Little Changes…Could be Big Victories

Jana Uddhar morning assembly 733-feat image

I have been doing a number of other things in addition to working as the Education Program Director for COMMITTED. (Click here for links to blogs posts about my work with Nepal UWC National Committee and here for links to blog posts about some of my work on Nepalese migrant labor issues.) One of them is working with my mate Pete Pattisson on migrant labor issues and education.

Having played a small part in Pete picking Jana Uddhar School for his Collaborative School project, not long after my return from my long North-American travel, I visited the school. It had changed (see image at the top) since my February 2015 visit (see image below).

Jana Uddhar School-resized

The school lost the big yellow building to the earthquake of April 25.

Since Pete and the team took over the management of the school, it has made remarkable improvements, such as in their test results. The funds he and Sakar raised last November, has also helped greatly.

Being in the US most of the last thirteen months, I wasn’t able to help out much in any of that, but now that I am back, Pete and I are looking at improving student-learning outcomes as well as the teaching experience.

Science learning and teaching, for example, can be immensely fun, in addition to being a learning experience for both the teacher and the students.

In my previous incarnation as a science teacher, one of the most exciting and, I confess, geeky activities was planning exciting and fun lessons for my students. I often used discrepant events — usually of a dramatic nature — or I would have them tackle open-ended problems.

Of course, many of the international schools I taught at had amazing resources and, every year, had huge science budgets. I had pretty much free rein to requisition resources that I needed/wanted.

Resources and support at government (public) school in Nepal, of course, is no comparison, as is teaching and working there. For instance, lesson-planning is a rarity, for a number of reasons. If I had to guess, I would say about 0.1% of all teachers actually make lesson plans!

However, there is no reason we can’t bring some of my love of science into a government school in the country. Good, fun, exciting and rewarding science does not necessarily require fancy and expensive gadgets and unlimited resources. Pete and I believe that even small changes in pedagogy will have profound improvements in the students’ learning outcomes as well as the teaching experience.

Small changes in pedagogy will have profound improvements in the learning outcomes of the students Click To Tweet

To that end, Pete and I will be working together with Jana Uddhar science teachers to develop low-tech science activities to bring the subject alive for both them and the students. Had I not enjoyed teaching as much as I did, I probably would not have stuck out with the profession for as long as I did.

I hope to rub some of that love of the subject and teaching to both the students and teachers at Jana Uddhar School.

What do you think?



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