Innovative Practices in Education

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A Study of the Innovative educational practices in schools

Introduction
The word ‘innovation’ is derived from Latin word ‘innovare’, which means “to change something to new”. In other words, we may say that ‘innovation’ means changing the regular way of doing things and involves doing the regular things in a novel way. The role of a teacher in present context has remarkably changed because of the various factors such as social, cultural, economic and technology developments across the globe. “Teachers in today’s era must be innovative, imaginative, and resourceful and have thorough knowledge of the subject and adopt new techniques to teach innovatively.” J. Krishnamurthy1 Teaching, in the KRISHNAMURTHI FOUNDATION INDIA (KFI) schools as opposed to other regular schools was said to be “different” and hence the researcher picked up these schools to study what and how “innovatively” the students are taught. KFI schools come under the genre of “alternative schools.” “An alternative school is an educational setting designed to accommodate educational, behavioral, and/or medical needs of children and adolescents that cannot be adequately addressed in a traditional school environment.”2 Its unique features are as follows:

Alternative schools have a small number of students, maximum 200 in the entire school . •Not more than 15-25 kids in a class
Children are allowed to learn the basic skills of reading and writing at their own pace. •There is little or no internal hierarchy in alternative schools. •Excellent teacher pupil relationship .

Family atmosphere
There is an inherent spirit of cooperation with self discipline. •Uniqueness of each child is nurtured.
The ambience is essentially fluid and informal. •There is no uniform.

“KFI schools are not just about transference of ideas or facts in books, but is also about feeling the earth, watching the sunset, listening to the birds, seeing the colours of the leaves change in the different seasons and observing nature in its many colours, forms and shapes, in reality and this has shaped the entire structure of the school based on the ideology of Jiddu Krishnamurthy.”3 Methodology of the Study

Normative survey along with participant observation was used in the present research as it was a qualitative research . •Qualitative research seeks out the ‘why’, not the ‘how’ of the topic.3( Yang.W.E, 1997) Data Collection Tools

Actual visit to the school and interaction with the teacher, students and principals through interview and questionnaire techniques and actual participation in school activities. The tools used were: •Interview

Participant Observation
Document analysis

Learning the KFI way……… a few insights

Classes are not only about completing the content but also about understanding the content; with this core understanding every teacher at the school determines to use innovative teaching practices in classroom teaching. The term “innovative” is used to describe the combination of the three teaching practices in these schools •Student centered pedagogy

Taking the learning beyond the classroom
Giving importance to personal relationships apart from the academic subject matter. These learning environments strive to cultivate a sense of community and belonging, and qualities of safety, respect, caring, and even love amongst the students .The term “innovative” in the context of this research describes combining these practices with technology i.e use of ICT( information communication technology ) in class room teaching. Student-centered pedagogy includes practices of teaching and learning that are project-based, collaborative, foster knowledge-building, require self-regulation and assessment, and are both personalized (allowing for student choice and relevance to the individual student) as well as individualized (allowing students to work at...
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