focus on “Happiness Curriculum”.

In the past two decades, psychologists

have done research on how spiritual

intelligence influences a person’s way

of thinking, problem solving ability,

reasoning, attitude towards life and

ability to handle tough situations of life.

It has been observed that those who are

spiritually intelligent, can handle their

internal conflicts, personal conflicts, past

traumatic experiences and other issues far

better than those who are not spiritually

intelligent. Future schools will need

to focus more on developing spiritual

intelligence in students.

“ Spiritual intelligence

influences a

person’s way of

thinking, problem

solving ability,

reasoning, attitude

towards life and

ability to handle


tough situations.

www.icsl.org.in | 39


“ Schools should

embrace Social

Emotional Learning

for teachers and students.

The school is

no longer about learning

3Rs but a place to

support a student’s

holistic growth - of

body, mind and heart.


ALIGN CULTUR

Sudeshna Sanchety

The changes we are experiencing in the society and the

education system due to the fast paced advancements in

technology compels us to rethink an entirely new image

for the schools and its culture in the future.

Progressive schools would like to have a positive culture

which is associated with:

1. Recognition and appreciation of teachers and students.

2. Openness, trust and respect among all stakeholders.

3. Collegial, collaborative and productive staff with high

professional standards.

4. Mistakes being seen as learning opportunities.

5. Learning opportunities and support accessible to all

students.

Considering these factors, the basic dimensions of school

cultures of the future would be:

Personalized learning: In the current scenario, the large

class size makes one-to-one learning impossible. In future, an

app based virtual teacher would support and explain the subject

depending on the learning capability of the individual students.

Technology for assessment: The future schools will have

technology solutions to create accurate tests that can measure a

student’s capacities, abilities and inclinations in a better manner.

The schools will use varied parameters from personality tests,

marksheets, school essays etc. for grading students. It will also

40| www.progressiveteacher.in


To the Needs of the

E PEOPLE

Each corner of the classroom has

a potential to extend the learning.

Some students may be working on a

laptop at the back of the room, while

another group may be working using

an interactive display in the front of

the classroom.

help the teachers to counsel students and aid parents to make

right choices.

Nurturing entrepreneurship: Young India is moving away

from risk averse mindset of getting a government job to a more

entrepreneurial and dynamic mindset. In future, schools will

encourage and guide students who are ready to walk this path

by helping them identify their strengths, interests and values.

It is an undeniable fact that technology will take over a

major part of the school’s functioning in the future. Then, what

would be the role of the teachers? What kind of practices will

the school community undertake to have a good school culture

using technology?

Schools should embrace Social Emotional Learning for

teachers and students. The school is no longer about learning

3Rs but a place to support a student’s holistic growth – of body,

mind and heart. The future school has to make students and staff

mindful of emotions, challenges, stresses, and traumas along with

the academic learning. This can be achieved through cultural and

literary activities in the school, field trips and excursions and

socially useful productive work.

The future schools will recognise the strengths of its staff

and students. It will celebrate people’s contributions, efforts and

victories. This will promote interconnectedness among students

and teachers and will also nurture a culture of appreciation and

positive change.

Any of the above cannot be achieved without the

involvement of teachers. The teachers, therefore, should not

only be academically sound, they have to learn to unlearn

some old ways so that they can keep pace with the younger

generation. They have to be energetic and highly motivated

positive people. They have to work together as a team to build

up the sense of belongingness. In order to let teachers work

creatively, they should be given more freedom in their lesson

planning, flexibility and ability to teach without a handbook.

Only then they can bring real life experiences to classrooms.

By redefining “schools of the future”, our education system

would be redefined, thereby redefining our value system and

the future of the nation.

www.icsl.org.in | 41


HOMAGE TO

THE MARTYRS

Tina Olyai

Since time immemorial, the

human world has been striving

to tread on the path of peace

and tranquillity, yet this dream

remains unachieved because the means

by which we have ever attempted to

achieve peace and equity are themselves

immersed in blood.

Kashmir has remained an area of discord

between India and Pakistan since

Independence and has been a reason

for continuous strife and bloodshed.

Hundreds of innocent lives, both civilian

and military, have been lost on both sides

and yet abiding solution still remains a

dream. Although India has been a peaceloving

country since time immemorial, it

has unluckily been caught up in a vicious

circle of terror attacks and has to retaliate

to safeguard its borders. The recent

Pulwama attack proved to be another

instigator.

They may torture my body, break my

bones; even kill me. Then they will have

my dead body, but not my obedience”,

said Mahatma Gandhi.

This amply summarises nation’s relentless

grief and firm resolve to fight back the

perpetrators of the suicide bomb attack

at Pulwama on February 14. A day

which is consecrated all over the world

as the Valentine’s Day, meant to be a

celebration of love, became notorious

for its gory slaughter of over 40 innocent

jawans of CRPF while dozens other who

succumbed to grave injuries.

February 14, 2019 shall always be

remembered as a black day for the brutal

attack by the terrorists who stealthily

massacred over two scores of the brave

sons of Mother India. The entire nation

was shocked and expressed its grief at the

loss of the valiant martyrs.

At Little Angels High School, patriotic

fervour was high and tributes were paid to

our brave soldiers at all the four branches

42| www.progressiveteacher.in


of the school during the morning

assembly where teachers and children

paid tribute to the life of each jawan, and

extended their support to their families.

