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SAJEEVTA learning for equality (December 2012)

SAJEEVTA learning for equality (December 2012)

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Published by Gautam Patel
Since 2010, we have been demonstrating
through ground level action and research, that contextualised learning and improved teaching practices can transform attitudes of children, parents and teachers, to support underprivileged children to become independent learners, with equal opportunities to make a success of life.
Since 2010, we have been demonstrating
through ground level action and research, that contextualised learning and improved teaching practices can transform attitudes of children, parents and teachers, to support underprivileged children to become independent learners, with equal opportunities to make a success of life.

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Published by: Gautam Patel on Dec 19, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Since 2010, we have been demonstratingthrough ground level action and research, thatcontextualised learning and improved teaching practicescan transform attitudes of children, parents and teachers,to support underprivileged children to become independentlearners, with equal opportunities to make a success of life.Children & adults withan
inner belief 
thatdrives persistence toovercome challenges.
Engaged in handling base-ten blocksfor complex Maths
Making progress visiblefor children and adultsto easily view the
process of learning
 A format for children to ask for help, or note when they are happy or sad.
Engaged in
that childrencan relate to.
Local crafts artisans demonstrating theuse of Maths to carve wood with precision.
Sharing methods withteachers for 
 inclusive learning
 in the classroom.
Training school teachers to include allchildren through differentiated teaching.
Giving the childrenfreedom to use
creativity and newideas
in their work.
Talking with children about images helpsthem to visualise and express their ideas.
Our vision is for underprivileged children to experience
equality in learning
that enables them to transform their lives. 
Our home learning centres
are in addition to school hours for children who live withthe least, giving them a regular opportunity to experiencethe best learning through community based homelearning centres.In low-income families, children often have limited timewith adults for developmental interaction. Parents have towork long hours and household tasks require a lot of timeas they do not have facilities like 24-hour water supply,electrical appliances and personal vehicles. The parentsare largely illiterate and are employed as cleaners, auto-rickshaw drivers and shopkeepers.Studies show that most children are enrolled in school inIndia, but are learning very little. The ASER surveyshowed that the majority of children in Standard III couldnot read a Standard I level text. Most children do notprogress beyond the 8
Standard and the underprivilegedare more likely to fail in the formal education system andstay on the same bottom rung of society. To reverse thissituation, these children require learning experiences thatare truly transformational, with:
linked to their context anduseful for future employment.
in communication, analysis,exploration and creativity.
to work with persistence andintelligence towards self-improvement.
in the equality of human existencewith dignity and without subservience.. Initially the children struggled with all their subjects, andwere not used to concentrating and working hard together to learn. They spoke a local dialect very different from theGujarati used at school, so we used various activities tobuild familiarity with Gujarati, Hindi and English. Therewere challenges in involving girls, which we solved withthe children and com
munity’s help, and now we have girls
attending regularly. The home learning centre hasdeveloped as a response to the direct ground level needs. As a community of children, families, teachers andexperts we have grown a deep commitment and a love for our enjoyable and successful learning approach.
Mission to combine ground levelaction with research
to pioneer evidence-based successful approaches of contextualised learning and teaching practices, to beshared effectively with schools and teachers for equality in learning.In the first year we struggled to secure regular attendance, until we built a voluntary commitment andenthusiasm with the children and families to be part of progress in successful learning that is clearly visible for all. It is not easy to motivate children to complete workthat is difficult when they are not interested in theoutcome. We engage the children in work that hasmeaning for them and where they are excited aboutprogress towards goals they can understand.
We do not maintain discipline through fear and control,as it prevents children learning creatively. We havebuilt cooperation through reviewing the impact of behaviour and making shared agreements after clarifying our goals. We played a number of cooperative
games which emphasise the power of working together to achieve a goal, as opposed to
fighting for only one’s own interests.
We are creating teaching and learning practicesthrough ground level action with the children, anddeveloping solutions with their parents, the schools andthe community. Our work involves experts andinnovators at landmark schools and institutes inGandhinagar, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, London andOxford. We are testing our new approaches with acontinuous review and assessment of the impact on the
children’s learning.
Where success is clear we aredeveloping workshops and training resources to sharewith others.In 2012 the Sree Vidya Niketan Trust generouslyoffered to fund enrolment of ten of our children toexperience high quality school learning at ChaitanyaSchool (CBSE). Sajeevta Foundation provides the outof school home learning support, and shares newteaching practices through demonstrations andworkshops for teachers and the school managementteam.

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