School subjects often become boring and monotonous for the students. The majority who are not interested in academics as a whole or in certain subjects find it very difficult to stand up to the challenges. In addition to this, schools and teachers have one standard way of teaching most of the time. The theory explanation in groups of students and the standard lab work does not do the trick with all students. So many students are left to the rote learning methods to complete their school years.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. A subject that is leant with interest stays with the student for long and its practical applicability is better. More over the reproduction and representation in the examinations is also much better. Unfortunately the schools do not have enough time to go out of way to teach the same subjects using different methods. To cope up with the missing link, the students join various coaching classes in masses. However the coaching classes are again copies of classroom with 30-40 and in some cases 60-70 students in a classroom. This again does not serve the purpose of individual students who cannot learn or understand at the speed of the class or need some other methods to reach to similar level of understanding. These students who generally have a low self esteem owing to repeated low scores cannot bring themselves to raise a question in the class to clarify their doubts either.
The common scenario is that the choice of schools and that of coaching centers is purely based on its popularity. There is a race to join only certain classes taught by certain teachers. No doubt these teachers are good and hence the classes are over booked. However, here the question is not about the teacher. It is about the learning type of the student and his/her speed and way of grasping. All students are individuals and have a certain personality and learning type.
Not all students in a class are equally interested in the subject, not do they all have the same level of grasping and retaining. Then why do we insist on joining the class by the popularity of the teacher or the status associated in being the student of a particular institute?
How Individual students can be helped?
Whenever a student is not able to score decently repeatedly the following steps are to be taken:
Interview of the student by a non- related person- this is to understand the reason the student is not performing. The reasons can be many ranging from pure disinterest in studies and lack of respect for hard work to inability to grasp in class room, inability to retain at the speed of class, inability to take down notes the speed of class, inattentiveness and more.
Taking a firsthand feedback from the school and coaching teachers.
Hiring a private tutor who can take the studies at the pace of the student. With an individual tutor the student would be more comfortable in raising queries and discussing issues. For this purpose university students for higher education can be a good option as teachers.
If needed Psychometric analysis can be done to understand the learning type and motivators for the students.
Making studies more interesting and applied- Many students can learn better only that which either is logically clear to them or seems to be highly interesting. Being innovative in providing education to their wards, parents can explore new methods to ignite the interest of their children. Some of these methods are suggested here:
Vedic Mathematics- It is the name given to the ancient system of Indian Mathematics, which was rediscovered from the Vedas between 1911 and 1918 by Sri Bharati Krsna Tirthaji (1884-1960). In the Vedic system 'difficult' problems or huge sums can often be solved immediately by the Vedic method. The simplicity of Vedic Mathematics means that calculations can be carried out mentally. There are many advantages in using a flexible, mental system. Pupils can invent their own methods, they are not limited to the one 'correct' method. This leads to more creative, interested and intelligent pupils. Here is an example to experience the simplicity of this method
EXAMPLE: Adding Time
Here is a nice simple way to add hours and minutes together:
Let's add 1 hr and 35 minutes and 3 hr 55 minutes together.
What you do is this:
make the 1 hr 35 minutes into one number, which will give us 135 and do
the same for the other number, 3 hours 55 minutes, giving us 355
Now you want to add these two numbers together:
So we now have a sub total of 490.
What you need to do to do this and all sub totals is
add the time constant of 40.
No matter what the hours and minutes are,
just add the 40 time constant to the sub total.
490 + 40 = 530
So we can now see our answer is 5 hrs and 30 minutes!
Go ahead and try with any other numbers!!!
Comic books for improving language and communication skills- For children who do not have the love for reading, language skills can be improved by getting interesting comic books for them. These are available in many Indian languages. The Amar chitra Katha is my personal recommendation as it comes with standard language and also connects the child to our glorious past.
How things work- The interest of children in science subjects can be improved by spending time with them in and around the house. Many principle and fundamental of science that is taught can be seen at work somewhere around us. Simply planting of seeds and observing them stage by stage, involving a child in replacing the electric bulb, replacing a flat tire, taking about the rising water level as the child enters the bath tub, discussing how the soap works can be few of the many ways.
Television shows- Shows like “Deconstructed” on Discovery science is one of the shows that can bring science closer to the everyday life of the student and pique his/her interest. Discovery and National geographic telecasts many such interesting shows.
These are but a few examples. You can device your own methods and take help from teachers and guides to find out ways to get you/your child interested in what he/ she is studying. It may sound like an extra activity but will go a long way in the learning..