Member Spotlight

Independent Thinkers

By Dr. Pramila Kudva

March 3, 2024

“The ability to learn by oneself is the greatest gift any teacher can give a learner; indeed it is the ultimate aim of all education”.

After the exam, if we ask students any questions, they will go unanswered. The reason is simple, they have forgotten. To effect a change from Rote learning to Independent learning is a paradigm shift. Teachers need to work harder.

Gone are the days when the teacher was the storehouse of knowledge. Today, Google has replaced that. So, the teacher’s role is to facilitate.

Let’s see how Independent thinking can be learnt.
This technique is called the POE technique of teaching science. Predict, Observe and explain (Kudva, 2023)

POE Technique
The teacher takes a jug full of water and a Pepsi light can filled one. Before the teacher puts the Pepsi light can in the water the students have to predict what will be the result of such an action then the can is put in the water and what do you find?

The Pepsi light can floats. Now the students have to check their prediction after observing the experiment and state reasons why it does happen?.
This experiment can be made a little more difficult by pouring some oil on the can. This time the can levitates. Very often students do not arrive at this answer. All students know to recite Pascal’s law But, fail to apply it to the context. Oil pressure on the water surface is bigger down than on the upper surface of the can and the pressure transmitted through the water increases the pressure on the bottom of the can. This is the reason for the levitation.

One More thing can be added to this Experiment. Show a diet Pepsi and the regular Pepsi to the students and ask them which would float?

Through storytelling technique
I had developed this module a few years ago when I was teaching in the primary. Let me start with that technique. we are familiar with the story Goldilocks and the three bears no how do we make this into an active learning process? a few questions to ask first. This is related to the grade 1 & 2 at the foundation level.

How could Goldilocks enter the bear’s home?
What was the mistake made by the bears?
What should Goldilocks have done before entering somebody else’s house and helping herself to the food?
Baby bear likes Goldilocks. He would welcome her to the house and treat her to milk and biscuits. What would they talk about?
This would help in teaching conversation.

Grade 3 & 4 we can use slightly higher order questions.

What would be the dialogue between Goldilocks and the Bears?
Write the dialogue in the simple present tense and change it to simple past tense.
We can get the students to see the similarities and differences between the tales of Snow White and Cinderella
Sequencing the story is a good exercise so mixed templates can be given.
Students can be asked to end the story differently.

Teachers have a lot of responsibility in shaping the personality of the child. I end with my favourite quote:

“A hundred years from now, it will not matter what kind of car I drove, what kind of house I lived in, how much money I had in the bank … but the world may be a better place because I made a difference in the life of a child.”
– Forest E. Witcraft

Kudva Pramila, From Chalk to Talk The art of Teaching, The write order, 2023.