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Here’s a list of books for new teachers, seasoned veterans, and anyone interested in Early Childhood Education

In our list, we have something for new teachers, seasoned veterans, and anyone who is interested in the field of Early Childhood Education.

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The early childhood years are both exciting and crucial. It is in this phase of life for kids from birth to 5 years that major development takes place. This list of 10 best books on Early Childhood Education offers both comprehensive and practical directives for educating to this very important group of minds. In our list, we have something for new teachers, seasoned veterans, and anyone who is interested in the field of Early Childhood Education.

What's Going On in There? How the Brain and Mind Develop in the First Five Years of Life by Lise Eliot

Drawing upon the exploding research in the field of Early Childhood as well as the stories of real children, What's Going On in There? is a thought-provoking book that charts the brain's development from conception through the critical first five years. In examining the many factors that play crucial roles in that process, What's Going On in There? explores the evolution of the senses, motor skills, social and emotional behaviors, and mental functions such as attention, language, memory, reasoning, and intelligence. This informative and interesting book shows the innumerable ways in which you can actually help children grow better brains.

Early Childhood Education – A Training Manual by Margaret Irvine

The training techniques and modules presented in this manual published by UNESCO and the Bernard van Leer Foundation will facilitate the implementation of Early Childhood training sessions and enhance the skills of trainers, parents, and caregivers. The ideas and practices in this manual will ensure the continued development of active, participatory, experiential learning approaches and their acceptance as an integral part of Early Childhood training programmes.

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Powerful Interactions: How to Connect With Children to Extend Their Learning by Amy Laura Dombro, Judy Jablon, and Charlotte Stetson

Powerful Interactions: How to Connect with Children to Extend their Learning gives teachers of preschool age children insight into what teachers call a teachable moment and the authors call 'powerful interactions'. Written by the authors of The Power of Observation, this book will guide you through these three steps of a Powerful Interaction – Be Present, Connect, Extend Learning – in a series of self-guided lessons enlivened with tips, hints, invitations to reflect, and vignettes.

How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

This is a sensible, lucid guide to practical and effective communication with your children. Using logical approaches to common problems, Faber and Mazlish demonstrate how to improve relationships with children, to make them less stressful and more rewarding.

Basic Montessori: Learning Activities For Under-Fives by David Gettman

Basic Montessori opens the celebrated philosophy and method to a more general public. David Gettman has devised a clear and modern explanation of Montessori's revolutionary ideas about early intellectual development and provides a step-by-step guide to the Montessori learning activities most commonly used with under-fives. These include activities for introducing reading and writing, counting and decimal concepts, science, and geography, as well as activities that help develop the child's practical and sensorial skills.

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Bringing Learning to Life: The Reggio Approach to Early Childhood Education by Louise Boyd Cadwell

In this book, Cadwell helps educators understand what it means to use ideas from the Reggio Approach in their classrooms. She describes the growth and evolution of the work in the St Louis Region collaborative since the early 1990s.

Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

Kids are natural tinkerers. They experiment, explore, test, and play, and they learn a great deal about problem-solving through questions and hands-on experiments. This book is about helping parents and teachers of babies, toddlers, and preschoolers understand and tap into this natural energy with engaging, kid-tested, easy-to-implement projects that value process over product. The creative experiments shared in this book foster curiosity, promote creative and critical thinking and encourage tinkering–mindsets that are important to children growing up in a world that values independent thinking.

How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

How Children Succeed introduces us to a new generation of scientists and educators who are radically changing our understanding of how children develop character, how they learn to think, and how they overcome adversity. This provocative and profoundly hopeful book will not only inspire and engage readers; it will also change our understanding of childhood itself.

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How To Get Kids To Say Yes!: Using the Secret Four Color Languages to Get Kids to Listen by Ella Schreiter, Liz Schreiter, Keith Schreiter

This book is really good at providing insights into children's personality, what motivates them and how to support them. Kids view the world in different ways. Once we know how they view the world, our words get through. We don’t have to be a psychologist, psychic, or super-parent. We just have to meet kids "where they are." How To Get Kids To Say Yes! helps you recognize which of the four basic personalities fits our kids and then talk to our kids about common words that fit their view of their world.

The Complete Resource Book for Preschoolers: An Early Childhood Curriculum With Over 2000 Activities and Ideas by Pam Schiller, Kay Hastings

The Complete Resource Book is perfect to use as a planning guide or as a resource for responding to children's specific interests. The daily plans have circle time, music and movement activities, suggested books, and learning center ideas. The appendix is jam-packed with songs, recipes, and games. Though some of the stuff may seem a bit outdated, this book will give enough structure and practical ideas to the Early Childhood educator to make something personalized with less stress.

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Educating the Heart, Mind and Body

True education, which comes with an educated heart, mind, and body, helps us overcome our prejudices and become wholesome human beings who are not only intellectually sound but also physically productive and socially conscious.

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Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all!