Candles were lit in their memories,

patriotic songs were sung, prayers were

said and silence was observed to honour

the martyred soldiers.

The school head boy and head girl recalled

the deadliest ever terror strike against

Indian security forces in three decades of

Kashmir militancy. Ananya Gupta of class

VII voiced the charred feelings of LAHS

fraternity at the gory killing of 40+ CRPF

personnel and read out an emotional

poem about a bereaved son who exhibited

his firm commitment to uphold the family

tradition of martyrdom, unflinchingly.

Mrs Sampa Das, our teacher offered

prayers for the brave hearts to Almighty

God for bestowing a heavenly abode to

each of the departed souls and keep their

souls resplendent in the Eternal World.

In the end, a ‘Hall of Fame’ was

inaugurated for the martyrs with

inscriptions of the name of each jawan

and the battalions which they belonged to.

All the names of our valiant soldiers were

silkscreened on the centre stage of school

assembly ground and floral tributes were

paid by the teachers and students. A

number of prayer meetings and special

tribute sessions were organised at all the

branches of the school.

On Monday, 18th of February, entire

LAHS fraternity observed ‘WHITE

MONDAY’. All the teachers and staff

members wore white dresses to signify

their grief over the callous attack on

Indian soldiers and to highlight that

despite all these sufferings India continues

to be a peace-loving nation.

Further reflecting their solidarity with

our brave soldiers, the management, staff

and students also wrote a letter to the

Deputy Commandant of Central Reserve

Police Force (CRPF), Gwalior, expressing

their grief at the ruthless killing of the

CRPF soldiers in Pulwama and pledging

their spirit of standing with the martyrs’

families in this hour of utter loss.

The entire school was deeply aggrieved

at the martyrdom of our brave CRPFG

jawans and saluted their zeal and sacrifice

for the motherland. We all take respite

in these propitious words of Baha’u’llah:

These fruitless strifes, these ruinous

wars shall pass away, and the ‘Most Great

Peace’ shall come….”

They may torture

my body, break my

bones; even kill me.

Then they will have

my dead body, but

not my obedience

-Mahatma Gandhi


www.icsl.org.in | 43


Habits and

Behaviour

Reflect Education

Prasanti Shadangi

Children are our wealth and

the one sure way of serving

our country is to ensure

that our children grow up

as selfless, caring, and loving human

beings. It is our bounden duty to do

everything to make children grow into

beautiful beings. For this education is

needed for all.

Education means character building

and maintaining behaviour. Degree

is not the criterion of education and

measure of learning. However, habits

and behaviour are the measuring rods

of education.

“Education is adjustment”. Education

trains the individual to adjust with the

environment. Such adjustment should

be favourable to the life and growth of

the individual.

“Education is modification of

behaviour”. Here, “modification”

means reformation and reconstruction

of thoughts and actions. They should

operate in co-ordination to lead

individual growth and fulfil the society

with each profitable and progressive

step. The individual should think,

act wisely and sincerely so that it

is “acceptable to” and “good for”

the society.

We should discard that system of

education which does not reflect

humility. If an educated individual is

not humble, his or her knowledge is

not balanced and progressive to lead

towards peace and happiness. The

person eventually becomes harmful to

his environment, society and nation in

the long run.

Obedience is an important characteristic

of the learner which give rise to true

education. Education that does not

imbibe obedience, leads to stupidity.

The greatest tragedy is that students

are losing their higher ideals of life and

living in a state of rooflessness. The

irony is that we are blindly following the

western culture and forgetting the value

of our own culture. Culture, in literary

sense, is something that is cultivated.

Forgetting human values, can cause

damages beyond repair. In absence

of the eternal values of “being and

becoming”, results are dreadful

confusions, disasters, destructions,

44| www.progressiveteacher.in



To become mere expert in reading and writing

is not to be called education; without habits, behaviour

and common sense, there is no education at all.

Sri Sri Thakur Anukulchandra


exploitations, aggressions, selfishness

and hatred. So, the ening of moral

consciousness and attachment towards

a living ideal should be the first

and foremost call of the nation. It is

better to remain uneducated than to

be miseducated. Education becomes

successful when it makes the learner well

furnished with energetic, exciting and

enthusiastic personality through practical

and skilful operation, even if he/she

accumulates less knowledge.

So, the nature of culture should be:

• To reform education to lead children

towards “becoming”,

• Love and adherence towards living

ideals, parents, teachers, and seniors,

• Good behaviour patterns like folk

lore, folk ways such as clothing,

manner of greeting, manner of

behaving and dealing,

• Limit use of western languages to

reading, writing and speaking,

• Well-adjusted, concentric life of parents’

to make their children feel protected,

• Prayers at home as well as at school to

teach morality,

• To greet elders, join hands and bow the

head, individuals should realise the self

and the universal self (God)

The Indian culture incorporates

secularism, socialism, idealism, tolerance,

fellow-feeling, brotherhood of man, unity

in diversity, etc. They are to be reflected or

inculcated in our educational system.

To inculcate good habits and behaviour

in students, teachers need to play a

pivotal role. Like, magnet reconfigures

steel atoms, the teacher should mould

the habits and behaviours of their

students. The behaviour and character

of the teacher creates love in the heart

of students. The relationship between

the teacher and the student should not be

commercial, it must be sweet, melodious,

natural and active.

