Monica Kochar is a Mathe-magician! She has given numbers a heart and abstract concepts a ground to stand upon. She’s taken the sting out of the learning of Maths. A doctor who cures math-phobia, Monica’s approach makes Maths not only interesting but humane. It is not just about acquiring the skill of playing with numbers, but a journey that makes you a more rounded person. Maths, when combined with art and poetry, becomes a red-blooded poem, a splash of colour, a game on the sports ground! Offering an integral approach to Mathematics, the learning becomes a way to deeper and wider growth where fears are removed and fun becomes official.
Monica has applied this approach successfully in her long and colourful teaching career, which expanded after earning her M.Sc (Maths) and B.Ed at Delhi University. There was a further turn to her teaching style after she came in touch with students with special needs. She did a diploma course in Inclusive Education with the Spastic Society of Karnataka, and subsequently created successful programs for students with special needs and which helped them gain sufficient confidence to tackle mainstream syllabus.
She has worked with CBSE, ISC as well as the international curricula – IGCSE and IB – in her search for the right curricular base that could put her innermost quest to create a space for the best in a child to emerge. Finally, she found the right blend by taking the core philosophy from Indian spiritual traditions and practicing style from the international arena. She continues upgrading herself through MOOCs and attending workshops by experts in multiple fields associated with education.
She can be contacted for fresh curriculum approaches, teacher-training and writing and assessment related to Mathematics for print or digital media.
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She is experienced and comfortable with both print and digital media.
A teacher is like a gardener. Generally, a gardener does not decide how high each plant will grow. Rather, he ensures to create appropriate conditions for complete nurturing of all the plants. The plants grow on their own!
A fundamental shift in educational thought is needed. The teaching design that I have created, to make the shift in the Maths classes, has two such aspects—The Inside and The Outside.
The inside approach refers to the attitude of the teacher. It is the ‘connect’ that the teacher has with the students. This is the part of the relationship where subject is not the medium of connection. Where the teacher values the student as he/she actually is. All exceptional teachers have this quality. It is the ‘humane’ connection.
A Maths teacher, who is humane, does not use scores in Maths as a way to validate or invalidate the self-esteem of the students. She tries to know the students individually and celebrates their uniqueness. She validates everyone. This is the teacher who knows who among her students is great at sports or on the stage!
The outside approach is the curriculum in Maths designed by the teacher. It is not enough for the teacher to have an attitude of ‘connect’ with the students. The teacher’s right attitude needs to present itself in the delivery of curriculum too.
According to the outside approach, while designing each chapter’s lesson plan(s), ensure the following is included. This list is indicative only and not comprehensive.