New Delhi: Dr A Jebin Joel walks into a classroom with a violin, while Dr Amol Subhash Bagul greets his students with a flute. But neither of them are music teachers. Joel and Bagul are, in fact, science teachers who use musical instruments to make learning easy and fun for their students.
Their innovative teaching method has earned them a place among 46 teachers who won the National Teachers’ Award this year.
“My motto is to make learning easy by bringing out working models and by enabling students to visualise theories and complex formulas,” says Joel, who teaches complex physics at a school run by the Atomic Energy Education Society. The society, which comes under the Department of Atomic Energy, runs 31 schools across India.
A lecture by Joel on elasticity theory begins with a song which goes something like this: “Do you know elasticity? Yes, we know elasticity. When the body regains originality …”
Speaking to News18, Joel explains why he chose this method of teaching. “I use violin and other alternate methods of teaching in class because my motto is to create interest in the mind of the students. If we bring a violin to the class, students are more interested and also remember the theories in song format. Physics is tough and compulsory for some competitive exams like NEET. Hence, I use dotted lines and drawings as well to make Physics easier to understand,” he says.
Bagul follows a similar logic, but uses a flute and poems instead. An assistant teacher at Shri Samarth Vidya Mandir Prashala Sawedi in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar, Bagun runs the NASA Kids Club to encourage scientific temper in students. He teaches the flute to students and makes them learn poems as well.
“I have requested ISRO to join school administrations in setting up kids’ clubs along the lines of the NASA Kids Club. We need kids’ clubs like NASA’s to inculcate scientific temper in rural children,” Bagul, the youngest awardee this year, says.
Among the 44 other awardees is Kanchanben K Pandya, a teacher in a school for the hearing-impaired who has built an effective liaising system with parents and the community to help children. Also on the list was Dr Kalpana Sharma who was awarded for mobilizing the community to donate land for a school with smart classrooms.
All 46 winners received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. The awardees were selected after an online self-nomination process followed by 3-tier selection process at district, state and national levels. The independent national jury then recommended the 46 names. These nominated teachers gave a presentation before an independent jury, comprising a senior educationist.
The award includes a silver medal, a certificate and award money of Rs 50,000.