“Discipline and administration in

education are also decided by the cultural

pattern adopted by the society”.

www.icsl.org.in | 45


A CULTURE OF

Righteousness and Resilience

Sharda Mahajan

CBSE has recently issued a

circular wherein schools are

expected to provide learning

outcome-based education.

This requires the education to be oriented

towards effective learning and holistic

development of the child. It becomes

imperative for the schools to create a

culture where teaching activities are

directed towards the transformation

of individuals into human beings who

could face the challenges of life with

their righteousness and resilience while

remaining happy and contented. The

schools have to be the embodiments of

value and must strive to spread the culture

of those values through words, actions

and behaviour.

Culture of Self-respect

Self-respect needs to be flourished in

the school. Self-respect builds selfesteem.

Children with high self-respect

associate with virtues like respect for

others’ existence and opinions and even

respect for the physical infrastructure.

Self-respect can be enhanced through

the activities conducted in the school. A

child must be made to realize that he is

important for himself and his family and

he plays a significant role in creating a

happy family and society.

Culture of Care

“We care for you”, “You need to take care

of yourself and your family”, must be

imbibed not only through value education

classes but also through the connectivity

of the teacher with his/her students. This

value is to be imbibed first by the teachers

through their caring behaviour towards

the child. A child must be listened to. The

time child feels that someone is there to

listen, he or she will feel secure in the

school. This feeling of security builds a

healthy and strong relationship between

the child and the school. The same bond

shall also be created between the child, the

parents and school. Schools must organise

seminars for the parents to build their faith

in the school and to make them feel free to

share their problems with teachers.

Culture of Recognition

Little efforts of children must be

recognised. A little appreciation gives a

feeling of accomplishment and motivates

the child to tread the path of challenges

with stronger mind and soul. Conduct the

prize distribution ceremony to felicitate

kids in the presence of their parents.

The “Principal’s Club” in our school

recognizes children who do a good deed

and felicitates them with a certificate

of commendation. They are also given

the opportunity to be the members of

the organising committees of various

activities in the school.

Culture of Happiness

A school has to be a place where the child

feels happy. The feel of being welcomed

in the school enhances the child’s

connectivity with the institution. Happy

minds create healthy body. This happiness

lets the child embrace the difficulties with

ease and comfort and also increases his

adaptability.

Culture of Reading

Reading helps to develop visionaries.

Reading opportunities should be provided

in a peaceful environment. Reading in

the lap of nature adds another feather to

46| www.progressiveteacher.in



The schools have to be the embodiment

of value and must strive to

spread the culture of those values

through words, actions and behavior.


performance of their mothers, recognised

their talents, and realized that each

individual needs a platform be it their

own mothers or someone else’s.

This year we are also launching “Be

A Book Fairy” programme, wherein

the mothers will be given the target of

reading books to their children. All the

mothers of Nursery and LKG kids will

read 300 and 200 books respectively

before their kids step out of kindergarten.

On reading every 50 books the children

will be rewarded and on achieving the

total target mothers will be rewarded.

the cap of any child. Connectivity with

nature develops tranquil minds devoid

of any negativity. In our school, apart

from weekly library classes, we organize

an annual library week called “Curiosity

Quench”. The books are brought to the

school park and children read the books

in the tranquility of mother Earth.

Reading among mothers or family

members must also be promoted. Reading

stories to the children by mothers promotes

the connectivity between the mother and

child and goes a long way in establishing

a strong emotional connectivity not only

between the mother and child but also the

school. This year, as an effort to enhance

the importance and respect of mother in

family and to create a healthy relationship

between the child and the school, mothers

were invited to school. They showcased

their talent and skills in the form of

recitation, singing, dancing, fancy dress

and painting. Children appreciated the

Culture of Resilience

In the modern age of ego clashes, peer

pressure and parental pressure, there

are times, when the child falls prey to

activities which sometimes have drastic

results. No punishment can help to

improve a child’s behaviour except selfrealisation.

This self-realisation should

be turned into strength to come out of the

shackles of negativity. Self-realisation

will support the mental health of the

child. The child will develop the power

of discretion between right and wrong as

well as strengthen the abilities to evade

from any embarrassing situation.

Every child is unique. Progressive schools

should strive to create generations who

instead of treading on the paths created

by others, discover their own paths, and

walk with happy minds positive hearts

and tranquil tongues.

www.icsl.org.in | 47


CREATING A CULTURE

RASHMI JAIN BAYATI

A positive teacher student relationship can do wonders.

It only gives a chance for holistic development of a child

but also a sense of responsibility and belonging.

They don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care’. It is not clear who coined

this phrase, but it is very relevant in today’s education system. Teaching can be effective and fruitful

when students find connection with the teacher.

In the era of technology, where knowledge is available at a finger touch, students can learn at any time,

anywhere and at their own pace, but still no technology can deny the part or role of a teacher. Positive

teacher student relation helps in maximizing the learning potential and promotes a sense of school

belonging. Teachers assist students with motivation and goal setting, and students can turn to them for

advice and guidance.

At the present times, guru shishya traditions are lost when guru used to sit on high aasans and

students or his disciples used to sit down. Democratic environment is applied in all schools. In such

a scenario, students just don’t need a teacher full of knowledge, they need a patient listener who can

listen to their queries and understand their emotions and dilemmas.

