Thinking Classroom – Using powerful questions to drive thinking in classroomsOctober 26, 2018
Bengaluru, Karnataka: What would happen if the Earth stopped rotating? What would happen if humans could do photosynthesis? Why are ‘prime’ numbers called ‘prime’?
Did these questions make you think? Imagine, how powerful our education system would be if we would use such questions in our classrooms on regular basis.
Open Door, which is helping over 100000 students in India, UAE, Oman and Qatar learn by thinking, has launched its second product: ‘Thinking Classrooms’. Thinking Classrooms is a set of around 60 discussions in Science and Math. Each discussion is a set of interesting questions designed to make children think.
“In almost every classroom, teachers are busy talking and explaining concepts, without allowing children any time to think on their own. Research shows that even when teachers ask a question, they allow less than 1 second to students to think. Either the teacher gives away the answer or lets the first child who raises her/his hand answer the question. This deprives other children an opportunity to think. And this process keeps repeating in every period, every day, for years. When children can understand on their own, why don’t we just ask them questions and let them think?” says Aneesh Bangia, co-founder of Open Door.
“Why does India not produce any famous scientist? Because our education system does not focus on developing the habits of asking questions. Thinking Classrooms endeavours to change that.” he added.
Thinking Classrooms is a classroom where teaching begins with a questions, teacher engages children in gamified discussions and where students deliberate on thought-provoking questions. Each question sets all the 30 minds in the class into a thinking process, and this sparks curiosity and encourages further questions from the children.
Thinking Classrooms is being offered in Science and Mathematics and has the content mapped according to the CBSE curriculum. Each discussion has been designed by Open Door after a lot of thought and research and is grouped into one of these categories – ‘Counter-intuitive discussion’, ‘Flipped Classroom’, ‘Gamified Activity’ and ‘Quizzes’. Thinking Classrooms allows teachers the freedom to choose discussions and decide at what point of teaching would they like to use each discussion.
About Open Door
Open Door (https://www.opendooreducation.in/) was initiated by two alumni of IIT Madras who wanted to improve the learning habits of children. They decided the name ‘Open Door’ because it metaphorically means to allow children to freely think and question. Open Door started off by teaching children at their learning centres in Bangalore and Pune with the method of questioning in 2013. This method became extremely popular among a set of forward-looking parents. Soon, they started their first program for schools which was on the idea that most children can master difficult concepts with help of repeated assessments and remediation. Open Door would design thought-provoking questions and allow students multiple opportunities to master a concept.
Open Door tied up some loose ends, worked on integrating the system better with classroom teaching and this program has now evolved into a very popular program called ‘Mastery Assessments’, which is currently running in over 150 schools where over 100000 students are finding more depths to learning Science and Math.