Back & Front End Customizers

As you may or may not know, Lindsay and I have hit a bit of a rough patch. I don’t criticize you! And if you’re worried about criticism, sometimes a diet is the best defense. Oh, you’re gonna be in a coma, all right. I don’t understand the question, and I won’t respond to it. But I bought a yearbook ad from you, doesn’t that mean anything anymore?

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Benefits of 25 students per class in IB PYP

Teachers from around the world, especially in international schools with international programs, like International Baccalaureate (IB), have about 25 students per classroom up to Grade 5. There is overwhelming evidence that following benefits exist:

  1. Individual attention: Teachers can spend more time with each child. Teachers can focus on the growth and development of each child individually.
  2. Individualized teaching plans: Teachers can create individualized classroom learning experiences, assessment and feedback for student improvement. Each child is different and has his own strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Richer learning: Teachers can plan for a richer and more meaningful curriculum that is connected to the real world.
  4. Applied learning: Have more time for enrichment activities and real life application of classroom learning.
  5. Better organized: Teachers are able to better manage teaching aids, digital technology, paperwork, checking work, and are more organized in a smaller group of children. They have more time for engaging learning activities.
  6. Student participation: The teacher is able to engage ALL students in authentic learning experiences. Unlike larger classrooms, a child is not lost in the crowd.
  7. All-round development: Teachers have time to plan and develop other aspects of each child – knowledge, skills, attitudes – leading to transformation of personality.
  8. Meaningful assessment: Assessment is more meaningful and is not just limited to traditional paper and pencil tests, which mostly tests memory. Teachers have opportunities for far better forms of assessment which assess all aspects of a child’s growth.
  9. Child centered classroom: The focus of the classroom is the child and not the teacher. Students have opportunities for being empowered for their own learning and having a sense of achievement.
  10. Group learning: Students learn in smaller groups with more intense intellectual and social learning experiences.

Golden Peacock National Training Award

The Modern is the recipient of the prestigious Golden Peacock National Training Award.

What is the Golden Peacock National Training Award?

It identifies excellence in training practices and relates effective training with improved business and individual performance by providing role models in all sectors of Indian Corporate life.

The Golden Peacock National Training Award is the most prestigious and valuable recognition an organization can win for training. The Award helps organizations benchmark against the best and set new standards of training excellence, a measure that will hold the key to business leadership in 21st Century.

For more information, visit the Golden Peacock National Training Award website (goto bottom of page under 1998). Also visit the Goldern Peacock National Quality Award website.

Making your child a ‘Fully Functioning Person’

The Modern School not only aims at the academic development of the child but also lays emphasis on the holistic development. Our aim is to make children competent and mature enough so that they not only do well in exams but also come out with flying colours in the daily tests of life  as sensitive, tolerant, tough, open-minded and good human beings.

The Fully Functioning Person:

This philosophy of Carl Rogers is followed in the school and the management and teachers try to inculcate the same in themselves as well as the children.

A fully functioning person has three virtues:

  • Congruency
  • Unconditional regard and
  • Empathy

Congruency basically means being one’s ‘Real Self ‘. What we are inherently, without an artificial veneer.

Due to the pressures of life, as a defense and escape one often imagines an ‘Ideal self ‘, something that is unreal and artificial. The real person and his identity are lost in this process. We try to provide our kids wit a facilitative and low pressure platform where they can develop congruency between what they think and speak.

Unconditional regard is acceptance of other person as he or she is, without any prejudices, pre conceptions or conditions and keeping an unbiased and non judgmental attitude towards others. When a child knows that his point of view will be heard and understood with an open mind without judging and he has freedom of thought and expression, he will exhibit complete congruency and live with his true self.

Empathy means that one is able to put himself in the place of the other and understand his point of view as if they were his own.

Teachers in our school practice the virtues of empathy and unconditional regard towards students. In this way students get to grow and learn in a nurturing environment where they have the freedom to make mistakes, experiment with and try new ideas and have no worries of being constantly judged or scrutinized; which makes the journey of learning enjoyable and welcome. All teachers are trained to develop congruency, unconditional regards and empathy.
Students are in turn also encouraged to follow in their teachers footsteps and exhibit the virtues of unconditional regard empathy and congruency.
The above three combine to create the basis of child-centered education.

Teachers in our school practice the virtues of empathy and unconditional regard towards students. In this way students get to grow and learn in a nurturing environment where they have the freedom to make mistakes, experiment with and try new ideas and have no worries of being constantly judged or scrutinized; which makes the journey of learning enjoyable and welcome. All teachers are trained to develop congruency, unconditional regards and empathy.Students are in turn also encouraged to follow in their teachers footsteps and exhibit the virtues of unconditional regard empathy and congruency.The above three combine to create the basis of child-centered education.

