Teaching and Learning Through Drama: Meet Hirdesh Dev Goswami
Sidney J. Harrissays, “The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.” To meet this purpose of education Hirdesh Dev Goswami, a government schoolteacher who is from a small town Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh took the help of drama. After completing B.SC in biology, and B.Ed. he took training in drama from Sangeet Natak Academy, New Delhi. He joined this field of education in 2009 and began working in Primary school. Soon he got promoted and got appointed as an in-charge principal in Upper Primary School, Nainwara and since 2017 he is working there.
Choosing drama as a medium of teaching learning method, he says: “It opens up to ideas, potential about themselves, that really, in a way, education often fails to. It’s a way of drawing our community together. I believe we owe our younger generation an education that captures the exhilarating drama of science.” Dramatic playing is essential for children’s learning empathy and self-control. Children learn to empathize as they view the world from other people’s perspectives including those of peers, adults, and people in stories.
MOTIVATION TO PARTICIPATION
When he joined the current school, he saw that only few students were active and participating in everything; rest all are silent. their participation was equal to zero in school. To ensure everyone’s participation there is no better way than drama. He planned and had a talk with all the staffs, fellow teachers: they also became ready to support him in this initiative. After getting his team’s support he put this idea in front of school committee regarding how it will work and if implemented properly, what will be its benefit and hence committee also approved it.
The plan was made, but the number of active children was same. Some children did not speak at all. Some girls said that their parents refused them to do all this. But when the first Independence Day was celebrated under his direction, he invited everyone from house to house in the village, when everyone came and saw the presentation of the children, they were very happy and admitted themselves that such an event had never happened before. All participating children were encouraged at school level by providing them with compass box and color box.
GAINING FAITH TO SUSTAIN PARTICIPATION
As a result, all the children started participating and they themselves requested him that now they are confident enough and want to showcase their talent outside also. When the children were taken out of school, the parents protested strongly, seeing their concern he assured them that they all loved their child like their own child, then they obeyed. Whenever they returned after performing outside, he himself handover the hand of each child to their respective guardians no matter how late he reaches his own house. Now the faith is as such that parents says they are your children take them wherever you want, make them do whatever you like.
IMPLEMENTING TECHNIQUES OF DRAMA
According to him, in traditional teaching, children’s knowledge of books and answering some related questions were used to fulfill the purpose of learning. There was no other way to enhance their curiosity, imagination, expression which make learning enjoyable. Along with making it interesting, drama fulfills all these objectives and serves the purpose of real learning, and this helps in achieving real learning output.
The children now happily display participation in the classroom, and their changed behavior at home also makes their parents appreciate the work of the school.
He is implementing this technique to teach science subject in class 6,7, and 8 on the topics such as photosynthesis, physical and chemical changes, acids and bases, health and safety etc. He is also working on how to implement this technique in other subjects also. The English language is different from the common colloquial language for children, but they started working on it by enhancing their confidence and participation through activities like repeating the pre-downloaded audios and later on speaking it on their own without any reference following the accent and pronunciation.
ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT
He gives equal importance to all the activities in the school. Here morning begins with musical prayer that too without any musical instrument. Hirdesh ji picked four to five prayers from YouTube and on their karaoke these children are trained to sing. Now they are confident enough to give melodious performance from any platform. His school is happy school where children are free from any kind of fear. They together do yoga to keep mind and body healthy and spend quality time with each other.
LEARNING BY DOING
In classrooms he emphasized more on learning by doing method and play way method of learning. For that he organizes many activities like chit quiz competition where children are divided into two groups and every child of each group wrote two questions on chit and all the chits were kept together. Students are instructed to pick one and answer it. If they answer correctly points are awarded to their group. Thus, interaction as well as collaborative learning takes place. Here time is also allotted for peer learning where in case of doubt in any chapter taught by teachers, students discuss among themselves and clarify it. Other activities like one-minute recipe and role play also takes place in which students takes the role of teacher and teach entire class.
ICT, USING AS WELL AS CONTRIBUTING
ICT is like fragrance added to the garden of this school. Here online quizzes, assessments are conducted regularly. With the help of e content, audios and videos available online teaching learning process is made more interesting. In the absence of teacher school is equipped and children are trained enough that they study using ICT on their own. Recently SUNO KAHANI, GUNO KAHANI event took place which went live on Facebook. Children sitting at home narrated the story and according to it pictures were drawn and later integrating both a digital storyboard was created. This school is not only using e content but also contributing to create new one. It has its own YouTube channel named UPS Nainwara.
Whether it’s a cultural event, sports, or education; students of this school are excelling in every field. In national level merit-based scholarship examination conducted by MHRD four students got selected. Under the banner of national invention movement quiz competition conducted in the subject mathematics and science; girls of this school came out with flying colors. In sports Ritu and Vaijayanti won in long jump at state level. Teacher and students of this school brought unitedly honor, name and fame to this school.
SUGGESTION TO OTHER TEACHERS
For teachers who wanted to teach in their school through this style he suggested that they must keep in mind that while preparing the script the language and words selected should be according to the level of their children. They should take care of the platform usage constraints. The script and dialogue should be small and easy for children. More number of children should be given equal chance to participate. It is not possible to have a complete and good presentation in only one 45-minute session, for this we can do better by taking the time of free periods and sports sessions.
APPRECIATION IS MANDATORY FOR CONTINUATION
No doubt it is the fruit of his hard work only that today he is honored by the State Teacher Award. He dedicated this award to his team members, fellow teachers, friends, and his dear students especially Vaijayanti, a student of his class who represented her school in district level sports championship. Talking about his journey he says, Failure is definitely a bit staggering. Your confidence staggers. But your passion for your work only gets you to the peak point of success. Continue your work. Passion does not see time. It crosses the limits. When your work starts giving you pleasure, then things become easy on their own and the grace of God always remains on you. Success builds on the foundation of failures. We should enjoy this also. He further says that the society should encourage and appreciate the teachers. They should understand their problems and should support them. Teachers will continuously work to change the country’s picture and fortune.
We congratulate people like Mr. Hirdesh Dev Goswami who is working for the society and its future leaders. SarkariSchool.in salutes the creators of India’s tomorrow Mr. Hirdesh Dev Goswami, his efforts and dedication. Sarkari Sabse Asarkari!!!
(With Puja Kumari)
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