January 9, 2017
This blog is authored by Study Abroad in India student Claudia Lara who is studying for a Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at The City College of New York. She has an associates degree in Deaf Studies, a bachelor's degree in Linguistics and is currently teaching 3 year olds in a preschool in Queens, NY.
Hearing "hands-on" made me think of activities related to the topic being taught however, seeing the classrooms made me realize it is more than providing activities. All the classrooms were different; those training for hospitality had a replica of a hotel room for practicing, those training for a position associated with retail were standing in their classroom. Every setting aimed to provide real life experience to prepare them for the job position they would like to get.
As the article “Origins of Alternative Education in India: A Continuing Journey” by Deepti Mehrotra mentions, several schools have introduced alternative teaching methods that are different from the mainstream method (Mehrotra, p. 25). Besides introducing different hands-on experiences, Skill India has also introduced new equipment in the classrooms. The Institute has created and patented a touch screen projector which facilitates teaching. The projector has different features like graphing, browsing, and writing tools. It also has the option to live stream and record which can be played in centers that do not have teachers. Every setting and materials in Skill India was customized to fit students' career interest. Walking around the vocational centers made me wonder why classrooms in New York are not adapting to more realistic situations.