Updated: Mar 21, 2020
*This is not a political endorsement*
The government schools have been all the rage over the past few months. So our team of psychologists decided to look into what makes these schools work and we found our answers hidden in psychology of education.
One of the most talked about features of these schools is the complete makeover of its infrastructure, with better quality and well lit classrooms to clean and upgraded facilities the students feel like returning to their schools. This developed infrastructure seems to have had a positive impact not only in their surroundings but also their self esteem. A student spends most of his/her time is the classroom and if that space is built well it provides a sense of pride, there is an increased responsibility the student develops to take care of it. It tells that student, the conditions in which you study matters to us. Once the child feels where and how they study matter, they are less likely to misbehave in that space and feel proud to study there. Research clearly shows us how the physical classroom environment has positive effects on our socio-emotional as well as our cognitive development.
The next big feature of these schools is the focus on learning of students. The children in these schools have been divided into 3 groups based on their current level of educational ability. Depending on their level of learning they are provided extra classes to catch up on information they are lacking. Many at times, children get frustrated and lose interest if they don’t understand what’s been taught now but now using principles of scaffolding they are given more attention they need to learn. While some have seen this move as dividing and labelling the students but the idea here is to help students fill the gaps in knowledge by an experienced mentor so they can learn at par with everyone. It is heartwarming to see that school administrations are realising there are special needs of student and teaching them the way they learn best.
Another big step these schools have taken is to ensure continued interest in child’s education and one of the ways this has been ensured is by involving parents of these students along with other administration members as well as social workers to come together and weigh in on decisions regarding their children. This not only gives a sense of involvement and belonging to the parents but they also feel heard and are an active part of their child’s journey. Parents like this also realise the importance of education and be able to give real time feedback to the administration for changes. This has been called School Management Committee. There is so much research in psychology which tells us when families and schools work together to create an inclusive, well-rounded learning environment for children, their rate of success is much higher than schools where such provision is not available. In fact, even the rate of these children going to college is much higher than those of students’ whose parents are not involved in their child’s education.
And the last change that has helped give these schools an edge is the introduction of mentorship and guidance for teachers in various forms. Throughout the year, a group of more experienced educators have mentored teachers at these government schools on best teaching practices. In fact, teachers in these government schools have also been engaged in peer mentoring programs where they develop subject materials for students along with their peers. These small changes have given more resources to teachers and empowered them to provide the best education to their students all the while learning and growing themselves. Evidence suggests that providing teachers with such opportunities goes a long way in reducing teacher dropout rates as well as helps in single handedly improving learning outcomes for students. We all remember that one teacher who has left an impact on us like no other and such programs ensure they do so for all students.
Psychology pervades all parts of our lives whether we are aware or unaware of its effects. Government schools in Delhi have been able to identify this and use them for the betterment of students’ education. The changes implemented seem small to us but for these students they could prove to be the difference it makes in how well they learn and succeed in life.
The difference between a successful and unsuccessful student is not their IQ, but instead, the support system that tells them we care and we're here to help you.
Note: We have provided research articles for all information in this article for anyone who wishes to read more about education and psychology. For any concerns, we are available at firstname.lastname@example.org