The classroom curtains had become old and the teacher mentioned it to the class. The students decided to take it up as a project to buy new curtains. Teacher did not want to miss out on a teaching moment. Teacher uses the integrated approach to build the curiosity and teach the concepts enumerated below:
The areas one could look at for teaching in Mathematics:
1. The size of the windows and the amount of material to be bought – to be considered for stitching curtains is the length of the material to be bought keeping in perspective the width of the material.
2. For ready-made curtains the length and the width of the windows to be considered.
History and Geography
1. Track the history of ‘charaka’ [spinning wheel] and cottage industries in India.
2. Discuss the principles of Gandhiji and the use of ‘Charaka’ in creating women empowerment and subsidiary employment
3. Which are the countries that produce cotton, linen?
4. What are the climatic / soil conditions required to grow cotton / linen?
5. How does the production of cotton affect the economy of the country?
6. Why are silk curtains expensive?
7. Would animal activists promote the use of silk curtains? Why not?
8. Teacher introduces the concept of sericulture.
9. Teacher narrates the story about the discovery of silk worm by the Chinese empress as an act of serendipity.
10. Where is the silk route located in India? Why is it called the silk route?
11. Plan a visit to a textile factory.
1. Mass production vs production by the masses which would be beneficial for Indian economy. Discussion on Gandhian principles related to the statement.
1. Could colour affect the glare / heat?
2. Could the curtains have lining as insulation?
3. Which material is to be used? – cotton, polyester, linen – which would last longer?
4. Which material would get soiled faster? Why?
5. Which material would be cheaper – cotton or man-made fibres? Why?
6. The amount of sunshine that comes through the window to be a factor for the thickness of the material. – could be also used by the Physics teacher to teach concept of light.
1. Autobiography of the cotton plant.
2. Autobiography of the silk worm.
3. A dialogue between the students and the shop keeper on the shopping transaction.
The teacher used the teaching moment to provide contextual learning to the students. When the teachers present information to the students in such a way that each student can derive meaning from it based on their experiences, it can be referred to as contextual learning. There are many other terms used to describe contextual learning including: Hands on experience; Active learning; Integrated learning; Project based learning; Applied learning.
Contextual learning is based on a constructivist theory of teaching and learning. The constructivist teacher provides techniques such as problem-solving, learning by doing and inquiry-based learning activities. Teacher helps students to test their ideas, draw conclusions and inferences in a collaborative learning environment. Constructivism transforms the student from a passive recipient of information to an active participant in the learning process. This technique is also horizontal correlation leading to holistic learning.
1. Dr. Pramila Kudva, From Chalk to Talk The Art of Teaching, Buuks, 2019