With changes in teaching trends in India, and constructivism theory emerging as a new trend

in transmitting knowledge, role of positive, caring, motivational, innovative, compassionate

teacher cannot be erased. If teacher student relationship is positive, the theory of constructivism

does wonders as children with the help of teacher can explore their knowledge and creativity

to the optimum level. Teachers should respect the individuality of a child and should believe

that each child has something special that can be built upon.

To build a positive relationship with students, the teachers should imbibe some qualities

and let go of ones idea of supremacy. Instead of imposing things, should seek cooperation.

They should teach with enthusiasm and passion. Have a keen listening ear and be patient.

Teachers need to be open-minded and receptive and accept children as they are. All

teachers should believe that each child has a potential and will learn at her or his own

pace. Teachers should believe in affirmations and not criticism. They should respect

individual difference and try to teach students to be responsible of their actions.

The teachers should have a conducive, healthy learning environment where the

students are free to ask, question and share their thoughts and feelings. Teachers

should be kind, gentle and be empathetic towards students.

A positive teacher student relationship can do wonders. It not only gives a

chance for holistic development of a child but also a sense of responsibility

and belonging.

48| www.progressiveteacher.in


OF CARING

www.icsl.org.in | 49


TRUE ESSENCE

OF EDUCATION

Komal Ravi Shah


Isn’t it important... that we switch our focus from just core

academics towards the value system which... plays vital

role in the making of an individual?


Education is the process of not

producing doctors, engineers,

architects, lawyers etc. but in the

true essence education revolves

around the nurturing and moulding of

every individual into a ‘Human’ being.

Dating back to the period when kings

ruled our nation, one could see the

foundation of knowledge laid by the

Gurus. It was the time when the gurukul

system of education prevailed. A system

that was rigid and wholly designed by the

gurus who imparted gyan, i.e. knowledge

to the sishya’s (students). The Guru –

Sishya relationship was unique to the

Indian culture and it was by this system

that the deep rooted values and traditions

were conserved, preserved and passed on

to the next generation. There was no fixed

curriculum of education but still it was

well-designed by the gurus with emphasis

laid on imbibing the value system that

distinguished the human race from other

species. Along with the human values,

acquisition of skills needed for life and

knowledge from the Vedas was the crux

of the gurukul system. This system of

education was one of the toughest as

the students had to take up challenging

and difficult tasks given by their gurus.

However tough it was, the final product

was the emergence of a complete ‘human’

being , ‘human’ in the true sense.

50| www.progressiveteacher.in

As centuries passed by, changes emerged

in this system and the influence of

the west became so prominent that

we detached ourselves from our own

system. The emergence of British rule in

India witnessed the influence of western

education. The British were impressed by

the gurukul system of teaching; they knew

the strength of the pupil who emerged out

of it. To weaken this powerful system,

the British introduced the western system

of learning with the hope that it would

paralyze the Indian system giving birth

to a new race of Indians – Indians who

would think like them. I feel that it was

here where exactly we lost our identity.

Ever since after Independence, changes

have been made in areas of education but

these changes were laid on the foundation

of western educational system that we

inherited from the British. Even today

most of the changes we see implemented

in the educational system are inherited

from countries across the globe with

the motive of upgrading ourselves

towards a better educational system.

But at this juncture we need to think if


we are actually marching towards better

education.

Being in this profession for past one

decade, I have experienced and witnessed

these changes and have closely observed

the result of our present educational

system. The system has successfully

produced individuals well-equipped and

skilled in various fields but lacking in

basic human virtues.

Virtues like honesty, compassion, empathy,

respect, obedience, responsibility, helping

attitude, goodness towards all distinguishes

us as humans. But presently these virtues are

declining and individuals are turning into

machines who have no emotional connect

with their immediate surroundings. The

virtues have lost their meaning to human

beings today. Is it the fault of the individual

or that of the education system which

needs to focus on this area? We find welldesigned

academic curriculums, question

paper blue prints, evaluation criteria, etc.

for every subject but fail to create a welldesigned

curriculum for value education.

Isn’t it important or in fact mandatory

that we switch our focus from just core

academics towards the value system which

actually plays a vital role in the making of

an individual?

Stronger value systems can give rise

to emotionally balanced and mentally

strong individuals, which in fact will

result in strong well-knitted societies

contributing towards stronger and

a united nation thereby leading to a

happy and a peaceful world.

Value systems if emphasized in

education will result in people who

are professionals in various fields but

the difference will lie in that these

professionals will have a human touch.

In this race of life where everyone is

looking for materialistic benefits, I

feel we need to bring a paradigm shift

in the way we look at things. If a part

of our older system of education be

incorporated in our present system with

emphasis laid on values and humanity a

tremendous change can be made in this

world and it can be transformed into

a beautiful and wonderful land where

there would exist love, compassion,

unity and peace.

www.icsl.org.in | 51


INCLUSIVE AND

LIFE-ORIENTED

SCHOOL CULTURES

Dr. Jeny Rapheal

Children are endowed with

an innate capacity to absorb

the culture into which they

are born. An efficient school

system meticulously weaves its culture

in such a way that students can absorb

it with minimum friction. Students may

face a dilemma when they perceive a

grave mismatch between the culture they

are born into and the school’s culture.

