New Age Learning and Teaching Skills
Apsara Foundation started workshops for students and teachers in 2012-13. Since then they have trained over 1000 teachers and 10,000 students of DPS, Goenka, Vidya, Amar Jyoti, Miranda House etc. Results of these efforts were tracked for those schools and colleges which implemented them faithfully. Apsara is proud to present here one case study in the words of the Vidya Bal Vihar School Principal, New Delhi, Ms. Gyatri Kapani.
VIDYA- Integrated Development for Youth & Adults is a voluntary organisation with a mission to educate and empower children, women and men from the underprivileged sections of the society.
Vidya Bal Vihar is the very first programme of Vidya that started 30 years back. The reason of Vidya Bal Vihar was five little girls from ‘Katwaria Sarai’ who were playing with their siblings in a dirty drain near the wall of IIT Delhi. Mrs. Rashmi Misra, chairperson Vidya invited them to her home and taught them. Their affection and joy stole her heart and the numbers swelled to 20 girls and boys. At present there are about 1,500 children in Vidya Delhi / Gurgaon Schools. Bal Vihar is a primary school with classes from Nursery to V standard. To upgrade the standard of education the organisation arranges regular workshops for the teachers. In April 2013 the workshop on ‘New Age Learning Skills’ by Master Trainer Mr. Ajay Aggarwal of Apsara Foundation was organised.
The workshop focused on ‘Whole Brain Learning’ to prepare quality notes as MindMaps, boost memory and understanding using visualisation and association techniques; ways to master examination questions and scheduling teaching and study time using free computer software. Teachers also learnt new ways to plan their lessons.
The workshops were held every Saturday for three hours over six months. The most effective part the workshop was MindMaps – a tool created by Tony Buzan, a British author and educator. It is a powerful tool using the ‘whole brain’ and our natural ‘radiant thinking’ process. Teachers of Bal Vihar found it very interesting as the entire information of the curriculum chapter could be presented with one MindMap without omitting the smallest detail. MindMaps increased the understanding and retention power of the students because of the various visual and association techniques learnt in preparing these maps.
Teachers learnt the technique of preparing mindmaps hands on during the workshop and then executed it by teaching and guiding children in the classroom using the same techniques. The children too now find it easier to understand and recall the topics.
A common challenge faced by the students was their poor English vocabulary and spelling skills. They found it difficult to convert keywords back into sentences for answering the questions during tests and examinations. To remove this deficiency the school has started special classes on weekends by English language experts. We are proud to present some of the mind maps prepared by our Class V students.
Ajay Aggarwal is author and master trainer of New Age Learning and Reading Skills. He also contributes through magazines his views on global trends and how India can leapfrog its education standards. After a successful corporate career, Ajay co-founded Apsara Foundation in 2011. He conducts regular workshops for teachers and students on new age learning skills: mind mapping, long term memory techniques, managing study time, listening skills, whole brain learning, speed reading and preparing for exams. He helps education institutes absorb these study skills into their culture and curriculum. To-date Apsara Foundation has trained more than 550 teachers and 6000 students. For more information visit www.apsarafoundation.org or write to ajay@ apsarafoundation.org