In an October 2012 workshop conducted by new BAT Board Chair Sandeep Dutt, Fabindia faculty members reflected on the question: How will we move ahead and develop our school from “Good to Great.” Their responses indicate that they understand that the most effective agent of educational change is the teacher. They also bring to mind the “instructional triangle” posited in an essay by David Hawkins called “I, Thou, It.” Hawkins sets forth the vital interaction between the teacher (I), the student (Thou), and the content (It), which provides a shared focus for their relationship and interaction.
Some workshop participants focused on the teacher (the I) as the main impetus for moving the school forward. They emphasized the importance of using a variety of teaching techniques, of “planning for good teaching” (Kavita Davda), and of creating “a friendly environment in class” (Meenaz). They stressed the need for teachers to become learners themselves. “Learn innovative ideas to communicate with students,” suggested Bharti Rao.
Others emphasized the “Thou”—the students-- and the importance of creating a relationship with learners, (“Have a good and friendly relationship with the students-Monika Vaishnav), communicating with them, (“How we communicate with students matters,” --Om Rathore), engaging them in the subject matter, and developing their interests. “How can we create interest in children?” wondered Himani Chauhan.
Still others saw the need to improve the content that is taught both in and outside of the classroom: the “It.” They recognized that the quality of the interaction between teacher and student was intimately related to the quality of the ideas and topics. “Content knowledge should be upgraded,” suggested Nikta Rajpurcohit. “How to make a lesson interesting is a challenge,” wrote Suresh Kumar, suggesting the key relationship between pedagogy and content. The “It” also encompasses co-curricular activities such as community service. “Come for education and go for service,” was Suresh Singh Negi’s way of moving the school from good to great.
The challenge for any teacher is to keep the interaction vital between the three angles of the instructional triangle—to be self aware, innovative and reflective as a teacher (I), to create a relationship with students which builds on their interests (Thou), and to interact over content which engages students’ hearts and minds (It). In the workshop the teachers engaged in the process of becoming a community of learners. As Jagdish Suthar said, “Group discussion is important to make a school grow from good to great.”—both among the teachers and between teachers and students.