The noted educationist, Ms. Maya Menon conducted a valuable two day workshop for the teachers of the S.P.Programme of the Heritage School Gurgaon on the seventh and the eighth of January. Ms. Maya Menon, an educationist with an experience of more than thirty years in the field is known to have worked towards designing and implementing a wide range of school and teacher-related projects and services including the Wipro Applying Thought in Schools Teacher Empowerment Project initiated in 2001 and Safe and Sensitive Schools project in 2009. She is also known for setting up The Newspaper in Education Programme (Popularly known as NIE) for the Times of India Newspaper in Bangalore. It was a matter of great honour to have her with for two days.
The workshop conducted by Ms. Maya Menon was based on addressing Effective Teaching and classroom Management and Collaborative Learning in schools through Group Work. The workshop on the first day focussed on a review of current classroom situations, assessing teacher-student interaction, dealing with difficult students through role play by the teachers and the formulating of simple strategies for positive classroom communication. On the second day, the workshop focussed on creating strategies for collaborative learning in the context of students sitting in crews or groups rather than the traditional rows and columns. The focus for the second day was, circle time with an interesting activity labelled, ‘feely dice’, understanding the term, ‘group work’, analyzing the stages of group development, developing skills for group work. The workshop on the second day also addressed the theory of group work, roles and functions in groups, roles and functions in groups, making group works possible. The whole workshop was based on actual role play and experiential exercises.
What I found, as a participant teacher in this workshop was that many of my doubts and queries regarding collaborative learning were addressed and strategies for taking this pedagogy were formulated. We have as educators and facilitators already moved forward from a traditional classroom structure to one that promotes group work, collaboration and a more student centric structure. The workshop has helped to promote a style of teaching that caters to greater student participation and a more experiential form of pedagogy.
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