Keep on pushing ;-)

In my blog post “From Ideas into Action” I wrote about the work I did with the students at the Sharif Education Complex during my stay in Lahore, Pakistan. Today is the teacher’s turn;-)

In various Q&A sessions with the teachers we discussed the following we_school principles:

  • Celebrate Diversity!
  • Learning over education
  • Student-centered learning
  • Solution-based Learning
  • Prototyping and Entrepreneurial thinking within the curriculum
  • The “Art of letting go”
  • Where do the kids learn?
  • Integration of community work within the curriculum

And the big final was a 3 hour open space with the goal to find ideas for implementing “new ways of teaching and learning” tomorrow. I was told that most of the teachers were familiar with the method – however many of them acted very shy. Only 9 of them stepped forward to propose a project.

Maybe it was because we called them in on a holiday;-)

But the results are very promising and the teachers were very engaged when I walked around in the groups. Together with their principal Zarin Shoaib the teachers will follow up on these outcomes:

  • Additional learning and working material besides the regular textbooks
  • Project Based Learning
  • Create “departments” for the various disciplines >>> English department, art department, math department … >>> this way the students can move on in the disciplines they are good at and “remain” in those in which they are not performing well
  • Kids teaching kids
  • How to motivate students better
  • How to improve working in groups
  • Concept based learning
  • Activity-based curriculum
  • Mydah’s project >>> fostering imagination

The next step will be to write a proposal what exactly is meant by these ideas and how they can  be translated into daily life.


From Ideas into Action

I spent a week at the Sharif Education Complex a bit outside of Lahore. On the campus there is a hospital, a medical college and 5 different schools with 1700 students. One hundred of the boys also live there in a hostel. The schools are led by Zarin Shoaib, who invited me to come.

Our goal was to come up with ideas and design projects to bridge the gap between the communities the students are living in and their daily life at school. We started out to work with students and teachers together, but it turned out – or I may better say it was my feeling from what I saw – that the students work much more “liberate” without the teachers. So we continued separately and worked on different issues.

I worked in 2 groups with them, each group about 20 kids. We’ve had 3 sessions à 90 minutes. It was quite a challenge for me to get them REALLY interested and not only to pretend being interested. And – probably to no ones surprise – the girls performed much better than the boys. They were much more focused and much more down to the point than the boys. Let’s see how their commitment will remain while I am gone. Before I left we agreed upon to continue virtually via their facebook page.

Here are the projects they came up with and which they would like to turn into practice:

  • Clean water
  • Citizen Rights – facebook awareness campaign
  • Educate your maid!
  • Fight illiteracy – Build a library!
  • Plant a tree!
  • Trash into colored dust bins!

By next Wednesday they were asked to send in a one pager where they explain how they plan to kick off their projects and with whom they want to cooperate in the community.

Can’t wait to see the projects going …