Watering the Seeds of Values
The values that we are developing in our students are not really much different from those that were taught in bygone generations. It is only the pedagogy of values that has shifted. Our school curriculum is planned with a set of values that are woven into teaching and learning. Students not only gain insight into the nature of the subject but also appreciate and imbibe the attitudes and values associated with that particular subject. In a way, every subject is a repository of values.
For this session the focus is on seven values – Compassion and Empathy, Humility, Gratitude, Forgiveness, Patience, Team work and Optimism.
APRIL: The months of April and May were devoted solely to understanding, experiencing and reflecting upon the value of ‘Compassion and Empathy’. The meaning and emotion associated with empathy and compassion got etched in the hearts of the students when they watched poignant videos and movies. Diary entry and informal letters were written based on the value of the month. Through Hindi lessons and poems students learnt how to be compassionate towards animals, birds and our environment; how to empathise with people during an accident, disaster or a natural calamity. In their Maths class, students were given questions based on the value of ‘Compassion’ and they were also asked to discover the hidden value in the questions.
JULY:‘Humility is the solid foundation of all values’. The month of July was instrumental in laying foundation of students’ moral fibre by imparting the value, ‘Humility’. Short movies on the lives of Mother Teresa, Nelson Mandela and Dr APJ Kalam were shown to the students with the help of the smart boards in their classes. These would definitely help students foster and practice ‘humility’ in their lives. Taking cues from the lessons that they learnt, students presented skits validating real life examples and short narratives based on ‘Humility’.
Social Studies class was made interesting, informative and morally uplifting for the students. Students narrated the story of Bahubali, wherein they were told that people loved Prince Bahubali but not Ballal due to the difference in their attitudes. Bahubali was humble, kind and caring whereas Ballal was full of pride and arrogance.
During the teaching of nitrogen fixation which included symbiotic relationship in root nodules and bacteria, the Chemistry teacher emphasised how both organisms are humble towards each other and provide benefit to the environment. Similarly, human beings can also be humble towards each other.
In the Biology class, the teacher very subtly promoted the value of ‘Humility’ by informing the students that humans are surviving not by default, but as a result of an act of evolution. Nature chooses the traits which are suitable to survive. Hence, it is wrong to believe that we are the most advanced and superior of all species. We must remain humble and lead our lives with humility.
AUGUST: ‘Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.’
Various activities were conducted in the month of August in all the classes to help the students imbibe the value of ‘Gratitude’. Students learnt that how expressing thankfulness wipes away the tides of disappointment and brings in positivity and self satisfaction.
They expressed gratitude by giving cards to people whom they wanted to thank for their contributions. The most thoughtful and innovative gesture was to courier the thanksgiving cards for our sentinels at the border.
While teaching the topic , ‘Elections’, students were given to imagine themselves as elected leaders. Assuming this role, they gave speeches expressing their thanks towards the voters.
OCTOBER: “It takes a strong person to say, “Sorry” and even a stronger person to forgive”. In the month of October, this splendid thought of ‘Forgiveness’ was inculcated in the students through umpteen engaging and thought-provoking activities. There were brain-storming sessions, anonymous notes were addressed to the ones whom they could never manage to say a ‘sorry’. Students of class IX were given the challenging task of giving a twist to the climax of the story “Keeping It from Harold”, wherein they had to portray Harold forgiving his parents for keeping his father’s profession a secret from him. Students of grade X happily wrote messages for their peers on balloons. Through this they could seek forgiveness and learn the real meaning of ‘let go’.
With the help of role play and skits in Hindi a situation was created wherein students could experience the value of ‘Forgiveness’ in the simulated situation.
In the History classes, examples from the life of Ashoka were taken and the students were told how he forgave his enemies and gave up war. Teachers cited the example of ‘Moderates’ from the National Movement in India wherein the value of ‘Forgiveness’ was interwoven.
A value cantered approach in the class rooms has added meaning to each class.