Aristotle

The above adage by Aristotle implies the importance of imparting values like empathy, compassion, resilience, rationality, humanity, accountability, integrity, confidence, and courage through education. True education, which comes with an educated heart, mind, and body, helps us overcome our prejudices and become wholesome human beings who are not only intellectually sound but also physically productive and socially conscious.

In considering the opening paragraph, are we ready to re-envision our learners and rethink their education? Are we ready to prepare our children for an unknown future and make them believe in their potential to create the future they desire? 

I believe the immediate responses would be: Undeniably! It is the need of the hour! However, preparing the creators of the future requires an internal shift in the adults’ mindset—be it parents, educators, or policymakers.

At Jhamtse Gatsal, a young children’s community that I started in 2006 to raise and educate children from backgrounds of trauma and adversity from my remote region in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, we believe that education must align every child’s potential, developmental needs, and dreams with their talents and abilities. It must focus on the processes of learning over outcomes as well as nurture each child’s unique competencies, skills, and pace of growth. Finally, it must foster holistic student learning and expression in academic, social-emotional, artistic, and essential life skills.

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Embracing a gardener’s approach because Jhamtse Gatsal means Garden of Love and Compassion, our educational approach values every child. Each adult at Jhamtse Gatsal acts like a gardener and sees children as unique seeds with their own growing needs and contributions. We believe that every child is like a tiny seed with the immeasurable potential to grow into healthy, thriving, and abundant trees. Thus, our educational model places the child at the center, and through the right nurturance and a conducive environment, lets their potential emerge from within.

I believe that today’s learners require an education system and learning environment which enhances creativity and engagement rather than conformity and compliance to make the transition from seeker to a creator mindset. A truly educated person understands the purpose of creation. S/He works with intelligence for the benefit of everyone. Hence, at Jhamtse Gatsal, we focus on fostering an understanding of interdependence and responsibility to nurture our children as individuals, but not make them individualistic.

The National Education Policy 2020 is a step in the right direction towards such nurturance. Its rootedness in the rich heritage of ancient and eternal Indian thought of pursuit of knowledge (jnan), wisdom (pragyaa), and truth (satya) being the highest human goal which is supported by modern-day technological developments strongly resonates in the educational model being practiced at Jhamtse Gatsal.

When we educate the heart, mind, and body of each child through a learn, reflect, and engage pedagogy, it enables our children to cultivate compassion to nurture, wisdom to guide, and skill to serve. I believe such learning equips children with skills to create an equitable and sustainable future for themselves and others. To achieve this goal, our education needs to transition from schooling with siloes of academic, extra-curricular, vocational, life skills, or social-emotional learning. Given the rapid post-liberalization growth, climate change, and a pandemic that brought humanity to a standstill, fostering adaptability, resilience, and human-centric skills are the need of the hour. All these skills must be interwoven to raise conscious, responsible, and capable human beings.

Such preparation necessitates us—the adults—to be willing to unlearn and relearn first. Simply incorporating skill-building or social-emotional programs as extra-curricular activities is not enough. Learning must give mainstream emphasis and time to foster a diverse range of skills to enable children to create the future they desire. Our National Education Policy 2020 has broadly mapped out how such interconnected learning can be achieved. Now curricula need to be developed to translate it into action.

Furthermore, simply reimagining curricula that accommodate the three essentials of educating the heart, mind, and body as well as the diverse learning styles of all children is not enough to meet the educational needs of all learners. We also need to imagine a new generation of learning spaces that can support our learners and educators to engage with and deliver progressive curricula.

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To my mind, the new generation of learning spaces must include the following aspects:

Utility

Be adaptable, spacious, and flexible learning spaces, designed for efficient access, and which can respond to the needs of all learners, educators as well as the evolving technologies needed to fulfill the present and future needs of our learners.

Wellbeing

The design of the reimagined learning spaces must be comfortable, safe, and healthy for children while stimulating their emotional wellbeing.

Significance

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Research has shown that when a physical learning space embodies its ‘inherent pedagogy,’ the cultural, psychological, and behavioural attributes of the physical space shape both the learning and the teaching. Envisioning our learning spaces to manifest our values, as was the case in generations past, would inspire learners to imbibe these principles.

When the design of our learning spaces is inherently suited to enhance the educational experience of all learners, it would allow learners to make choices and experiment with learning techniques to ultimately discover how they learn best and where their true passions lie. It would equip educators with a greater capacity to effectively respond to the diverse learning needs of their learners.

Last but not the least, the Covid-19 pandemic lay bare the existing fault lines within the educational system and reinforced the importance of technology in narrowing the long-standing gaps, disparities, and inequities. I envision a Classroom 2.0 which would pair humans and technology and enable parents, educators, and policymakers to reimagine and rethink the design and development of digital infrastructures to achieve inclusive, equitable, and quality education for all.

About the author:

Lobsang Phuntsok is a former Buddhist monk whose work is focused on transformative education, sustainable development, and social entrepreneurship. In 2006, he started Jhamtse Gatsal Children’s Community in Lumla, Arunachal Pradesh – a loving home and learning environment for 100+ children from backgrounds of trauma and adversity.

