Case Study | Shri Natesan Vidyasala MHSS

At a glance

Country: India
Number of students: 35
Age of students: 12-14

Participant in Topical Talk Festival 2022

Edited by The Economist Educational Foundation for clarity

[The students have] started to connect between issues. That is one thing which I never anticipated. [...] Children are visibly understanding and they have started to work on action plans based on their Topical Talk discussions.

Anandhi Mani, Teacher

Map of India with a location marker containing the Indian flag

In their own words

This case study is a summary of a conversation with the head teacher, Gayathri, and the Topical Talk teacher, Anandi

Anandi: Initially when I went through the first lesson plan, it was on the topic of the global food crisis. I was a little sceptical about the tailor-made lesson because I generally believe that teachers should have the freedom to design their own lessons. But I found it a was a wonderful learning experience. There were activity elements beautifully designed and I found that if a teacher skilfully administers the activities, there is guaranteed learning and I can focus on the insights made by children.

Gayathri: One of the key components that is required through Topical Talk is problem-solving. When I was teaching the topic on doctor shortages with grade seven children and seeing the discussions they were having, I was really surprised that they were able to come out with lot of ideas and thoughts. I was really flabbergasted by the way students this age were able to put their thoughts across. For teachers, there have been a lot of takeaways for us. Rather than saying that we taught, the children taught us something.

Anandi: They’ve started to connect between issues, that is one thing which I never anticipated. They understand that one issue has to connect with another issue, so that connectivity has been established. Like an issue in Sri Lanka has an impact in India and an issue in Israel has an impact in India, directly or indirectly. A global phenomenon can have a local impact. Children are visibly understanding and they have started to work on action plans based on their Topical Talk discussions. For instance, in the month of January, they are planning a community event. They’ve taken up global food prices as a key topic. They are going to team up and create awareness locally to make people understand what it is going to be like after 20-30 years, if we continue like this. They are taking components and elements of the discussions they’ve had to the community.

Gayathri: We are absolutely delighted. Something like this helps our children transform. There is nothing like it, we are all-in for this.

Shri Natesan Vidyasala MHSS won the Alastair Burnet Award at Topical Talk Festival 2022.