Learning Roman Numbers: One component at a time

Learning Objectives
To convert Roman numbers to Hindu-Arabic numbers

What are the big ideas that students have to learn?
1) Memorizing these Roman Symbols with their respective Hindu-Arabic value
2) When to do addition and when to do subtraction based upon the position of  Roman Symbols

1) Memorizing these Roman Symbols with their respective Hindu-Arabic value
Without memorizing the mapping of Roman Symbols to its respective Hindu-Arabic value, students can't reach their learning outcomes. The mapping is very hard to memorize. So it's critical to provide them memory tricks for it.

Kids usually know
1) I means 1
2) V means 5
3) X means 10
But what about other symbols, here are the memory tricks that students have to imagine.
4) L means 50
So tell them L means (L)ake, and Lake is half filled (50%)
5) C means 100
Tell them C means see and see is a full (100%) eye
6) D means 500
Choose a student whose name starts with D and give him/her a Rs 500
D means 5000
7) M means 1000
The chil…

Suggestions on rationalising curriculum

Inviting suggestions on rationalising curriculum/ syllabus/ subject contents for class I to class XII with the objective of all round development of students

"It has been envisioned that in order to develop a fairer and more egalitarian society comprising of well-balanced human beings, in addition to cognitive and analytical skills,adequate attention on activities like life skills, experiential learning,health and physical education, sports, visual and performing arts,literary & creative skills, and work based education are indispensable. Though the existing curriculum does incorporate these skills, however, the load of curriculum in cognitive and analytical area seems to be so heavy that students practically do not get much time to develop skills in other areas.

In order to balance the curriculum for cognitive and analytical areas with curriculum in other life skills including creativity and sports, specific suggestions are invited from teachers, academics, students, parents…

Question designing should be brain-friendly cue based

Why question designing should be brain-friendly and cue based?


Applying Science of Learning in Education (Society for the Teaching of Psychology)

We make up stories, Memory is reconstructive not reproductive

Reconstructive memory refers to the way memories are pieced together from bits of information. Memories are not perfectly formed, and they depend on outside influences to develop the whole picture. These influences can be anything, such as a person's own expectations or suggestions from other people.
People want to believe that memories are perfect and not able to be molded by information outside of the memory. However, in memory recall, there are blind spots. The brain fills in those gaps, and that is reconstructive memory. When recollecting a memory, a person will remember pieces of it and, in order to form a whole memory, they add to it, or reconstruct it.

Reference Video

Examples of cue based questions a…

Review: Five morally dubious educational ideas

Review of Five morally dubious educational ideas  :

1) Should we abolish exams? No, it should be a part of the assessment Let it come under peer review. Let them retake assessment till they have not reached their goals. It's more to do with designing of questions in exams, what is taught and quality of formative assessment to make the exam successful. Standardized testing only to test the foundational learning that is required for every child or every child of the specific stream.
2) Students should engage in projects and inquiry learning
Yes, they should engage, but in a guided manner, where teacher or mentor will scaffold the entire process. Projects and inquiry learning is only a part of learning and is not complete, explicit teaching is as important as inquiry learning.
3) Education is preparation for future employment
No education is preparation for self-employment, self-reliance, and getting …

Patterns for bad practices of teaching

1) Teaching whiteboard not students
Students work is only to nod head to say yes most of the time even if they understood nothing, disagreement is remarkably uncommon. Teachers don't inquire about student comprehension. Some teachers do inquire but by asking a dichotomous answer of yes or no.
But to know the comprehension level, one has to test it by asking questions to students or to explain the concept.
2) Not answering means insult
If students don't give the right answer, they are insulted in front of whole class. Students are completely responsible for not knowing the answer. "Kya tum gharme padthe nahi ho" (Don't you study at home?). So everything you have to study at home. School is not a place for learning.
3) Personal attack when you ask too much question
Again students are insulted if they ask too many questions.
4) Target only to finish syllabus
The syllabus is paramount, not students. Why are teachers going so fast that students are unable to grasp? An…

Practicing one component in one time to learn the whole

Most often questions are designed that tests the understanding of whole instead of its components. Students miserably fail to solve these problems due to lack of enough practice of its components.

So systematically breaking down the whole concept into its required components is important. e.g. Take this question:
[Cr(NH3)6]3+ is paramagnetic while [Ni(CN)4]2- is diamagnetic. Explain why?

To start solving this question you have to know the following components:
1) You have to know the atomic number of Cr and Ni. If you have forgotten the atomic number or not memorized it, you are out of luck to solve it.
So, has the teacher or the book has given memory tricks to memorize the periodic table.
2) After you know the atomic number, do you know the electronic configuration of the metal atom?
3) Then, can you determine the electronic configuration of metal ion?
4) Do you know how to calculate the oxidation state, because you need to calculate the charge of metal ion?
5) Have you memorized the…

If all content (subject matter) are alike, how can we expect innovation?

Problems with alike content:

1) Homogenization of skills
When a finished product reaches the market, the product development cycle goes through the touch of many divergent skilled peoples. A product can have many components which require different skill sets of different people.

For example, Website Development:
When you begin to develop a website, you start with designing a prototype of how it will look, which requires the expertise of graphic designers, you need the skill of programmer to code for the website, you need to be a webmaster to host your website.
If you look into the depth, there is much more complexity to it. Each website has its own requirements. A prototype can be designed by using different software, such as Inkscape, illustrator and many others. Each software requires a different kind of learning and experience. Similarly, from programmer side, which language you will be using, which framework, based upon your website requirements such as speed of development, scala…