Research demonstrates that children achieve better outcomes in learning environments where teachers have high expectations for every child. This is especially true for children who are considered ‘at risk’.
This finding has been validated for us by children residing in the slum near Gomti Nagar, Lucknow. We have been conducting life skills workshops with these children for the last 8 months. This is a mixed group of children ranging from 5 years to 14 years. Very few of these kids attend any school at all. Most of the kids help their parents in garbage picking, which is the main occupation of the slum dwellers.
During our play workshops we have engaged these children in series of simple as well as complex games and activities. Each time the children have delivered on par with or at times better than children who are schooled. This week, we played ‘Human Knots’ with them. Human Knots is an intense exercise that requires communication and team work skills. The children demonstrated excellent leadership and team work in untying the knots. They went from knots of 5 persons to 9 persons, each time improvising on the previous round of play. The team of girls clearly mastered the task by untying themselves under a minute and working in perfect unison. .
9 year old Vrinda joined us in playing during this workshop. Vrinda is from London and is presently visiting her grandparents in Lucknow. Her reflection about her interaction with our kids was ‘they seem so happy to play…they don’t seem to be wanting things all the time, like we do… They are just happy…”. Thank you Vrinda for sharing your thoughts with us 🙂
We continue to hold these kids to higher expectations and can see them respond with enthusiasm and growing excellence!