School cultures must seek for adequate

compatibility between the subcultures

at home and the community. A school’s

relevance begins to fade when its culture

has nothing to do with the expectations of

the community.

Hazards of performance-oriented

culture

Fundamentally, school culture is shaped

by the vision of the school and the kind

of education it wants to impart. If a

school focuses on academic performance,

specifically the grade or marks the student

scores in the examination, its culture will

have a “demanding” tone. Such schools

will have some pre-determined standards

or criteria and will expect the students to

fit into it if they want to be appreciated and

approved by the teachers. In the process,

students’ natural innate propensities are

overlooked. This is suffocating for the

students as they are always surrounded by

an air of competition and not of excitement

or experimentation. Students’ self-esteem

will suffer tremendously whenever they

fall short of their friends and lose their

place in the first row. Many who pass

out from such institutions carry a flawed/

immature personality and may develop

some psychological issues.

Fear-driven school culture

Why do most schools become performance

oriented? Performance oriented culture

grips a school when it is in a survival

mode. For a school to be in the good

books of parents, it must produce enough

pass percentage year after year. Parents

always prefer schools which show the

maximum number of A-graders or cent

percentage result. If a school can’t rise

up to the parental expectations, it is in

an existential threat, especially when

educational institutions are spawning like

mushrooms in every nook and corner of

the country.

This struggle permeates into all activities

of the school and the noble act of

teaching too is not spared from its grip.

Once teacher’s perception is marred by

anxiety over producing maximum pass

percentage, she begins to function like

a robot programmed to train students’

brain to regurgitate clear-cut, readymade

answers right from the memory bites in

their heads, for the questions which are

likely to be tested in the examination.

52| www.progressiveteacher.in


Enjoyment and excitement in learning

and teaching becomes a myth to these

students and teachers. Lack of creativity

in teaching stifles even the last traces

of creative impulse left in the students

and many of them crave to escape

from classrooms by hook or crook.

This triggers an ever-widening gulf,

intellectually as well as emotionally

in the teacher-learner relationship.

The texture of relationship becomes

so volatile and fragile that teaching

community keeps wondering year after

year, at the range of student disinterest

and disengagement in academics.

Job Market ---the best evaluator of

present school culture

Luckily this “demanding” nature of “fit

for all” culture of educational systems

is in the dock now. And there is a silver

lining of hope. The world has awakened

to the futility of scores or the level of the

performance recorded in the certificates

of students passing out from various

educational systems. Examination

oriented systems which follow not so

effective evaluation process has little

to offer in terms of skills and human

resources the world is badly in need

of. The job market of the globalized,

technology-driven world doesn’t permit

entry for graduates or postgraduates just

by verifying their credentials recorded

in the certificate. They are looking for

the genuine ability of each candidate

to “apply” whatever he or she has

learned in school and college. They

need individuals with a creative bend

of mind and intellect, who can see what

others can’t see, who can enhance and

apply their proficiency or skill in their

specialized area to manifold working

situations, who have better leadership

qualities and can provide novel solutions

to issues, old or new.

These days everybody, even a street

peddler has a Google browser which

is just a touch away when it comes to

accessing information of any kind. The

employers do not want a person whose

brain is stuffed with knowledge and

information. What they need is a human

intellect that can go beyond artificial

intelligence. An individual who can

surpass mechanistic, pre-determined

ways of dealing with things will conquer

the field. Individuals with expanded

consciousness will rule the roost.

The arrival of artificial intelligence is

a promising sign. It has the potential to

catapult the fundamental criteria used to

assess school cultures. It will rewrite the

definition of good school culture. Under

the new definition, the schools that value

grade-oriented performance over and

above all other factors will be thrown

out. Parents will search for schools

which foster overall development of

their wards. In other words, they will

scan for the institutions which provide

equal importance to intellectual,

emotional, behavioral, artistic, social,

creative and even spiritual dimensions

of development. The schools which

are determined on grading the students

based on academics at the cost of overall

development will be forced to rewrite

their priorities.

Thus, in future, schools will rediscover

their lost glory. Long before the British

Raj could monopolize our classrooms,

Indian schools education system had

been, more inclusive and life oriented.

If described it from the view point of

Montessori….our education system

was….

“Not something which teacher does,

but a natural process which develops

spontaneously in the human being. It is

not acquired by listening to words but in

virtue of experiences in which the child

acts on his environment. The teacher’s

task is not to talk, but to prepare and

arrange a series of motives for cultural

activity in a special environment

for the child” (The Absorbent Mind,

Maria Montessori).


It is not

acquired by

listening to

words but

in virtue of

experiences

in which the

child acts on

his environment

The teacher’s

task is not to

talk, but to

prepare and

arrange a series

of motives for

cultural activity

in a special

environment for

the child

- Maria Montessori“

www.icsl.org.in | 53


SOME SIMPLE WAYS

TO BUILD A

POSITIVE SCHOOL CULTURE

Yogita Krishna

Rex Miller stated it best when he

said, “Culture is the invisible

attitudes, values, habits, and

behaviors that run the place

when you’re not there”.

School culture, understood as a strong

internal narrative endorsed and expressed

by intentional norms, is the glue that holds

everything together. Much of the mechanics

of creating a school culture involves

clear and continuous laying out of the

expectations and aims of the community.

