Chudar has been collaborating with the AMM school located in Kanyakumari in order to strengthen content research and development. Nanda Kishore Daggupati, an intern with the organization, travelled to the district and shares his experience regarding training efforts for a “Bridge Course.”
On August 8th, Lakshmikanth and I visited the AMM School in the small town of Thiruvattar, Kanyakumari district. The school has been in contact with Chudar for the past two years requesting help with content research and development and to provide other resources such as worksheets, teaching aids and activities. Chudar, however, has dedicated the last few months to solely focus on the development of middle school topics in English and Mathematics. A major portion of this initiative began with first analyzing the students’ current understanding of basic skills and to then introduce a “Bridge Course” that was designed to teach these skills. The second portion of the initiative included research and analysis of the existing Tamil Nadu curriculum (research conducted by Ashmita Ray and Nanda Kishore Daggupati, for English and Mathematics respectively). Once the research was completed, activities, worksheets, teaching aids and manuals were prepared.
The purpose of our visit on August 8th was twofold: to discuss the results of the “bridge course” and to also train the teachers on the topics covered by the new worksheets and activities.
“Bridge Course” results and discussion
Students from different classes in standards 6, 7 and 8 were tested on basic concepts in English and Mathematics. Topics such as addition and subtraction in Maths, and topics such as words and comprehension in English were tested. The same skills were tested after the implementation of the “Bridge Course” to gauge areas where improvement was seen and areas that needed further improvement. The discussion of these results with the teachers during our visit highlighted some key considerations for the future. For instance, the low improvement in addition and division showed two different reflections. The existing strong understanding of addition meant that there was minimal area for improvement whereas the difficulty with division showed that the initial low levels of understanding were not improved. Discussions like this emphasized where teaching efforts need to concentrated on.
English and Math training
The Maths training (led by Lakshmikanth) was provided on “factors and divisors” that outlined topics such as divisibility tests and finding the LCM. Lakshmikanth also outlined the goals for this topic, along with the topics that we hope to cover for the next two months.
English training (led by Nanda) was provided on “nouns” and the four activities associated with that topic. The teachers were also introduced to the spelling concept known as “Magic E” which the teachers found to be a valuable tool to teach students. Following the training, there was a discussion in which the teachers requested teaching aids for past, present and future tenses, along with charts outlining exceptions to the “Magic E” concept.
About the Author
Nanda Kishore Daggupati is an intern for Chudar, specializing in curriculum research and content development for the organization. He currently attends McGill University in Canada and is pursuing his major in International Development and International Relations.