Carl Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an influential American psychologist and among the founders of the Humanistic approach to psychology. The Person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains especially education (Student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. Towards the end of his life Carl Rogers was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. In an empirical study by Haggbloom et al. (2002) using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th Century.

Born: January 8, 1902, Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died: February 4, 1987 (aged 85), San Diego, California, U.S.
Nationality: American
Fields: Psychology
Institutions: Ohio State University, University of Chicago, University of Wisconsin–Madison, Western Behavioral Sciences Institute, Centre for Studies of the Person
Alma mater: University of Wisconsin–Madison, Teachers College, Columbia University
Known for The Person-centred approach (e.g., Student-centred learning, Rogerian argument)
Influences: Otto Rank, Kurt Goldstein
Notable awards: Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology (1956, APA); Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychology as a Professional Practice (1972, APA); 1964 Humanist of the Year (American Humanist Association)

Modernites are ‘Intrinsically Motivated’

A visitor: “Why do you study this chapter?”
Extrinsically motivated student: “Because it’s part of our syllabus and will come in the exams.”
Intrinsically motivated student: “Because this chapter is so interesting. I love it.”

Extrinsic motivation, like awards, marks, honours, grades, etc., is necessary when students have not developed an interest in or internal purpose for learning the information being presented.
Although this method of motivation occurs frequently, it does not lead to emotional intelligence because it does not give a child a deep sense of understanding, a sense of purpose, or the type of feedback that leads to self-approval. The child gets conditioned into seeking approval for a sense                                                                                                                          of self worth.
Also, students who are performing only for extrinsic rewards are not learning for the long term.

Intrinsic motivation comes from rewards inherent to a task or activity itself – the enjoyment of a puzzle or the love of playing cricket, for example. One is said to be intrinsically motivated when engaging in an activity “with no apparent reward except for the activity itself”.
Intrinsic motivation happens when there is learning through choice, curiosity, interest, excitement, or novelty. Students are engaged in an activity that has sparked a personal interest. They care about what they are learning and get inspired to go deep into the subject matter.
This form of motivation has been studied by social and educational psychologists since the early 1970s. Research has found that it is usually associated with high educational achievement and enjoyment by students.

Learning without cramming at The Modern School
When children explore and research on their own, it is a sign of good teaching. It is a sign that their minds are actually developing and have been facilitated to become alive, and exploration makes their minds more alive. On the other hand, merely cramming of books and notes makes a mind less alive, obsolete and dull. This is the danger of learning through cramming notes made by others or joining coaching centres.
Students use library books for reference, exploring the subjects or recreation reading. The school has well equipped central library, teacher’s personal library, internet for reference and class libraries. The central library also has a large number of reference books for students and teachers. There is a special section of books which prepare children for entrance examinations to institutions of excellence after class twelve. A large number of students at Modern School get through these competitive entrance examinations every year.

Text and reference books: The school prescribes for textual reading the best available books in the market, after thorough consideration by a committee consisting of staff and outside experts. The texts must be interesting, attractively designed, have interesting problems, key words high lighted, activities detailed and guidance for teachers added. The prescribed texts for senior classes IX to XII include international standard books as to raise the standards of intellectual challenge.

Lifelong success, not just exam success

In modern times knowledge gets obsolete every day. So instead of making children consume knowledge, we have to also make them capable of learning how to gather and learn new knowledge on their own. Child centered education aims at enabling a child learn ‘how to learn’.

To face the future shock of a fast changing world, our schools must seek to create persons who are actively inquiring, flexible, creative, innovative, tolerant and humble, who can face uncertainty and ambiguity and can create new meanings to handle new realities. Peace among humans can be created only by promoting empathy.

With our present day practice of honoring only the children who get the best marks, we as a society make a collective statement that we value exam marks over virtue, integrity, ability to relate to people, communicate effectively and creativity. Though school and competitive exam marks are important and cannot be ignored, but in the long run when these students get to the workplace, manage teams, lead companies, it is these skills and values that will determine their fate with far more accuracy than examination marks.

The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act 2009.