To start with, the behavioral expectations

need to be in place for a clean, safe and

respectful learning environment,. And,

then we need to address the aspirational

expectations. Here are some suggestions

to improve the school culture in a

positive way.

Building strong relationships

Your relationships with students influence

everything — from the social climate

to the individual performances of your

students. When students feel liked and

respected by their teachers, they find

more success in school, academically

and behaviorally. Conversely, when

interpersonal relationships are weak,

and trust is lacking, fear and failure

will likely start to define school culture.

Teachers need to talk to their students

in and out of the classroom. The goal

should be to maintain a high rate of

positive interactions with students and to

show genuine interest in their lives, their

activities, their goals and their struggles.

Teaching essential social skills

To share, to listen, to disagree respectfully,

to have empathy, and responsibility are

some essential social and emotional

skills we expect our students to possess.

According to Erin Green, Director of

National Services Operations at Boys

Town, “Behavior should be treated like

academics, and students should be taught

the skills they need to execute desired

behaviors.” Teachers should identify

the social skills desired in students and

develop a process to teach these skills.

54| www.progressiveteacher.in


Being role models

Students learn by observing just as

they learn by doing. Think about the

messages your behavior communicates

to students.

Clarifying classroom and school rules

Communicate your expectations to

your students. Positive rules help create

a predictable, stable environment that is

more conducive to healthy interactions.

Classroom rules should be simple and

declarative (e.g., “Be respectful and

kind”). They don’t need to address

every possible problem. You don’t need

a rule about gum chewing or water

bottle use, for instance—your policies

on these issues should be clear from

your overarching expectations for good

behavior. Most importantly, rules need

to be consistent across the school.

Teaching all students problem solving

Problems are a part of life, inside or

outside of school. Students are much

more likely to recognize and resolve

the problems appropriately when

educators teach them how to do so.

One effective method which a school

can use is called the SODAS method.

SODAS is an acronym for the following

steps:

S – Define the SITUATION.

O – Examine OPTIONS available

to deal with the problem.

D – Determine the

DISADVANTAGES of each

option.

A – Determine the ADVANTAGES

of each option.

S – Decide on a SOLUTION and

practice.

Setting appropriate consequences

Establishing classroom and school-wide

rules and procedures is an important

step in any effort to bring more structure

to your school. If students push the

limits, they will need to learn to face the

consequences. Effective consequences

show young people the connection

between what they do and what happens

as a result of their choices or actions.

Consequences need to be appropriate,

immediate and consistent. Equally

important, they need to be delivered

with empathy, not in anger.

Praising students for good choices

Children don’t care about what you

know until they know that you care.

Many students, especially those who

are struggling with academics and other

skills, don’t receive enough positive

feedback in the classroom or in their

personal lives. The kids should be taught

with a proactive, praise-heavy approach

which will make them perform better.

Complimenting for a specific behavior

like, “Thanks for showing respect to

our visiting guest.” reinforces that

particular behavior.

Loving what you do!

Institutions that have a major goal of

instilling a love for learning prepare

students better for the future. Teacher

modeling, as well as motivating the

students through using the “4 C’s”

(collaboration, communication,

creative thinking and critical thinking)

are effective methods to involve

students and instill a love for learning.

One should remember that successful

schools are “student-centered” and set

high expectations for their students as

well as their staffs.

Conclusion

Culture is the essence of all that is seen

and unseen regarding an educational

institution. It takes a great deal of time

and energy to create and maintain a

positive culture but it is essential for

all successful schools. As educators

come under greater pressure to achieve

better and more equitable student

outcomes, they will need to leverage

every tool available to them, including

organizational culture. Of course, no

one suggests that changing culture

is simple, easy, or quick. As Michael

Fullan puts it, “Reculturing is a contact

sport that involves hard, labor-intensive

work.” But it is a sport that must be

played more aggressively if our schools

are to achieve the kinds of results we

now expect of them.

“ Culture is the

essence of all

that is seen

and unseen

regarding an

educational

institution. It

takes a great

deal of time

and energy

to create

and maintain

a positive

culture but it

is essential for

all successful

schools.


www.icsl.org.in | 55


Monthly

Term Book

For Classes 1-5

8 Books in a Class

Author(s) : Renu Anand, Anjali Chaudhry, Puneeta Nehru, SK Gupta,

Anubhuti Gangal, Kiran Askok Kumar, Virender Kapoor, Deepa Bhandari

Classes: 1 - 5 Board: All Boards Price: ` 245–305

The Monthly Term Book is a set of 40 integrated books for classes 1 to 5, comprising

eight books for each class.

Conforming to the recommendations of the National Curriculum Framework for School Education,

these books have been designed to enable holistic development of the learner.

The aim of creating these books is to enable “Learning without burden”, by reducing the load of the school bag.

The student needs to carry only a single book at a time, thereby, having a lighter school bag through the year.

• Well-graded and level-specific

• Child-friendly layout, illustrations, and exercises

• Sufficient pages allocated to cover the core skills

across each subject area

Key Features

• Adequate practice exercises across subjects

• Books for classes I and II broadly follow a

workbook format, bringing down the need for a

separate homework notebook.