Jhamtse Gatsal is a right living laboratory practicing the principles of love and compassion in raising our children through an integrated educational model which focuses on the Three Essentials of the 21st Century: Educating the Heart, Mind, and Body.

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Jhamtse Gatsal has been featured in the Emmy Award winning documentary, Tashi and the Monk. Lobsang is a global speaker on raising and educating children mindfully and compassionately. He has given keynote addresses at the United Nations during the Universal Children’s Day celebrations, the Ministry of Education in Israel, and at diverse learning platforms within India and internationally. He has received several prestigious awards including the Spirit of Humanity Award from the Americares Foundation and the State Gold Medal from the Government of Arunachal Pradesh.

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Transforming School Curriculum – Empowering Learning for Life

As educators, we understand the importance of critical thinking, communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, collaboration, and creativity in the changing environment. 

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“By education, I mean an all-round drawing out of the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit. True education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances or it is not a healthy growth”.

 Mahatma Gandhi

The tremors caused by COVID -19 have shaken the very foundation of the education system globally. The future will bring new challenges and force us to further alter the course of teaching and learning. With social differences becoming fluid and workplaces increasingly complex, education curriculum needs to change and develop systems to confront these challenges. As educators, we understand the importance of critical thinking, communication, conflict resolution, teamwork, collaboration, and creativity in the changing environment.

We are fortunate to have entered the digital era, assisting us in developing new strategies to reimagine learning, thus empowering the young learners to apply classroom concepts to real life. Keeping pace with the changing times, we need to reassess the purpose of a school, the curriculum design, models of assessment, individualised learning, and inclusive education, among other core issues.

Delhi Public School, Sector 45, Gurgaon, understands the relevance and need to consider the development of knowledge, skills, and values for a sustainable ecosystem by creating a safe and effective environment with resilience, emotional intelligence, and a consistently engaged adult learner. We strongly believe in empowering students by adopting best teaching and learning practices, thereby facilitating lifelong learning and the application of acquired knowledge beyond the boundaries of classrooms. Some of our best learning practices are student-led initiatives mentored by the faculty.

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Peer Education Programme – The programme aims to empower students from classes IXXII in knowledge, attitude, and skills. Peer educators serve as role models to direct the thought process of their peers towards leading a disciplined life, honing life skills, strengthening value systems, and making informed choices, thus strengthening the school environment for the psychosocial well-being of the students.

Team Shiksha Kendra (TSK) – As community outreach programmes are an integral part of our curriculum, the senior school students teach the students of Shiksha Kendra, a non-formal afternoon school for children from the marginalised sections of society. They carry out co-scholastic activities with these children for their holistic development, thus creating an inclusive environment through equity in education.

Student-Led Clubs- We have 18 student-led clubs. Every student from classes IX to XII is a part of one club as per their choice. The club is given autonomy to drive and organise meetings, activities, workshops, and competitions, with the support of a teacher in charge who plays the role of a mentor. The club is a platform where the students learn by doing, thereby inculcating 21st -century competency skills- collaboration, communication, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving.

Reconnecting with your Culture (RWYC)„Reconnecting with your Culture’ (RWYC) is an initiative by the EdA Esempi di Architettura (Italia), UNESCO, University and Heritage. The project pursues ‘Quality Education’ objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda, encouraging collaboration between schools, local artists, and musicians and exploring indigenous sports, allowing students to gain quality and inclusive education. The RWYC and DPS Gurgaon collaboration has resulted in the RWYC, Asia India, Chapter collaborating with 12 like-minded schools pan India who have embarked on this journey, sharing their pride and love for their culture across the globe.  Thus, introducing the youth to the rich culture and heritage of the country by involving them to research the cultural diversity.

Seek Ek Khoj- An immersion programme for the students of classes VI to VIII that helps to develop important research skills and promotes hands-on applied learning. The students are mentored by their senior school peers who mentor them in showcasing experiments through working models. These young scientists share their innovations and learn from each other’s experiences.

Keeping the school’s vision in mind, even during pandemic, many initiatives were undertaken in order to maintain the connection with the community and to give back to society like Unmasking Sustainability and Wellness Webinars.

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  1. Unmasking Sustainability- Our student leaders undertook an initiative -Unmasking Sustainability contributing to SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. They collected used cloth through a collection drive in the school and respective localities. After sanitising the clothes, they sent them to Pravah: a skill development centre where 25 female weavers who were facing difficulties seeking employment were asked to create beautiful masks, thus boosting the local handicraft industry and contributing to the call for “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”! Sewing machines were bought with the revenue generated through selling masks, for the weavers to support their households.
  2. Wellness Webinars- Conversations during the pandemic became imperative for social, emotional, and mental well-being and to stay connected during quarantine. Our student moderators interacted on a virtual platform with the stakeholders of the school community- students, teachers, parents, and alumni on issues ranging from getting comfortable in the new normal, FOMO, social anxiety, compassion, and cyber wellness to saving the environment. Encouraging student partnership in resolving issues concerning community by creating responsible, mindful, and compassionate future leaders.

