Recently, Anshuman and I were invited to conduct a workshop for pre-school DPS teachers. These teachers were attending a certificate course in ‘Early Childhood Education’ that is organised by the DPS society to enhance the skills of their teachers. The subjects covered in the course upskills the teachers in areas of modern challenges in education, multi-lingual teaching, emotional IQ of children, innovative ways to teach and others. The workshop we facilitated was titled ‘Value education through digital story-telling’.
Stories are a popular way to teach moral values to children, case in point being Panchtantra and Aesop’s fables. Children connect with stories, the characters and the actions in them. They are able to use these learnings in their life as stories are memorable. The workshop demonstrated how to use digital means to achieve the same objective of engaging with children, while giving the freedom to the teachers to focus on the children.
Our audience consisted of 51 teachers from various parts of India. These teachers had 3 to 5 years of experience behind them. Hence, we kept the workshop collaborative, so that teachers could learn from each other’s experience as well.
We commenced the session by asking the teachers about the values they consider important for children to learn, especially in the modern world – a world that undergoes frequent change. NCERT also lays stress on the importance of value education. Following this, we created teams for the collaborative activities, with each team nominating a team leader. Each of our activities was based on the first three principles of Bloom’s taxonomy – listening, comprehending and applying.
The activities were progressive in nature to allow the teacher to gauge the child’s understanding of what was happening. The teachers participated in the activities as a child would! The team leader of each team was the ‘teacher’, who now learnt how digital story-telling was making her life easier in the classroom. The audio stories available on Neev magazine played the role of the story-teller. The teacher could control the narration to suit the activity for the children. Illustration for each story provided the necessary visual tool for the teacher to improve the child’s understanding and improve creative thinking. At the end of each activity, the teachers shared the other methods they use in the classroom.
Towards the end of the workshop, we asked each team to create a story based on illustrations we showed. Each team came up with an entirely different interpretations of the story. But, all made sure that they included one or more values for the children to take away from the stories.
The entire workshop focussed on ensuring that each teacher participated in an activity and got a chance to learn from others and share their own experience. The varied activities introduced the teachers to new skills, tools and techniques to enhance story telling in a class room environment, while ensuring that children are exposed to value based education.
DPS Society was one of the first to sensitise it’s teachers towards children with learning disabilities. Embracing digital modes of education inside and outside the classroom makes it easier for children to learn at their own pace. It is with this aim that Neev magazine is the only children’s magazine to provide content to Sugamya Pustakalaya. Sugamya Pustakalaya, a government initiative, is India’s first and largest collection of accessible books for people with print disabilities.