Subjects covered across these books are as follows

For classes 1 and 2

For classes 3 to 5

1. English, 2. Mathematics, 3. Environmental Studies, 4. Computer Science,

5. Value Education 6. General Knowledge

1. English, 2. Mathematics, 3. Science, 4. Social Studies, 5. Computer Science,

6. Value Education, 7. General Knowledge

For more information kindly contact us

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A TEACHER

by Accident

Rubina Majid


I had an innate

ability to deal with

people, a quality

needed to be an

entrepreneur.

I had a strong

concern and empathy

towards

other people, a

quality needed to

be a doctor.


Growing up in the beautiful

Kashmir Valley, I never wanted

to be a teacher. There was a

time when I wanted to be an air

hostess and another when I wanted to be a

doctor as I couldn’t bear to see anyone in

pain. When I finished college, becoming a

teacher was the last thing on my mind. I

wanted to be an entrepreneur or a business

executive.

But I guess destiny had a different plan for

me. My neighbour was the principal at the

American School in the Middle East where

my husband was working at that time. We

would meet and talk in the evenings and

one day, he remarked that he felt I would

be good with children. And that got me

thinking!

I had an innate ability to deal with people,

a quality needed to be an entrepreneur. I

had a strong concern and empathy towards

other people, a quality needed to be a

doctor. Not to forget the ability to smile

that I had practised for hours in front of

the mirror to fulfil my dream of becoming

an air hostess. I realised that these are the

very qualities which one needs to become

a teacher.

No one in my family had ever been a teacher

and I went into uncharted waters with no

one to help me. But I realised teaching was

in my blood and it became my calling. I just

loved being a teacher because the classroom

was my own space where my students

discovered their love of learning new things.

I encouraged their love for puzzles and

patterns as it helped them to solve problems

in maths and science. My students identified

themselves with the characters in the stories

and related them with their own experiences.

They expressed their feelings and learned to

understand and empathise with the feelings

of others. The students learnt to listen to

their inner voice by shutting the noises from

the outer world and developed confidence in

their own abilities.

I loved the fact they celebrated their

differences and shared their similarities.

Teaching made me aware of the fact that

each child is smart in their own way. I was

a part of their learning, joy and sadness.

Over the years, my students have kept in

touch with me and have invited me for their

graduations and weddings! Looking back I

realise, that there were times when I did not

to see immediate results of my teaching. But

I persisted and was a part of their learning

process. I firmly believe that we as teachers

should continue to invest in our students

and help them grow and learn while they are

with us. The dividends may not be ours but

the payoff will be for the society. And this is

why I continue to teach even now!!

www.icsl.org.in | 57


From The School Leaders’ Blog

www.icsl.org.in/school-leaders-blog

LEADERS

TRANSFORM

G. Balasubramanian

Here is a story which I read

from one of the articles of

Prof. Debashish Chatterjee,

IIM, Lucknow. It is quite

interesting:

A poor farmer in China was in great

distress. He was a peace-loving person who

had to share a single room with four noisy

roommates. Besides, there were a couple

of stray dogs and a few noisy chickens and

ducks in the neighbourhood that made it

difficult for him to sit quietly or meditate.

Depressed, he travelled a long distance to

his Zen master to find a way out.

Listening to his tale of woe, the compassionate

Master said: “If you listen to me carefully, I

can try to see what we can do.” The farmer

was all ears.

The Master said: “Go back to your village

and invite inside your room the stray dogs,

the chickens as well as the ducks. Let them

all stay with you for a week besides your four

friends. Then come back to me.”

Although he was shocked and surprised by

his Master’s strange prescription, the farmer

reluctantly agreed to do as he was asked.

The farmer came back after a week. He was

in a pitiable state; his hair was dishevelled,

his clothes were torn to shreds, his eyes were

red from lack of sleep and his body smelt of

animal dung.

He looked tearfully at his Master and said:

The experience was worse than hell. Those

animals and birds and their week-long

company. Let my fate not befall anyone!”

The Master said: “Everything will be all

58| www.progressiveteacher.in


ight. Just go back to your village and leave

the animals outside your door, where they

were before. Then, come back to me after

another seven days.

The farmer again did what he was told.

But this time when he came back there was

a bright radiance in his face. His eyes shone

and he told the Master: “I have never known

so much peace before. Just my four friends

and I. No animals in the room. We all slept

well. And my meditation was deep.”

“ While change could be at the physical level,

transformation occurs at the inner level. It

is a paradigm shift in the inner conscious

level. Once an individual transforms, all

that bothers him from the external level do

not continue to torture him.


www.icsl.org.in | 59


Many years later, the farmer himself became

a Master. When people asked him how he

had found peace, he said: “The journey

was indeed memorable. It was like taking

great pains in breaking into your own

house by climbing a ladder and smashing

a windowpane, and realizing later that the

door of the house was open. All you needed

to do was to pull in the door towards you

rather than push it.”

Can you identify what is the moral of the

story?

Leaders Do Not Conform, But They

Transform.

Lao-Tzu, a noted Zen Master says:

Conquering others requires force;

conquering oneself requires strength.

Transformation of mind and behaviour

calls for strength. Transformation is not a

meager change. While change could be at

the physical level, transformation occurs at

the inner level. It is a paradigm shift in the

inner conscious level. Once an individual

transforms, all that bothers him from the

external level do not continue to torture him.