International Collaborations- beyond boundaries

Encouraging cross-border collaborations, we partake in international initiatives involving student contribution. Germany, France, and Poland are our Student- Exchange partners but during the pandemic as we could not meet in physical space, we collaborated on the virtual platform. These online collaborations included:

  • Beats of Harmony – In Harmony with Diversity was a musical collaborative project between our school and VIII PALO, Poland
  • We participated in a partnership project between Thames Festival Trust and the British Council, called the ‘River of Hope’. This art-based project linked schools globally through the study of, rivers and climate change to form the central part of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Students participated in the project with a belief to bring about a change and address some pertinent environmental issues through their artwork.
  • We collaborate with Boston Latin School, Massachusetts, USA on the Project: Global Exploration of Civic Obligation and Civic Responsibility to Advance a Worldwide Common or Collective Good. Our students participate, debate, and engage in conversation with international students using multi-modal ways of communication to put forth their points of view.
  • The Anthology of Poems: Around the World is another international collaborative project spearheaded by our school. This project, a compilation of poems in a flipbook, was the culmination of international collaboration across schools from 13 countries, 21 schools involving  29 teachers, and 93 poets. The project addressed Sustainable Development Goal 4 – The Education Goal, Target 4.7 Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship.

In conclusion, due to the paradigm shift in the concept of school in present unpredictable times, our effort at DPS Gurgaon is to develop a curriculum that fosters innovation and creativity amongst learners. We feel that education should provide knowledge applicable beyond the printed pages of textbooks, empowering one to face real-life issues and promote a sustainable ecosystem for everyone.

About the author:

Ms. Aditi Misra is an alumnus of Delhi Public School, R.K. Puram. She graduated from the Lady Sri Ram College, the University of Delhi with a BA (Honours) in History.

She is the Founder Principal of DPS Gurgaon for 20 years.

She was the CBSE master trainer for CCE and has ideated many books ranging from Life Skills, Art and the CBSE ibook in Social Studies. She has written a series on Social Studies for Class III to V with Pearson Education.

She is a philanthropist, who has initiated many community outreach programs and has collaborated with various NGOs to give back to the community (Cancer Support, Education for the marginalised). She runs a school (non-formal education) for a thousand underprivileged students in the afternoon on the premises of her school.

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Jaipur Set to Host India’s Largest Education Brainstorm

The 4th edition of India’s largest education brainstorming event, the ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF) will be held on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of August, 2022 at Jaipur Marriott Hotel in Pink City.

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Over 500 national and international delegates will be seen attending the fest, PC: RJ Singh

The 4th edition of India’s largest education brainstorming event, the ScooNews Global Educators Fest (SGEF) will be held on the 4th, 5th, and 6th of August, 2022 at Jaipur Marriott Hotel in Pink City. It will bring together over 500 educators to discuss the way towards establishing India as the next global education powerhouse.

The theme for this year’s fest is Transforming School Curriculum: Empowering Learning for Life.

SGEF will run alongside the first edition of TOD-FOD-JOD, a unique ‘tinkering fest’ for early childhood educators. Over 100 speakers will shed light on multi-disciplinary concepts of early childhood education and brainstorm on educational theories that can be applied to the classrooms and early learning centers. During the sessions, educators will reconstruct and repurpose important early childhood theories, practices, and ideas to make them more relevant and applicable in post-pandemic classrooms.

Lakshyaraj Singh Mewar of Udaipur Royalty is the patron of this year’s edition. He said, “I am pleased to be part of the Global Educators Fest 2022. I robustly believe in passion for the development of education in the country. I also admire the hard work, uncountable hours, and innovation being put to work by the Educationalists to scale learning expertise amongst students of the 21st century India.”

Dr. Swati Popat Vats, President, Early Childhood Association said, “We fully recognize the pivotal role played by our educators, especially in early childhood, and are honoured and excited to present them with this special Tod-Fod-Jod conference where experts will conduct activity-based sessions to teach academic concepts using engaging methodologies like story-telling, play, art, and outdoor activities. It will always be our endeavor to empower our educators knowing that they shape our collective future.

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Mr. Ravi Santlani, CEO, ScooNews said, “Global Educators Fest 2022 is a Celebration of Education, now in its fourth year, it has become a most attended, most recognized, and most awaited global event of and for educators. Our focus is to celebrate the good work and ideas with the education fraternity and provide a fertile ground for ideation and discussion. I am honoured and thankful to our advisory board, participants, and patrons for making #SGEF2022 India’s Largest Education Brainstorm.

The SGEF will see top educators speaking on how to move towards a sustainable education system that prioritizes creativity over conformity. Over 100 educators from across the world will speak on key issues concerning Education in the new world, with power-packed panels spread over 2 days.

The attending educators will also benefit from the experiences of Dr. Abdulla Rasheed Ahmed, the Minister of State for Education, Republic of Maldives.

