OLPC Pakistan, Report 1

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Impact of XOs on Teachers’ Temperament

Teachers are not used to having children get all excited about something and start jumping from here and there, to either help others or see what they are doing, and how they are doing it differently. Teachers are used to having complete control of the class and for that they used stick. We were surprised to see the types of different sticks used in school. We asked why you are using this stick to control children. Answer was same like we hear from all other teachers in Government school, we can’t control class without this stick, children are very clever etc. It may be noted that school curriculm has no excitement for children and their energies cannot be streamed lined by books and illtrained teachers.

Here is 5th grade math teacher who was there with his stick.

Teacher with stick

He told us that we are used to having control of the class, meaning that the children should be quiet and sitting still. If the class is not quiet, then children get punished. It is hard for us to keep them in control without the use of a stick. He apologetically said that he was aware that this was not the right way to handle kids. He also said physical punishment is very common in the current educational system despite the fact that it is illegal.

Replying to a question if there was any change in children behavior or what he called discipline after OLPC deployment? His answer was “yes”, from the last 6 weeks children didn’t create any situation that got on our nerves. “I believe it is because kids’ energies are properly utilized and challenged by XOs. Consequently they behave rationally and get little time for things out of OLPC focus.” The teacher was completely flabbergasted at this impact. With a broad smile on his face he exclaimed, “…the way I see Constructionism, punishment has no place in it.” It is surprising to hear these words from a teacher who was infamous for his exemplary use of stick to discipline children.

Pictures from Atlas Pilot are available at following link. | Flick picture set

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