A stone sculpture of Lao-Tzu

Rabindranath Tagore says:

Flower that is single need not envy the thorns

that are numerous.

Flowering is transformation. It spreads

fragrance. Leaders should transform. They

should spread the fragrance of the beauty of

the self to the entire community.

What about academic leaders?

Submit Your Blog Articles

We invite you to submit blog articles

of less than 500 words related to any

aspect of school education that you

are passionate about.

A selected article will be published

in the magazine for all our readers.

Mail your article to

info@icsl.org.in

Rabindranath Tagore’s bust at St Stephen Green Park, Dublin, Ireland

60| www.progressiveteacher.in


Festivals of The World

Ramadan: 20 Facts You Ought To Know

During 2010 Middle East negotiations in the United States, Hosni Mubarak and Benjamin Netanyahu check their watches to see the time of Iftar.

1. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

2. It commemorates the first revelation of the Qur’an to

Muhammad (S.A.W.).

3. The month lasts 29–30 days based on the visual sightings

of the crescent moon.

4. The Arabic root of the word ‘Ramadan’ means ‘scorching

heat’ or ‘dryness’.

5. Suhoor is the pre-fast meal, before dawn.

6. Iftar, is the post-fast breaking feasts after sunset.

7. Laylat-ul-Qadr, (the night of power) is considered the

holiest night of the year.

8. Ashra of Ramadan: Ramadan has been divided into

3 parts. 1-10 days reflects Mercy of Allah (Rehmah).

11-20 days reflects Forgiveness of Allah (Magfirah).

21-29 0r 30 days reflects Safety from Hell (Nijat).

9. Iftar begins with eating ‘dates’ as according to tradition,

Muhammad (S.A.W.) broke fast with three dates.

10. After breaking the fast with dates, Muslims generally

adjourn for the Maghrib prayer, the fourth of the five daily

prayers, after which the main meal is served.

11. It is believed that all good deeds during Ramadan are more

handsomely rewarded than in any other month of the year.

12. In some Muslim countries today, Lanterns have become

symbolic decorations welcoming the month of Ramadan.

13. Many Javanese Indonesians bathe in holy springs to prepare

for fasting, a ritual known as Padusan.

14. Common greetings during Ramadan are “Ramadan

Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem”.

15. In Kuwait, a monetary fine and/or a jail term are imposed

for those seen eating, drinking or smoking during

Ramadan daytime.

16. In Saudi Arabia, people not fasting during the day get

harsher punishments, including flogging, imprisonment

and, for foreigners, deportation.

17. In Malaysia, Muslims who break the fast during daytime are

simply arrested by the religious police. People who sell food,

drinks, or tobacco to Muslims for immediate consumption

can be fined and imprisoned for up to six months.

18. In 2014, Muslims in Iceland, and Norway, fasted almost

22 hours.

19. Muslims continue to work during Ramadan because

Muhammad said that it is important to keep a balance

between worship and work.

20. Eid- ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.

www.icsl.org.in | 61


BOOK REVIEW

Honest

Portrayal of

Hostel Life!

by Sanjay Pahwa

I

would like to begin this

review in a somewhat

unusual manner, by stating

what I expected from the

book, and what I got. Before I

began reading the book, I was

expecting a somewhat dry and

didactic tome, which would be

filled with abstract ideas and

advice about schools and how to

run them, for after all the author

is a chairman of a well-known

public school.

Instead, to my surprise and

relief, I found myself going

through an honest appraisal of

the author’s own school days in a

boarding school. Having lived in

a boarding myself, I could relate

with every incident and aspect

of school life. The icing on the

cake was the delightful sense of

humour which ran through the

entire narration. As I read about

the incident of the brothers’

missing socks, the author’s

attempts at painting and music,

the incident of Ram’s dhoti, I

found myself chuckling heartily,

remembering my own days in a

boy’s hostel. The incidents have

been brought to life with deft

strokes.

The riveting storytelling and the

humour, however, were only the

tip of the proverbial iceberg. I

soon realized that behind the

effortless and easy narrative

style lay a wisdom that was both

earthy and worldly wise at the

same time, which was honed out

of the author’s own experiences

in life. By weaving in the

accounts from other famous

schools, the author succeeds in

capturing a broader stage.

It is a book that everybody, be

they parents, students, teachers,

principals, or the public at

large should read not merely

for entertainment, but also

edification and instruction on

what makes a rounded school

education. From the importance

of hostel life to the responsibility

of parents in bringing up

the children, from the fine

distinction between harmless

schoolboy pranks which is so

essential to bonding and growth,

and rank indiscipline it covers

and deals sensitively with almost

every aspect of being children.

The book has interesting titbits

in the author’s inimitable style,

which is simultaneously easy

going, humorous and deeply

empathetic. The empathy is deep

seated and its roots lie in the fact

that he is speaking from a lived

experience, as a hostler in a

boy’s school and as a chairman

who has been overseeing the

running of a school for the past

30 years.

In the end, I was left amused, but

also educated by ‘Let’s pray before

our meal’. Richly illustrated, it

is a story of transference and

transformation, transference

of the traditions and values

that the author imbibed during

his school days, and their

transformation to fit the school

and world of today.

62| www.progressiveteacher.in


www.icsl.org.in | 63


64| www.progressiveteacher.in

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