The fest will provide an excellent platform for individuals and organizations contributing to the cause of education, schools as well as start-ups to debate innovation with industry leaders on Industry-Academia partnerships, showcase their products among peers, and network with like-minded people.

ScooNews will also be recognizing individuals and organizations excelling at Innovation in the field of Education by assisting the industry with trend-setting solutions and best practice sharing.

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Guidelines regarding precautions to be observed by schools to combat the ill-effects of the heat-wave

The Ministry of Education yesterday issued the following guidelines regarding precautions to be observed by schools to combat the ill effects of the heatwave.

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Ministry of Education yesterday issued the following guidelines regarding precautions to be observed by schools to combat the ill effects of the heatwave.

  1. Modification in School timings and daily routine
  • School hours may start early and get over before noon. The timing may be from 7.00 AM onwards.
  • The number of school hours per day may be reduced.
  • Sports/other outdoor activities which expose students directly to the sunlight may be appropriately adjusted in the early morning.
  • School assembly should be conducted in a covered area or in classrooms with reduced timing.
  • Similar care may be taken during dispersal after school is over.
  1. Transportation
  • The school bus/van should not be overcrowded. It should not carry students more than the seating capacity.
  • Drinking water and a first aid kit should be available in the bus/van.
  • Students coming to school on foot/bicycle should be advised to keep their heads covered.
  • Parents should be sensitised to pick-up the students themselves, to the extent possible, to avoid public transport and minimise their time out in the sun.
  • School bus/van may be parked in a shaded area.
  1. Hydration
  • Students may be advised to carry their own water bottles, caps and umbrellas and use them when out in the open
  • School should ensure availability of sufficient potable water at multiple places preferably at temperature lower than that of surroundings.
  • Water cooler/earthen pots (pitchers) may be used for providing cold water.
  • In every period, teacher should remind students to sip water from their water bottles.
  • While going back home, schools must ensure that students are carrying water in their bottles.
  • Students should be made aware of the importance of proper hydration to combat the heat wave and advised to drink sufficient water at regular interval.
  • With increased hydration, use of washrooms may increase and schools should be prepared for it by keeping the washrooms hygienic and clean 
  1. Food and Meals

PM POSHAN:

  • Heat can spoil food therefore hot-cooked meals under PM POSHAN must be served hot and fresh. In charge teacher may check the food before serving.
  • Children carrying tiffins may be advised not to carry food that can turn stale quickly.
  • Canteens in schools should ensure that fresh and healthy food is served.
  • Children may be advised to have light food during lunch/tiffin.    
  1. Comfortable classroom
  • School should ensure that all fans are functional and that all classrooms are properly ventilated.
  • Availability of alternate power back up may be arranged, if possible.
  • Curtains/blinds/newspaper, etc. may be used to stop the sunlight entering directly into the classroom.
  • If any local traditional practices are being followed by the school to keep the surroundings cool such as ‘khus’ curtains, bamboo/jute chiks etc., they may be continued.
  1. Uniform
  • Students may be allowed to wear loose and light coloured cotton material dress.
  • Schools may relax norms regarding uniforms such as neckties.
  • Canvas shoes may be allowed instead of leather shoes.
  • Students may be advised to preferably wear full-sleeve shirt.
  1. First-Aid facilities
  • Sachets of ORS solution, or salt and sugar solution to treat mild heat-stroke should be readily available in the schools.
  • Teaching and non-teaching staff should be trained to provide first aid to students in case of mild heat-stroke
  • Schools must ensure quick access to nearest hospital/clinic/doctor/nurse, etc. in case of heatstroke.
  • Essential medical kits should be available in school.
  1. Do’s and Don’ts for students
  • Do’s& Don’ts regarding heat wave should be displayed at prominent places in the school. These may include the following:-

Do’s:

  • Drink sufficient water- even if not thirsty
  • Use ORS (Oral Rehydration solution), homemade drink like lassi, torani (rice water), lemon water, butter milk, etc. to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Wear lightweight, light coloured, loose, cotton clothes.
  • Cover your head by using cloth, hat or umbrella, etc.
  • Stay indoor as much as possible
  • · If you feel faint or ill, see a doctor immediately

Don’ts:

  • · Do not go outside on an empty stomach or after consuming heavy food
  • · Avoid going out in the sun, especially in the afternoon if not required
  • · Avoid strenuous activities when outside in the afternoon
  • · Do not go outside barefoot
  • · Do not eat junk/stale/spicy food
  1. Exam Centres:
  • Children may be allowed to bring their own transparent water bottle in the examination hall.
  • Examination centres should ensure availability of potable drinking water which is easily accessible to the candidates at the centres.
  • Examination Centres should ensure that the candidates are promptly supplied water when asked for at their seats in the examination hall
  • Examination halls may be provided with fans. 
  • Students waiting area at the examination centre may be in a shaded/covered area with provision of water.
  • Linkage of examination centres should be made with local health worker and medical centres for any emergency. 
  1. Residential Schools

            In addition to the above, residential schools may take the following additional measures:

  • Essential medicines for common ailments related with summer season should be available with Staff Nurse.
  • Students may be made aware regarding prevention of heat stroke.
  • Windows in the dormitories should be provided with curtains.
  • Lemon, butter milk& seasonal fruits with high water content should be included in the diet.
  • Spicy food should be avoided.
  • Continuous availability of water and electricity should be ensured in classrooms, hostels and dining hall.
  • Sports and games activities should be conducted in the evening.

