The Student Production Line

The factory model of education came into vogue in the 19th century.  Students began to fill classrooms and teachers became drastically outnumbered introducing the challenge of quality in schools.  Though it may seem that the solution is smaller classrooms and more teachers, this is an ideal to which the world may never return.  Needless to say, the current situation is that the student-teacher ratio in most educational environments are well over 20-1.  The factory model is here to stay because given this proportion, it is the only way to ensure quality. However, there is a huge disconnect in the factory model as it is applied to education.  In a car… Read More

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Concentration

How long can you work without getting distracted? These days, with mobiles always talking to us, it seems like our attention spans are getting reduced. In this environment, we expect kids to be able to sit anywhere from 1-3 hours working on a boring test or homework assignment. Concentration is not a child’s ability to sit for 3 hours. Concentration is a child’s ability to just focus on the next step and take it. Yes, sometimes we do need to plan our time, so that we can complete the test in the time given. That strategy comes later. No point in all that planning, if we have already mentally panicked… Read More

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Image the Topic

In Word Frames, we ask the kids to draw an image of the topic they are studying. The image should not be from the textbook.  Instead, it should come from their own imagination. Wouldn’t it be better for the kids to memorize the images in their textbook? To answer this, we first need to think about what school is trying to do. True or False? School teaches us about life. We would like to say true, but then if we start to think about some of the random things we were taught, we reach a different conclusion. We were taught about Romeo and Juliet. I suppose this is a life… Read More

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Creativity with a Purpose

Our caretakers (and our kids) sometimes think of Hidden Treasures as Arts & Crafts. We always correct them and say it is not just Arts and Crafts. Have you ever wondered why? It’s not that we don’t think Arts & Crafts is useful. In fact, Arts & Crafts are a great way for kids to express creativity. There is nothing wrong in it at all, and it can be a good experience for kids. The reason we want it to be viewed differently is because of the way Arts & Crafts is received by many adults, especially in the environments of our kids. Most adults view Arts & Crafts as… Read More

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Self-Worth Driven Education – July 2018

If you use the word “YOU CAN’T” in front of kids, they wont accept that.  Immediately, they will start working to prove “I CAN.”  Their feelings and emotions immediately become obvious.  Quitting is not something that kids have build into them.  There are other factors in kids quitting in the classroom. In my article “Tips for a Meaningful Education at Every Age“, there are three levels of education.  The kids at each of these three levels can learn by what they are seeing, learn by comparing with the real world and learn through fun. Only at the highest level, the tenth standard kids, they no longer benefit from the comparison… Read More

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Attention Parents! – Rote Meets Art Memorization

Attention parents! Here is a tip to help your child remember concepts better! Try out Word Frames! It is easy to do and enables your child to remember key concepts about any topic. All you have to do is instruct your child to draw out a concept using words. For example, if your child is learning about a Clock, all he/she has to do is pick out 5 to 10 keywords that describe the Clock like round, time, hands etc., and then draw the Clock using those keywords only. This method enables a child to retain more information and is proven to be effective. Our Word Frames program model turns… Read More

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Tips for a Meaningful Education at Every Age

Students discover the value of education in different ways.  This is because there are a lot of paths to a meaningful education. There was a time not too long ago when students had no facilities for higher studies.  Today, however, there are many opportunities made available by the government and NGOs for students to achieve and to explore in education.  All it takes is for a child to want to gain that meaningful education. Developing education within the Kallukuttai community, a marginalized area of Chennai, provides a study on the concept of a meaningful education. Meaningful Education Begins with Awareness In the Kallukuttai community, a marginalized area of Chennai, education… Read More

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Attention Parents! – Math can be Fun!

Attention parents! Is your child struggling with basic math? Here’s a tip for you! Try Hope Torch’s Mathletics program with your child. So what is this Mathletics? Basically, a child is given a test with math problems of simple addition, subtraction, multiplication or division, and the child is challenged to see if he/she can complete it in under 3 minutes. If the child can, then yay! If not, he/she is encouraged to take the same test again and try to complete it in under 3 minutes again. It works like a video game; you fail, you try over and over again till you succeed. Raju, one of our HT Chapter… Read More

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No Fear of Math

You know what makes Math beautiful? It’s the absoluteness of it. One thing must equal something else. Or it must not. The concept of equals has a symmetry that embodies perfection. The preciseness of equals is captivating. There is an attractiveness towards this absoluteness that innately draws us. We have affinities for certain foods. We either like the food.  Or we don’t like the food. This absoluteness builds an affinity for that food which identifies the food as “a food that is for us.” There is no in-between. For me it is PB&J sandwiches. I liked them as a kid, and I knew I liked them. Now, when I think… Read More

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Word Frames – How It Works?

The program utilizes the unique Word Frames method of studying subject matter.  The students review and reinforce the subjects taught in class by creating a Word Frame drawing based on the specific sections in the textbook recently covered by the school teachers. What is a Word Frame? Based on the textbook content assigned, the child draws one simple drawing which “reminds” the student about the subject. The child does not do any coloring. The child selects keywords or key phrases from the text. Using colored pencils, the child writes the keywords over and over in rows, filling in the spaces in the drawing. The keywords appear to color in the… Read More

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