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Decoding Student-Centred Learning


(With inputs from Sarojani Ayyapath, Primary Co-ordinator)

Samhita Academy, Bangalore (CBSE)

Samhita Academy in Bangalore is another school that uses the XSEED curriculum, but the Principal of the school, Kamakshi Jayaram talks about how her teachers and she, while using the XSEED curriculum as the foundation for the teaching model, add their own elements to build a customised one that suits their students’ needs. Some of the practices being followed at Samhita include:

  • Teaching methods
    • Use of the collaborative learning process: Rather than the chalk and talk method or lecture mode, the school has “inquiry-based or experiential learning”. For example, to learn about a flower, the teacher gives students a flower which has been separated into its parts; students work in groups to discover how to put the flower back together and understand what each part’s function could be
    • Teachers are regularly trained, both by XSEED and the school. They are always on the lookout for interesting teaching aids; for example, they adapted the reading kit of a well-known publisher to create age-appropriate reading and vocabulary cards for students
    • Rearranging the class seating arrangement to facilitate interaction and collaborative learning
  • Assessments
    • The school does not have examinations till grade 4. Instead they have continuous assessments. At grade 5, summative assessments are introduced
    • Assessments focus more on higher order thinking skills. So students are tested on concepts and application of concepts in known and unknown contexts
    • After the tests are corrected, the teacher analyses how the class as a whole has fared on a question and investigates further if many students have got a question wrong. This is quite different from the traditional testing model that focuses on overall performance of students and ranks them relatively. Here, the onus of performance shifts back to the teacher and to causative analysis

Kids Central, Chennai (Designs own curriculum, but will probably choose to affiliate with IGCSE)

An increasing number of schools actually design their own curriculum to ensure that it stays relevant, interesting and student-centred. Valli Subaiah of Kids Central designs the curriculum of the school in-house. To do this, she has borrowed from the strengths of different curricula and also added her own ideas based on her expertise to develop a way of learning that keeps children engaged. And her students do manage to bring in good results. Interestingly, this school does not refer to the plethora of textbooks available in the market – they simply use workbooks.

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