Among the problems faced when implementing Board curriculum in India is the emphasis on rote memorisation. Students often graduate unable to move beyond the definition of theoretical concepts to implementing and using the ideas they were taught. Aawaaz attempts to change this by shifting the emphasis on committing facts to memory to an emphasis on critical thinking.
Aawaaz’s aim is to ensure that students understand what they are learning and learn to engage analytically with the ideas. While making education more interactive, we condense the required information in the social science curriculum for students to help them create a foundation to build on. With the basic knowledge in place, we hold debates and discussions to make students question what they have read and been taught. This method helps capture the student’s interest in the subject, gain more perspective and delve deeper into what is being taught. Instead of being limited by textbooks and a linear approach to learning, students begin to explore dilemmas that ensure that the concepts are applied to practical contexts and force them to move away from simply rote memorisation.
This method has been implemented in Bluebells School International for the grade 6 to 8 civics syllabus. In class, an Aawaaz facilitator will introduce a chapter, for example, a chapter pertaining to the Panchayat System. After giving the students all the required information, the facilitator will begin to explore the debates and ethical dilemmas present in the study of the Panchayat System. An example of a debate topic in this chapter could be ‘should one be educated to stand for Panchayat elections’.