MI Monday | Low-cost, high impact classroom resources
Welcome to the first post of MI – Monday series on STIR classroom practice micro-innovation – Low cost, high impact classroom resources.
Micro-innovations (MI) identified by STIR are individual, small-scale, low-cost (and often zero-cost), replicable practices developed by teachers and principals that have the potential to contribute to improving education quality and directly or indirectly contribute to better educational outcomes for children. Through the MI Monday series, STIR will share micro-innovations developed and being used by teachers in some of the most resource constraint and poorest schools in India.
We hope that creative ideas from practicing teachers will inspire you to try out these micro-innovations in your schools/classrooms, and share your experience with us.
Classroom Problem Statement
Devanik, a teacher in a government school, noticed that too often, teaching at his school is dry and uncreative and places a heavy emphasis on rote learning. This situation is not helped by restricted finances which mean that the school is unable to afford resources to help teachers make teaching more engaging.
To overcome this problem, Devanik has developed a set of sustainable and low-cost classroom resources that can be replicated in schools with financial restraints. Devanik uses recycled (and therefore low-cost) materials to teach interactively, for example teaching multiplication using egg-crates and beads so that pupils can visualise the multiplication. The value of this micro-innovation is in the provision of richer representations of ideas and concepts that help students to see new ideas in multiple ways. It also highlights the possibility of making learning fun, even in a low-resource environment.
The micro-innovation illustrates the possibility of bringing learning to life without the need for expensive, bespoke resources. It also requires that teachers consider the very essence of what they are hoping to teach pupils in order to be able to develop creative materials.
Potential Implementation Challenges
This micro-innovation may require a significant level of training for teachers and will require a level of motivation and confidence to move away from the textbook teaching which is typical in India.
Impact so far (according to the teacher)
In his first year of implementation, Devanik’s mid-term results had improved by 72% from the beginning of the school year, and students had grasped complex concepts that can be applied to other problems (counteracting rote learning), without even realising they were learning.
Download the full implementation guide for STIR_Low Cost High Impact Classroom Resources.
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