Hyderabad: Neuro-cognitive science researchers at the International Institute of Information Technology Hyderabad (IITH) are all set to conduct a first of its kind two-day workshop on ‘Teaching the learning Brain’. The workshop aims at teachers interacting with students from class I to VIII.
The basis of the workshop for primary and middle school teachers is derived from one of Albert Einstein’s famous quote. He had said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid.”
Kavita Vemuri, faculty at the cognitive sciences research centre, is one of the lead organisers of the workshop. She mentioned that the premise of the workshop is the understanding learning happens differently for different children. “We want to introduce teachers to the concept of neuro-development and what children are capable of learning at various stages of development. Bringing about such awareness is perhaps the first step towards the larger goal of imparting education,” she added.
The two-day workshop will bring research findings in the spheres of language development, mathematical abstraction, the role of socio-economic factors, physical ability, and mental well-being to the aid of classroom teaching.
Through the workshop, the organisers aim to engage qualitatively with teachers coming from not only private schools but also government schools. The organisers are also arranging native Telugu researchers to translate the proceedings of the workshop in real-time to involve more Telugu-speaking teachers in the discussions.
The organisers have discovered that the focus on neuro-cognitive aspects of learning is often missed out even in B.Ed curriculum. Hence, a unique target audience at the workshop will be the teachers in making — B.Ed students.
Speaking about why an institute of higher education is engaging with pedagogy at a primary level, Kavita says, “First, as cognitive scientists, a lot of our research deals with the way the brain develops in the learning process. I think all institutes should invest in children because they are our future. We should start early. Firstly, we should begin by engaging with teachers. I would want the best ones — the curious ones to come here. And also, after our interaction, we want to identify certain problem statements that we can research it further.”