'Busy-ness' over Business in our Schools?

~ ~

In February this year, The Teacher Foundation organised a series of short seminars for School Principals in 4 TTF centres - Bangalore, Mangalore, Hubli and Hyderabad. Nearly 200 heads from leading city schools attended these seminars. We posed a provocative proposition to principals in each city – that there is far greater focus on 'busy-ness' in schools today, than the actual 'business'(i.e teaching, learning & assessment)!

I wasn't certain how many school principals would actually respond to the challenge – because after all they could be offended or see it as a threat to the status quo they struggle to maintain daily in their schools ! But for long I've felt that the routine of being swept away in a whirl of activities, contests and competitions every academic term, year after year, is a problem that schools need to examine carefully. So far there is little evidence that urban Indian private especially upper-end schools are even considering this an issue.

So at the Principals' Seminars we encouraged heads of schools and members of school managements to examine the “Busy-ness over Business” syndrome from various perspectives. It was gratifying to see that after an initial hesitation, all the school heads participated enthusiastically. However only about 25% of them were actually willing to honestly critique their current practice – the majority of school-heads were more inclined to defend their daily busy-ness as vital and appropriate for managing today's schools.

Let's review what the principals said – and what exactly it means.

Broadly speaking they offered reasons for the 'busy-ness' of schools; acknowledged the negative aspects; some raised pertinent questions; and others suggested practical solutions.

The reasons ranged from blaming media, technology and globalisation to explaining the need to focus on the holistic development of their students – to foster their creative, social and emotional skills. They also admitted that owing to increasing competition amongst schools, especially the newly established ones vying for student enrolments, there is a desperate need to be more 'visible' in the public eye. Competitions and events help schools reassure parents that their children are being provided a progressive education. Principals also emphasised that having a variety of activities – inter-house and inter-schools was indeed necessary to raise school standards and fulfill the aim and philosophy of their school. This seemed to be more rhetoric than any real clarity on what their schools stood for or what they saw as their real role as heads of educational institutions.

However, there was a refreshing openness and honesty when we examined the negatives of this 'busy-ness' One principal ruefully stated that “school functions are given more importance than teaching learning – since they make us more visible ! Teaching-learning is the silent aspect – the public never gets to see it!” Others also revealed that in the tide that overtakes school-terms, values get lost and the child as a human being is forgotten. Moreover teachers' work is left half done - lesson planning gets affected, there is always a rush to finish portions and learning outcomes don't get fulfilled, leading to an overall sense of dissatisfaction. One comment that we heard was that “there is no time to reflect on the class taught and prepare for the next class”.

The questions we captured from the principals tended to oscillate between 2 extremes - from What's the harm in “busy-ness”? and How can students' holistic growth happen without 'busy-ness' ? to “Won't the busy-ness of schools eventually lead to their shutdown - if they don't actually do their business?”

There were a few existentialist questions - “Do school competitions really promote learning?” “Is busy-ness inclusive ?” Is teachers' confidence dropping?”

Some questions were actually cries for help - “How do we handle parental expectations -both reasonable and unreasonable?”Are teachers being guided properly with the upcoming busyness - what strategies are there ? What and where is the concentration – when there is so much wavering? How do we create a rich learning environment without rushing through portions?

Lastly were questions that suggested a lack of clarity amongst principals of what 'busy-ness' is and what a school's business needs to be! For example they raised questions like - Will business help our students be on par with the rest of the schools ? How can we cater to the holistic development of the child if we focus only on business ?If we focus on business aren't we ignoring the talented children?

Such questions are problematic – because to me they convey a very narrow definition of what a school's business is - or at least how majority of senior school educators see it! The exciting trinity of Teaching, Learning and Assessment seem to be reduced to a mechanical covering of portions and evaluating students. In fact a crystal-clear emphasis on teaching-learning processes that are relevant, authentic and engaging would make many of the so-called extra or co-curricular activities that schools fill their term-time with, redundant! This would free-up time for teachers to strive to teach for understanding – providing both depth and breadth of coherent learning experiences for all students.