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International Day of Education – A Global Celebration on 24 January 2021

24 January is observed as the International Day of Education, 2021 is the 3rd consecutive session.

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“Without quality education and lifelong learning for all, we will not succeed in addressing the challenges of our world. This requires investment, coordination and multilateralism; rethinking what and how we learn, with those who are on the frontlines and will be the actors and citizens of tomorrow: teachers and young people.” Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

With that riveting thought, let us discuss the 24th of January which is observed as the International Day of Education. The United Nations General Assembly, on 3 December 2018, took the decision to commemorate this knowledge day. The 2021 ceremony marks the 3rd consecutive year of the International Day of Education observance.

UNESCO announced that the third International Day of Education (24 January 2021) would be under the theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.’ The 2021 celebration will be held for two days – 24 & 25 January 2021.

Due to the COVID pandemic, closure of educational institutes as well as the interruption of many ‘literacy/lifelong learning programmes’ were affected. Globally, the lives of 1.6 billion students in over 190 countries suffered chaos in regards to education. The UN stated, “As a new year begins, now is the time to step up collaboration and international solidarity to place education and lifelong learning at the centre of the recovery and the transformation towards more inclusive, safe and sustainable societies.” 

Apart from this, UNESCO, in partnership with CRI (Centre for Research and Interdisciplinarity), launched the initiative #LearningPlanet on 24 January 2020, the second session of the International Day of Education. 

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‘Learning to take care of Oneself, Others and the Planet’ is the theme under with the #LearningPlanet Festival. 

The link to register for the event: https://www.learning-planet.org/en/festival

On January 25th, 2021, UNESCO will celebrate by organising an online conference on the 2021 theme ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation.’ 

The link to register for the event: https://unesco-org.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_F1ZC0KMIRJ-iu9TQ9p5aSA?timezone_id=Asia%2FCalcutta

*Registration for the #LearningPlanet Festival will also give you access to UNESCO’s online conference programme.

We know that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 specifically aims to harmonize and strengthen support to the Member States and their partners in achieving SDG 4 target by 2030. It also aids regarding other education-related targets for the member countries. Even though the goals were set before the world suffered COVID-19, that undeniably slowed the process, the United Nations is working not just towards the set target but to also rebuild all that was lost.

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UNESCO has been tirelessly working to protect the well-being of children and ensure they have access to continued learning. UNESCO, in the March of 2020, launched the COVID-19 Global Education Coalition. It is a multi-sector partnership amongst the UN family, civil society organizations, media and IT partners to design and deploy innovative solutions regarding the right to education.

Specifically, the Global Education Coalition aims to:

  1. Help countries in mobilizing resources and implementing innovative and context-appropriate solutions to provide education remotely, leveraging hi-tech, low-tech and no-tech approaches;
  2. Seek equitable solutions and universal access;
  3. Ensure coordinated responses and avoid overlapping efforts;
  4. Facilitate the return of students to school when they reopen to avoid an upsurge in dropout rates.

Source: un.org

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Commemorating World Hindi Day (10th Jan) With Best Hindi Writers & Their Writings

10 January is celebrated are World Hindi Day internationally to promote the Hindi language.

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The purpose of celebrating World Hindi Day is to create wider awareness for the promotion of the language. It also attempts to introduce Hindi as an international language by celebrating the day in Indian embassies all around the world. The first time World Hindi Conference happened was back in 1975 in Nagpur, Maharashtra. Later, in 2006, former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh announced 10th January as World Hindi Day.

Prominent Hindi Writers of India

We’ve all read ‘Kabir ke dohe’ back in the school days. Its writer, Kabir Das, was a 15th-century poet and his writings hugely influenced Hinduism's Bhakti movement of the time. He was born into a Muslim family but was strongly influenced by his teacher, Ramananda, who was a Hindu bhakti leader. Kabir's verses were also incorporated into ‘The Adi Granth’ which is the scripture of Sikhism.

Some of his work that should not be missed is:

  • The intricately woven blanket
  • Couplets
  • Śalokā
  • Sākhī

Dhanpat Rai Srivastava, better known by his pen name ‘Munshi Premchand,’ is yet another name that must be included in this list. He was an Indian writer famous for his modern literature in Hindi. Premchand has been called "Upanyas Samrat" because of his writings that got very popular in all age-groups.

