Montessori to Froebel; Rousseau to Tagore
When Dr. Marie Montessori brought about her Montessori Method of Pre-school Education, she had a clear understanding of the stages of cognitive development of early childhood from birth to the age of 6. The great German educationist Froebel brought about the Play-way in Education and wanted an activity based method of childhood development to take place in a literal ‘Children’s Garden’ which he called in his native Deutsch (German) tongue as Kindergarten. With regard to Pre-Primary education, we at GV Academy take a holistic approach and we don’t stop just with these two systems. We look up also to Jean Jacques Rousseau, the famous French Philosopher and one of the Fathers of the French Revolution. His tried out educational thesis ‘Emile’ based on his close study of the physical, intellectual and psychic development of his youngest son, Emile, inspires the teaching faculty of GV Academy to go the Naturalistic way. And we don’t have to go that far, as we have our own Tagore, the founder of the Shantiniketan, whose prevailing superiority is a standing monument to the call of all inspired seers, educationists and teachers to take every child back to Nature from whom we all come, as she is our Mother.
Thanks to the efforts of the NCERT in general and that of the CBSE in particular, we have a child-friendly way of making the child learn for himself or herself, rather than the teacher trying to teach the child something. GV Academy’s ambitious aim is to become the most child-friendly school in the State and strive to remain so. All our educative endeavours are child-centred and our success story tells it all; and we are on the right track with copious fieldtrips, debates, classes in the activity room / labs, Eco-Clubs, Elocution presentations, Diction Playlets, etc, not to leave out the children themselves taking classes for the teacher and the rest of the class!
When it comes to the Middle School level, we leave no stone unturned to let our children have nothing less than the best with regard to Text books, contents, methodology and presentation of the contents compulsorily through multimedia. In the teaching – learning process, cent percent involvement of sensorial perception is ensured – from auditory to visual, tactile to olfactory and even to the gustatory. Though scientifically, still a hypothesis, Intuition is also given a role to play and extra-sensorial perception (ESP) is not ruled out for the child to attain knowledge and more than that, also wisdom, where Truth is greater than knowledge.
Even the word ‘examination’ is a taboo in GV Academy and we have only Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluations (CCE)! All our Assessments are such that the students do not feel the pinch of it and they do not have to prepare for the Formative or Summative Assessments and very often they are not even conscious of being assessed when it does take place.
The Report Card of yesteryears said nothing other than the verdict that the parents had an idiotic son or daughter, or in the case of a few bookworms, that the parents were going to have a bright future as their bright child who could memorise, won’t forget to get a fat salary from a less educated employer! Things are different here. Our Report Cards shout aloud to all insufficiently educated parents and elders: Intelligence is Multiple ! More than 8 in all ! Every type of intelligence is a gift of God and when developed, we give equal value to any of its type. More than that, we use each of these types to cater to the easy grasping and retention of the content by each and every child who is a unique creation of God. So, through songs, through music, through dance, through games and activity, through socialisation and solitary meditation, though movies and computer animations, we take the learning process forward. And every aesthetic activity and fine arts, and even martial arts, give them a chance to score equal range of marks for the Grading System, where the uninformed parents can no longer tax their children by the unhealthy comparison of their children with those of other parents.
From the concept of Child-friendly education, we have moved a step higher where the parents are no more taxed with regard to the Homework Assignments, as they are the ones usually doing the same for children upto the Primary Levels. Every ‘homework’ is done in the school during the ‘Homework Period’ with the concerned teacher to supervise the same. Only activities and projects are given to be carried out on holidays and in their free hours.
The Preventive System
‘Prevention is better than cure’ is an ancient adage and we follow the same maxim in our entire educative endeavour at GV Academy. Don Bosco was a saintly Christian priest who tried out this method successfully for more than a thousand youth who studied or were educated under him. Now there are thousands of schools following the same method in more than 145 countries of the world. The House System is in force throughout and any credit or achievement is rewarded and undesirable behaviour is not repressed or reprimanded for, and much less, given any physical or psychological punishment. Not rewarding an undesirable behaviour becomes a punishment in itself and the sense of group feeling and a high sense of moral propriety from the part of the teachers compel the children to turn towards what is good, beautiful and true.
The 4 Houses are: BHARATHI (Blue Flag); GANDHI (Green Flag); KAMARAJ (Red Flag) & NEHRU (Yellow Flag).