A new face of mathematics was shown to us in the IAAT classroom with one of the founders of an Organisation called JODO GYAN. Jodo Gyan is an organisation which works with the vision to make mathematics learning worthwhile for children across Government and Private schools in the country. They take up teacher training to equip teachers with the various Learning and Teaching materials to make mathematics approachable by every child.The virtues of education that were brought across were so much applicable not only mathematics but the overall education of the child in the real sense. The central goal for the Jodo Gyan Founders to be able to use the research and developments done in the field mathematics to the real classrooms and uplift the children’s understanding of mathematical concepts. Jodo Gyan today is a well-accepted name in many schools across the country and is aiming at possibly changing the way our children look at mathematics.
Apart from the Tanning and taking the Pedagogy to various schools the founders run a School as well.This is where the team works with the children and takes the tried and trusted methodology to the schools across the country.The School was started to cater to the children of the people of Shakurpur in Delhi which is a restatement colony.
The school is a multigrade school with children from age 3-5 go to a class called Nanhe Tare, The children are in the same classroom for 2 years learning with their peers. The elder kinds after spending 2 years move on to at age 5 to Chandamama, stay there till they are 7 years and move on at age 7 to Lal Suraj stay there till9 and move on at 9 years to Neela Assman till age 11 Years. The children are divided into Groups called ‘Parivaar’. Each Parivaar has children of different ages, just like in a family. The older kid in the Parivaar is also the ‘Mukhiya’ or the leader of the Parivaar. The older kids take care of the younger ones in the group, making sure that they get enough opportunity to ask questions or give answers or otherwise participate in the class. The children come up with names for their respective Parivaars themselves- Tota, Mehakte Phool, Macchli, Chamakte Taare, and Chaand.
The classes of multi-grade children displayed peer learning and every class and topic had learned for every age group of that class. Teachers come from the same colony are they are trained by the team. Most teachers are a part of the school for more than 10 years and have played different roles in the organization. Children and teachers in school had a very positive approach to learning and teaching. Every teacher showed the best of teaching practices and the passion to create understanding in each and every child of her class. Children felt secure with their expressions. Elder children helped the younger children in the class.
The curriculum is set, teachers highlight one topic in the first year, a related topic is taken up in the second year, and consolidate everything in the third year. For example in Lal Suraj, children were learning about dental model of human teeth children created Teeth Models from mud and clay in the first year, then in the second year, they made bar charts depicting number of teeth and classification of teeth, then in the third year they would learn about role of spit and tongue as a way towards getting a better understanding of digestive system.
The charts all around the classroom were made by the children and teachers to help children get a visual experience. Every corner of the classroom was effectively used to create learning experiences for children. Children displayed an understanding of complex concepts via their charts. Absolute use of every classroom resource was used to its optimum. Minimalist space used to its optimum was seen in every aspect from space to resource. The classroom management skills of the teachers were commendable, following of norms by children at every age level for evident. Being a multi-grade classroom the teacher maintained right levels of curiosity to each age group in her classroom. It was the joy to hear a student say to the younger student “I also thought the same as you last year, don’t worry you will soon understand”
In the Chandama Mama classroom with age group 3-5 years, children learnt when they were playing. We saw children at this age do a role play of the story with just one narration of the story. The teachers helped the children decide on the roles and children presented a flawless role play of the story in no time. Soon they were transitioned with “Lambi Daddhi wale baba” to a math class to again play a game to understand Matching the numbers using the domino cards. The teachers understood that the children in this age do not have an attention span greater than 20 min and soon the class moved to a free play where children choose what they wanted to play, Options were to be Doctors, Paly in the sandpit, be a homemaker etc.
It was a sheer pleasure to see the school and the teachers with selfless commitment to work to bring about a change in the way the world thinks about mathematics. The Jodo Gyan team has showered there lives over the larger goal and objective towards children and mathematics pedagogy. It is inspiring to see the commitment with which the team works towards the larger goal.