How We Teach & Learn
“If a child can’t learn the way we teach, maybe we should teach the way they learn.” Ignacio Estrada.
When young children come to school for the first time, they have their own hopes, expectations and apprehensions. Some of them come with a lot of excitement while some are anxious about stepping into the new environment. To put children at ease, we provide a child-friendly, child-centred classroom environment.
At the PECHS Girls’ School we place a lot of importance on understanding each student’s unique personality, temperament and varied strengths so that we can help them move forward from wherever they are in their own development. We offer a range of activities that engage children’s varied interests, so that they develop as secure, confident, young citizens, well equipped to thrive and contribute positively to society.
Our teaching is not just about delivering lectures and rote memorising answers to pre-determined questions; it is about involving children and engaging them in the process of learning. Instead of asking children countless questions from each textbook, we encourage them to ask us questions to help them gain clarity about new concepts and develop the skills to articulate what they are thinking about and what they have understood.
Our pedagogy is based on Active Learning, which is a hands-on, minds-on approach to instruction that engages students in their learning. Teachers are facilitators of learning; instead of being one-way providers of information, they involve students in inquiry, questioning, role play, project based learning, exploration, and discovery. Occasionally we use the Socratic method too. We help our students “own” their knowledge, which is reinforced by integrating academics with music, drama, and the visual arts.
Active Learning is important because it provides a deeper understanding of material, as students are engaging with the content rather than just listening to it. It helps to maintain student concentration and deepens learning towards the higher-level skills such as, critical thinking. This level of thinking goes beyond simple comprehension of text, and can also improve memory. When students get the opportunity to think about, talk about and engage with content they are better able to process the content.
Since we offer our children the space to explore and experiment and take ownership of their own learning, they are more responsible in their actions. From Years 1 – 10, we teach our children to act responsibly by giving them responsibility, which they happily accept. From the furniture in their classroom to the stationery they use, to the handling of library books to their behaviour inside and outside the classroom, they take responsibility for it. They learn how to use different resources not just creatively but responsibly, with a view to being eco-friendly.
We also have a no-bells policy. Bells have been rung in schools from time immemorial to signal the change in periods. Here all of us have to be responsible for managing our own time. There are clocks in every classroom and clocks in every corridor which are synchronized regularly. It is a great joy to observe our children looking at the clocks during recess to get back to their classrooms on time.
At the core of good teaching there are some basic ethical values: mutual respect, honesty, fairness, freedom and responsibility and this is what we strive for.