A Happy New Year to All of You!
We thought today is the right time to discuss the need of teaching out of prescribed syllabus with our teaching community. Especially when the examinations are right around the corner, we should encourage our students to cement their concepts by exploring the subject in depth, which would help them crack their exams like a cake!
Children often complain after exams that the questions were out of the syllabus. Teachers are repeatedly told to strictly follow the syllabus and to not digress too much, which more often than not, stifles the learning process of the children.
Textbooks are a one-size-fits-all creation. It is expected to be an umbrella of knowledge, and underneath it, it’s perfectly alright to teach more and to delve into subjects deeper. Teaching beyond syllabus, in our opinion, is the most interesting and exciting way to teach.
Why is teaching beyond syllabus, by definition “unnecessary”, a necessary component for holistic education? We have five reasons.
Reason 1: It enhances the learning process
The more we teach by going beyond syllabus, the bigger picture or deeper picture we can make available to our students. This will make them take more interest in the topic and enhance their learning process. This is especially true because the proverbial threat of exams does not lurk in the corner when it comes to learning out of syllabus topics.
Reason 2: Curiosity does not kill the cat
That’s one myth that needs to be busted. Really, the more curious a child, the more promising he/she is! When students ask questions, it is a clear indicator of their interest and understanding in the subject. This must be encouraged and nurtured. It might require teachers to venture out of the typical curricula. For instance, if a student shows great interest in botany, a trip to the nearby botanical garden is perhaps called for!
Reason 3: The class can go exploring!
Scientists, engineers, and the greatest names we know today went exploring for truths. They indulged in research. The research comes with a zest for more and more knowledge. Little Einsteins are also born that way. It is empirically proven that interests in subjects are sparked by factors that are not always related to the curriculum. Sometimes, questioning the behaviour of sub-atomic particles, which lies out of the scope of typical science textbooks could lead children to take up summer research jobs in labs that encourage children to do the same. In fact, such research-based study is highly lauded by prestigious scholarship programs throughout the country. Students who have a vast volume of knowledge are bound to be better equipped to deal with higher studies in the said subject.
Reason 4: It makes teaching non-repetitive and keeps it fun
This is one of those few cases where you cut the cake and you eat it too! Teaching out of syllabus makes students learn more, and is also fulfilling for spirited teachers. Often, teachers are told to stick to the syllabus. Teachers can only twist and turn the given material in limited ways, and eventually, the teaching process loses a lot of its charm. We should keep a little leg room to explore other peripheral topics for our students. Imagine teaching students about Indian poets like Irfan Habib or Tiruvalluvar when covering poetry by Sylvia Plath or Oscar Wilde.
Reason 5: Topics Out of syllabus are interesting too
Out-of-syllabus topics can be taught through industrial visits, picnics, games and much more. Since they are not part of the syllabus, we teachers have all the flexibility in the world to innovate and think out of the box when trying to teach these topics. However, it is important to beware of the time that such interesting topics can consume.
In sum, teaching beyond syllabus is welcomed by students and offer an interesting opportunity for us teacher to overcome mundane teaching. It is not only fun, but it also enhances the learning process of the children. Teaching out of syllabus also creates more little Einsteins than teaching from the syllabus. Let’s not be bound by the given curricula. Let us think out of the box, and let us make our lessons more memorable.