Some of his best work comprises of:

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  • Kafan
  • Gaban
  • Poos Ki Raat
  • Nirmala
  • Thakur Ka Kuan
  • Eidgah
  • Namak Ka Daroga

Mahadevi Varma was a Hindi poetess and novelist. She is called ‘Modern Meera’ and is also considered as one of the four major pillars of Indian Hindi Literature. Varma was one of those Indian writers who witnessed the nation getting independence and worked towards uplifting the society at large.

Some of her work that needs to be read at least once is:

  • Ab Yah Chidiya Kahan Rahegi
  • Mere Bachpan Ke Din
  • Thakurji Bhole Hai
  • Aaj Kharidenge Hum Jwala

Subhadra Kumari Chauhan was an Indian poetess from Allahabad (modern-day Prayagraj). She took pride in being the first female freedom fighter who got arrested during ‘Satyagraha,’ the nationwide protest under Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. 

Some of her work includes:

  • Jhansi Ki Rani
  • Veeron Ka Kaisa Ho Basant
  • Rakhi Ki Chunauti
  • Vida
  • Khilonewala
  • Tridhara

Harivansh Rai Bachchan, also famous as legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan’s father, was one of the best poets of the 21st century. His original second name was Shrivastava but he preferred using his pen name – Bachchan. Many of his writings were used in feature films, especially the ones his son acted in.

His most famous work incorporates:

  • Madhushala
  • Nirman
  • Neeli Chidiya
  • Janmdin ki bhent
  • Kya Bhooloon Kya Yaad Karoon

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National Mathematics Day (Dec 22): Birthday of the Great Mathematician Ramanujan 

Here are some facts about this 8-year-old tradition.

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22 December is observed as the National Mathematics Day in India. It was India’s former Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, who declared, on 22 December 2012, that it is to be distinguished as a national celebration of one of the foremost and renowned mathematician, Ramanujan’s work.

Srinivasa Ramanujan Aiyangar, born on 22 December 1887, was an Indian mathematician who, without having any proper training in mathematics, made substantial contributions to the field. His work included mathematical analysis, number theory, infinite series, and continued fractions. Ramanujan also worked on problems that were perceived ‘unsolvable’ at the time. 

He lived during the British rule in India in Madras. Since he had no formal education in mathematics, he was not taken seriously by mathematicians of the time. He then wrote to G.H Hardy, a mathematician in Cambridge, and his work intrigued Hardy to the level that he immediately arranged for Ramanujan to come to Cambridge. Ramanujan was only the second Indian member and became one of the youngest ‘Fellows of the Royal Society.’ He also went on to be elected as a Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, the first Indian to receive the fellowship.

Ramanujan contracted a disease in England, undiagnosable at that time and had to return home where he died on 26 April 1920. He kept theorising until his last days and his work was globally recognised which advanced mathematics to new directions.

To commemorate his contributions, on 22 Dec 2017, The Ramanujan Math Park in Chittoor Andhra Pradesh was inaugurated. It is a museum and activity centre that is dedicated to mathematics and is located inside the Agastya Campus Creativity Lab. Agastya is passionate about hands-on teaching and the same is maintained in the Mathematics park as well.

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A beautiful film by Matthew Brown ‘The Man Who Knew Infinity’ was made in 2015 on Ramanujan, his life, work, struggle and beliefs. Actor Dev Patel’s performance as Ramanujan was critically appreciated.

Here are some other well-known Indian mathematicians who made a major contribution to the field:

  1. Shakuntala Devi
  2. Prasanta Chandra Mahalanobis
  3. Harish Chandra
  4. Mahan Mj
  5. Narendra Krishna Karmarkar
  6. C. R Rao
  7. Radha Kessar 
  8. Chandrashekhar Khare
  9. Sujatha Ramdorai
  10. S. R. Srinivasa Varadhan

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UNESCO Reveals Countries Producing The Highest No. Of STEM Graduates

It was found that India produced most STEM graduates in 2016.

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For a survey, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has collected data that shows the number of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) graduates in various countries. It was reported that tertiary students in Oman and Tunisia were most likely to graduate in a STEM field, with between 43% to 46% of students receiving a degree in engineering, scientific, technical or mathematical field. 

Whereas in India, almost 32% of students pick STEM, which, in turn, produced the most graduates in a total of almost 2.7 million in 2018. On the other hand, in 2016, India was the global leader in university graduates (78.0 million), slightly ahead of China (77.7 million). The United States was in third place (67.4 million). 

It estimates a 300% increase in the number of Chinese graduates (aged 25 to 34) by 2030 compared to just 30% in the U.S. and Europe. STEM has become a pretty big deal in China's flourishing universities lately. Though UNESCO did not publish data for China. In 2016, the World Economic Forum said that China actually produced 4.7 million STEM graduates a year, which would exceed India’s earlier reported number of 2018, by a large margin. Yet, according to the National Science Foundation, China classifies engineering and science fields quite broadly, leading to a lack of comparability in the data. The U.S. government agency counted 1.6 million Chinese science and engineering graduates in 2014. 