Finally in our seminar discussions, the attending heads of schools offered some very useful solutions to the “busy-ness” vs business dilemma! But it will require them to have great courage, conviction and vision to create a counter-trend and actually carry out some of the suggested ideas. The solutions included making classrooms more student-centred rather than teacher-centred; training teachers – because their competence and confidence will show the best way forward; integrating all school activities to the curriculum; re-organising the assessment system and hold teachers accountable for their students' learning; having a measurement system other than report cards to demonstrate students' learning to their parents; instituting an independent rating system of schools – on clear quality parameters – based on which parents can decide which school to choose for their child/ren; collaborating with other schools in the neighbourhood to have combined gala events – like sports' day; staggering school events across 2-3 years – rather than cramming them all into one school year.

All these are eminently do-able and I look forward to TTF being the catalyst to steer principals and schools towards a less flurried and more focussed functioning.


Gazal said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gazal said...

I think the seminar did open a lot of windows. It gave everyone time to step aside from running on the expressway and to think and reflect about the rut and routine of daily 'busyness'.It is a pertinent question and I think the seminar did work like a GPS!

way2 college said...

Education is the main construction portion of your life. In order to build a good career from mba distance learning , you will have to have appropriate knowledge in yourself. It is said that the actual schooling starts from home itself. Well this has an inside consequence as the innovative schooling does starts.

Narender Godara said...

Packers and movers Hisar
Packers and movers Hyderabad
Packers and movers Indore
Packers and movers Jaipur

Anonymous said...

Packers and Movers in Hyderabad
Packers and Movers in Bangalore

Anonymous said...

Packers and Movers in Mumbai
Packers and Movers in Pune

Anonymous said...

SliceofItaly provides the Egg/Eggless cakes, birthday cakes for kids online.
Online Cake
Online Birthday Cake Delivery
Valentines Day Gifts

Anonymous said...

Our online cake delivery store offers you a wide variety of delicious and soft cakes.
Cake Delivery in Delhi
Cake Delivery in Noida
Cake Delivery in Faridabad

Anonymous said...

You can order fresh and delicious cakes, delivery online.
Cake Delivery in Gurgaon
Cake Delivery in Ghaziabad
Cake Delivery in Dehradun

Packingmoving said...

Hire professional packers and movers to carry out eelocation process easily :-
Packers and Movers Bangalore @ http://packersandmoverbangalore.in/
Packers and Movers in Bangalore @ http://packersandmoverbangalore.in/
Packers and Movers Pune @ http://packersandmoverbangalore.in/packers-and-movers-pune.html

Packingmoving said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Packingmoving said...

Make home relocation hassle free with three simple strategies : -
Packers and Movers Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/
Packers and Movers in Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/
Packers and Movers in Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai.html

Packingmoving said...

Make home relocation hassle free with three simple strategies : -
Packers and Movers Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/
Packers and Movers in Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/
Packers and Movers in Pune @ http://packersandmoverpune.in/packers-and-movers-mumbai.html

Moversfifth said...

Choose & Hire The Packers Movers Services at :-

Moversfifth said...

While moving, the only believed that problems you :-

Moversfifth said...

Preserve Money And Time, Family Moving Services :-

Rakhi.In.India.In said...

So offer Blossoms for gathering on the web with all the elite game plans :-
Flower Delivery in Delhi
Flower Delivery in Gurgaon
Flower Delivery in Noida
Flower Delivery in Ghaziabad
Flower Delivery in Faridabad

Rakhi.In.India.In said...

As every celebration in India is divided without a gift, the same goes for this peppy occasion rakhiinindia.in :-
Online Cake Delivery in Mumbai
Online Cake Delivery in Patna
Midnight Cake Delivery in Pune
Midnight Cake Delivery in Ranchi

Rakhi.In.India.In said...

As each festival in India is inadequate without a blessing, the same goes for this upbeat event rakhiinindia.in :-
Online Cake Delivery in Jaipur
Online Cake Delivery in Kolkata
Midnight Cake Delivery in Kota
Midnight Cake Delivery in Lucknow

Rakhi.In.India.In said...

Praise the event of adoration with your cherished one and blessing them these awesome blessing rakhiinindia.in :-
Online Cake Delivery in Bangalore
Online Cake Delivery in Bhubaneshwar
Midnight Cake Delivery in Chennai
Midnight Cake Delivery in Hyderabad

Unknown said...

