‘One size fits all’ teaching harms children: Survey
A year-long survey carried out across 600 playschools in the country and involving 200 teachers and 2,000 parents shows that nurseries in India are not addressing the highly individualistic learning capacities of each child, reports Kiran Wadhwa.india Updated: Dec 16, 2008 01:14 IST
Many teachers like using the classic ‘Old MacDonald’ song to teach toddlers about farm animals. But that might not be the best approach for children who are not particularly musical.
A year-long survey carried out across 600 playschools in the country and involving 200 teachers and 2,000 parents shows that nurseries in India are not addressing the highly individualistic learning capacities of each child.
The fact is that some children prefer learning through tactile activities, while others might prefer reading or activities that use movement.
Since a child’s brain develops rapidly during the first six years of his or her life, not addressing these differences can have serious repercussions.
“Some children learn best through rhymes, some through puppets and drama, some learn best when they feel the object,” explained Nitya Ramaswami, head of academics and child development at the Kidzee chain of playschools, India’s largest.
She headed the survey, which was conducted at all their centres through questionnaires and interviews with parents and teachers.
A report, based on the survey, was released earlier this month.
Three-fourths of the parents felt their child’s individual competency was not being tapped.
About 80 per cent of the teachers felt that the method of teaching was more ‘my way or the highway’.
In other words, a teacher decides what topic to teach and how to teach it and the child has no option but to learn it that way.
The survey may be a step to changing this. Other playschools are also trying to adapt their teaching to children’s specific competencies.