Other countries with a huge number of STEM graduates were Germany, Singapore, Malaysia, Algeria, Iran, Myanmar and Belarus, all producing more than 30% STEM graduates. Whereas to compare STEM graduates, only 26% were from the UK, 25% from France, 23% in Spain and 18% in the U.S. and Brazil, respectively.

Source: UNESCO

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Norwegian Neuroscientist Says Handwriting Is Better Than Typing For Students

Dr. Van Der Meer’s research shows how taking hand-written notes in a classroom can result in a child’s nervous system development

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Audrey van der Meer is a Norwegian Neuroscientist and Professor of Neuropsychology at the Department of Psychology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology. She is also the Director of the Developmental Neuroscience Laboratory at NTNU Trondheim where they study human development and a better understanding of the underlying principles that guide development, learning, and cognitive ageing. Her latest paper ‘The importance of cursive handwriting over typewriting for learning in the classroom’ shows the difference in cognitive functioning and development when typing while taking notes as well as writing.

‘To write by hand, to type, or to draw – which of these strategies is the most efficient for optimal learning in the classroom?’ 

According to the study by Dr. Meer and her husband, the decrease in handwritten note-making in the classroom can be harmful in the long run as typing does not make the brain function as much. “As digital devices are increasingly replacing traditional writing by hand, it is crucial to examine the long-term implications of this practice,” they suggest.

For educators, this is more like a guide since this year saw a lot of virtual learning happen, even in some parts of the world schools haven’t reopened yet. More so, the education field is taking a turn for good towards the technology. While we study and implement the new age learning-teaching methods and we should also remember the basics, there was a reason why elders would ask to write and learn because it was less learning more understanding. 

Dr. Meer in her paper says, “We suggest that children, from an early age, must be exposed to handwriting and drawing activities in school to establish the neuronal oscillation patterns that are beneficial for learning.”

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As we plan and make blueprints for the 21st-century classroom which will have enough technology and digital teaching methods, we must also root for proper comprehensive development. The same applies to digital/virtual classes, giving a one-way lecture or assignments is not enough. Where learning how to type will help the children, so will taking notes manually. 

“Because of the benefits of sensory-motor integration due to the larger involvement of the senses as well as fine and precisely controlled hand movements when writing by hand and when drawing, it is vital to maintain both activities in a learning environment to facilitate and optimize learning,” the study notes.

It is the responsibility of the administrations and education committees to take necessary actions that will result in the students’ all-round development. Dr. Meer’s study clearly indicates a relationship between study patterns and overall cranial (nervous system) growth. Such research should not be ignored and must be given adequate thought. Educators have done some amazing job going digital all of a sudden when COVID-19 pandemic hit, keeping the good work going, we now need to make plans for such a reopening that will develop your students’ brain at optional capacity.

Paper Link: https://ntnuopen.ntnu.no/ntnu-xmlui/handle/11250/2672996

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Finnish Study Proves Teacher-Student Relationship is Important For Child’s Academics

A recent study done in Finland suggests that a conflicted relationship between teacher and student in kindergarten can bring low interest in literacy and math.

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A Finnish study by researchers investigated ‘Investigating Bidirectional Links Between the Quality of Teacher-Child Relationships and Children’s Interest and Pre-Academic Skills in Literacy and Math.'

The study was a part of the ‘Teacher Stress Study’ which is led by Professor Marja-Kristiina Lerkkanen and Associate Professor Eija Pakarinen, Department of Teacher Education, University of Jyväskylä (Finland).

This study investigated bidirectional links between the quality of teacher-child relationships and children's interest and pre-academic skills in literacy and math. Furthermore, differences in the patterns of bidirectionality between boys and girls were explored.

The Participants of the study were 461 Finnish kindergarteners (6-year-olds) and their 48 teachers. All around the kindergarten year, twice teachers reported their closeness and conflicts with every student. On the other hand, children rated their interest in literacy and math, they were also tested pre-academically.

Cross-lagged path models indicated that teacher-perceived conflict predicted lower interest and pre-academic skills in both literacy and math. Results were similar for boys and girls. Implications for reducing conflictual patterns of relationships, together with promoting other factors, are discussed.

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The results show that there were statistically significant correlations between teacher-child relationship quality variables and child outcomes, the associations being larger for teacher-perceived conflict.

According to the research conclusion, there should be interventions and teacher preparation programs. These programs should focus mainly on building and fostering the positive aspects of teacher-child relation. Kindergarten teachers should also be provided with prior knowledge about how their relationships with their students can influence their (child’s) later academic interest.

Professor Jaana Viljaranta says, “Compared to daycare, kindergarten introduces children to a more structured learning environment. The experiences children gain in this environment may have long-term consequences on the development of their academic motivation and competencies. Therefore, it is essential that our teachers are aware of the power their interaction with children may have, and that they are supported in finding optimal ways to interact with each child while taking individual strengths and needs into consideration.”

Paper Link: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/343538745_Investigating_Bidirectional_Links_Between_the_Quality_of_Teacher-Child_Relationships_and_Children's_Interest_and_Pre-Academic_Skills_in_Literacy_and_Math

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