A brief analysis by Mr. Rakesh Kapoor, Founder, The Modern School, Lucknow

The points below are from government of India’s ‘The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009’ Chapter V ‘Curriculum and completion of elementary education’:

  1. Conformity with the values enshrined in the constitution
  2. All round development of the child
  3. Building up child’s knowledge, potentialities and talent
  4. Development of physical and mental abilities to the fullest extent
  5. Learning through activities, discovery and exploration in a child friendly and child centered manner
  6. Medium of instruction shall, as far as practicable, be the mother tongue
  7. Making the child free of fear, trauma and anxiety and helping the child to express views freely
  8. Comprehensive and continuous evaluation of child’s understanding of knowledge and his her ability to apply the same’

The school shall ensure “… good quality elementary education …”

FREEDOM TO LEARN, school’s role: facilitation (5)

Child centred processes of learning (e): The key idea is freedom to learn, for the child, according to his informed choice. Facilitating to learn what the child finds relevant or wills, through activities, discovery and exploration. Child’s sense of relevance and will are the central point of start of the process of learning. (e) School and teacher’s role is to facilitate the processes of discovery and exploration, and provide resources, support and guidance for activities.

FREEDOM TO LEARN, school’s role: removing constraints (6, 7)

This freedom to learn and express curiosity, must not be constrained by destructive relationships with teachers or school authorities. The constraints are: fear, trauma of the insurmountable challenge and anxiety for the future negative consequences (e.g. examination results). Learning entirely in English does not make children grasp concepts intuitively and creates divisions in society.

FREEDOM TO BE, school’s role: understanding of our rights in a democracy (1)

Our liberal democracy is conceived to be an open society, as good as any in the world in terms of its openness and idealism. It aims to secure for its citizens justice, equality, fraternity and dignity. The students must be made aware of the fact that eternal vigilance is the price of maintaining an open and decent society – they must study its functioning and take part in it to strengthen it ad protect it.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR MAXIMUM/ALL ROUND DEVELOPMENT, school’s role: providing opportunities and technology (2, 3, 4) for learning, experiencing and a friendly environment, so that self discovery of potentials and talents is realized. The three conditions required for creating a hospitable community are empathy, congruency and unconditional care. Providing teacher for learning physical fitness and challenges for complex cognitive development (HOTS).

CONTINUOUS EVALUATION (8), school’s role: holding school and educators accountable for causing intrinsic motivation to learn and its facilitation, discipline without fear in a free environment and high standards of learning. In the (1) to (7) above the ethos is to make the child an autonomous and self confidence learner and master life. But if there is a third party (teacher) looking over the child’s shoulder, then all that is aimed at in the curriculum – freedom from fear, joy of learning, sense of freedom and creativity, etc. are negated.

The Modern experience

Quality is what The Modern School believes in. So, when it was time to host the Frank Anthony Inter School Debate Championship conducted by ISC, the aim was to make quality arrangements for the guests.

The Modern welcomed some of the famous schools and eminent personalities. The hospitality arrangements for the invitees, who actively participated from regions locating from Agra, Bahraich, and Allahabad to the regional schools, such as, CMS and St. Fidelis College were remarkable.

The Modern made no compromises with the quality arrangements of their accommodation. The visitors’ experiences are worth a mention.

Radhika Mahajan, student, St. Conrad’s Inter College, Agra, shared her experience to The Modern .This was, “really a special trip”. She was fascinated by the “mighty building and friendly environment”. She was thankful to the school for their “generosity and amicable environment.”

Another participant from St. Fidelis College, Lucknow, had a commendable experience of the library. “Healthy competition had helped us to nourish our skills further. The library was quite helpful for us.

The teachers praised the congenial environment of the school. Kamyani Singh, PD and English trainer from National Institute of finance and accounts, said, “The Modern School has a good reputation owing to its merits. Co-curricular activities and studies are excellent. She gave her best wishes for all future endeavors.”

Savita Srivastava, teacher, The Girls High School and College, Allahabad, praised the “well equipped, spacious school.” She appreciated the large number of books as the guiding source in the library.

Raveena Hajila, student, CMS Aliganj, was pleased with the infrastructure and environment. She said, “The school is well illuminated and full of greenery. The competition was executed excellently and the facilities were good”.

Our Chief guest Dr. Nishant Haider, Sr. Lecturer, Department of English and Modern, Lucknow University, appreciated the well managed synchronization of the organizers of the event.

Monica Singh and Zainab Rizvi, students, S.D. A. Inter College, Bahraich, noticed the discipline of the school and the open interaction between the teachers and the students.

V. Ghosh, teacher, St. Patrick’s, Agra, along with other teams stayed at The Modern School for two days. She cherished, “the spacious rooms, and the home cooked food”. She said, “Mrs. Barkha and Mrs. Sharma were extremely helpful.”

The guests were felicitated with the school’s souvenirs. Participants hoped to visit The Modern School in the future.