In the event that you are anticipating book any superstar escort in Lahore then you need to get in touch with us through appropriate channel and send us some propel booking sum so we can make certain of your inventiveness and at exactly that point we will offer you photographs and names of big-name escorts in Lahore.

Unknown said...

If its all the same to you avoid hotel Pearl Continental as they consistently don't allow the escorts there up to the rooms of their clients. Still if you are staying at Hotel PC and you don't have any decision for premises by then call our specialist and he will oversee you how to acknowledge at PC with no issue. Magnificence of The Escorts in Lahore is incredible, Lahore where there is various society social orders and individuals stories. stunning/sizzling/exquisite and important female partners and Escorts in Lahore young ladies for one night stay from all age social occasions. However in the meantime we keep in observe the quality assume that Call young ladies Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad are top of the line and rich notwithstanding being specialists in giving a honest to goodness young lady partner association and a critical brotherhood of Escorts in Pakistan Our Escorts rates in Lahore are forceful and you won't find these administrations charged out of line at all when you would use our administrations Escorts in Lahore.

warehouse in mumbai 2,400 SqFt said...

Spot on with this write-up, I truly assume this web site wants much more consideration. probably be again to learn rather more, thanks for that info
warehouse in delhi
warehouse for rent delhi
godown for rent delhi

Unknown said...

Busy ness over is something in schools which are done idm cracking patching

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش
اهم شركات مكافحة حشرات بالخبر كذلك معرض اهم شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام والخبر والجبيل والخبر والاحساء والقطيف كذلك شركة رش حشرات بالدمام ومكافحة الحشرات بالخبر
شركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمام
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة الجوهرة من افضل شركات تنظيف الخزانات بجدة حيث ان تنظيف خزانات بجدة يحتاج الى مهارة فى كيفية غسيل وتنظيف الخزانات الكبيرة والصغيرة بجدة على ايدى متخصصين فى تنظيف الخزانات بجدة
شركة تنظيف خزانات بجدة
شركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش واثاث

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش بالرياض وجدة والدمام والخبر والجبيل اولقطيف والاحساء والرياض وجدة ومكة المدينة المنورة والخرج والطائف وخميس مشيط وبجدة افضل شركة نقل عفش بجدة نعرضها مجموعة الفا لنقل العفش بمكة والخرج والقصيم والطائف وتبوك وخميس مشيط ونجران وجيزان وبريدة والمدينة المنورة وينبع افضل شركات نقل الاثاث بالجبيل والطائف وخميس مشيط وبريدة وعنيزو وابها ونجران المدينة وينبع تبوك والقصيم الخرج حفر الباطن والظهران
شركة نقل عفش بجدة
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل اثاث بالرياض
شركة نقل عفش بالدمام

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش بالطائف
شركة نقل عفش بمكة
شركة نقل عفش بينبع
شركة نقل عفش بالخرج
شركة نقل عفش ببريدة

ghada said...

شركة نقل عفش بخميس مشيط
شركة نقل عفش بالقصيم
شركة نقل عفش بتبوك
شركة نقل عفش بابها
شركة نقل عفش بنجران
شركة نقل عفش بحائل

Alex daina said...

It is just in crises that payday credits prove to be useful. Payday credits likewise safeguard you out of circumstances of ricocheted checks and late installment punishments by influencing the fitting money to progress accessible.Payday Loans Chicago

mikerock said...

i found it so amazing Mobile games without wifi

for ict 99 said...

Great Article

Final Year Projects for CSE

JavaScript Training in Chennai
JavaScript Training in Chennai

jacklinemelda said...

Are you encountering challenges searching for Case Studying Writing Services? Look no further; Legitimate Custom Case Study Services have a solution to your Custom Case Study Assignment.

sweta singh said...

Don’t be kidding yourself when you say that you do not want to spend your time with an exotic looking woman who is a Escorts Service in Aerocity A complete stranger, someone you have not seen before but with features, looks and a figure to die for. We have women with these qualities and more all here with us. Check our other Services...
Female Escorts in Aerocity
Russian Call Girls in Aerocity
Call Girls in Mahipalpur
Escorts in Mahipalpur
Escorts Service in Mahipalpur

Cake Park said...

Nice and informative blog, Keep Sharing more
Online cake delivery in chennai

Post a Comment