Global Learning Blog Posts

  • Parkin Fellows
Helping Students Find Their Voices

By Akshay Amesur

For the second half of my Parkin Fellowship, I taught speaking and communication skills in the English schools of Vidyawadi and Sumerpur. During my time in these institutions, I worked to enable intuition-based curriculums centered around teaching skills of analysis, presentation, and communication through critical reasoning, discussion, and student to student feedback. However, once I arrived in class, I immediately began to notice some heavy challenges that my students faced. Akshay Amesur traveled to India to teach public speaking, presentation and critical thinking skills.

Being from small Rajput villages, many of the students have not known anything other than their small, sheltered environment where everyone looks, sounds, and acts like them. But, even more importantly, in their schools and homes, these children are taught to learn simply by listening to their teachers lectures, reading, and quietly digesting information without discussing and working through problems between themselves through their own intuition.

Because of this, and despite the fact that they are close with their peers, they were petrified of standing up and speaking in front of their class or even to their teachers. Over the next few weeks this started to change, as the students got more comfortable asking questions to not only me, but also to their peers and teachers. I was so happy that they had begun to use their voices to ask questions, express themselves, but most importantly to become themselves.