At T-school, they teach you how to use various models and methods for ‘stimulus variation’.
A few old attention-seeking tricks include:
-Social action method
-Use a teaching aid/show a video/play an audio clip
-Use a pre-set teaching model:
CAM (Concept Attainment Model)
JIM(Jurisprudential Inquiry Model)
ITM(Inquiry Training Model)
Each of which has a set format that needs to be followed. Supposed to be very effective to teach certain topics. But I had a tough time recalling the steps.
-Play an educational game
I really wanted to do something different. And drama is something I particularly enjoy. I can act in my sleep and sleep in my act. And I can act better than I can write. But sleep better than I ca write or act. Nonsense.
So coming back the teaching of History.
I decided to wear a costume. I enjoy wearing costumes. Even wore one for the Mumbai Marathon 2011. (It was an onion. BTW, I almost won Rs 30,000 but wasn’t allowed to participate because of a bunch of mean organisers who didn’t allow a late entry. Whatever. They didn’t even make the rules, location of contest clear.)
Coming back! Firstly getting a costume is difficult. Secondly storing one at home is even tougher! No freaking place.
So coming back. The idea was to
Scare children. Entertain them. Make noise. Assist learning. And most importantly, teach them History with different anecdotes, a perspective that they may not find in the text book.
Like learning History from the source. Maybe listen to a story in first-person. Maybe hear Aurangzeb talk about his
-great, great, great grandfather,
-his great, great, grandfather,
-his great grandfather,
(To think of it. Did he know about his family tree? Donno. Maybe? Do you know anything about your great, great, great grandmother? I don’t. Except for the fact that she probably belonged to a colder, cleaner place.)
Something I really enjoyed was suddenly walking into class (to play Chandragupta) and asking one side: Goldsmiths! Start making a thousand gold coins.
Then walking to another side of the class and saying:
Fa Hien has travelled from a distant land. He is new to our kingdom. Please take care of him and show him around.
Of course, I didn’t teach for all 30 minutes wearing the costume. The beard got sweaty and I couldn’t breathe under the fake synthetic mustache. But hey, that’s because first person is never History. It’s a perspective… an account.