I can’t believe that 7 weeks went by so quickly. With all honestly, this has been one of the best classes I have taken during my college career. Sakar, is more than a professor, he is a friend to the students whom we can talk to with such ease. During the course of 7 weeks, he taught us a lot, not through books and theory, but through activity and practical work.
Starting from day 1, when we were asked to make charts on ‘teaching’ and ‘learning’, and what we think they both entail or should entail, in order to make the experience most efficient. From the first class, I realized that during the course, Sakar aimed to teach us to ‘learn’ and to ‘teach’, while making the process fun at the same time. At the same time, I also learned about a process, which most of us implement in our daily lives – TMPI. TMPI stands for ‘Think, Make, Play, Improve’, and basically explains that we automatically use these 4 steps while we are working on something.
From our second class, I learnt to further implement the TMPI process, since we were asked to make a transporter, for our “Momo Monster”. Again, the class was super fun, and educational as well. We learnt how to use limited resources in the best possible way, while at the same time, making a transporter that would safely deliver dumplings to the monster. We also learnt how to work together in a team and listen to each other while we did so. Division of the work was also an aspect we had to be wary of (so that one person did not end up doing more than the rest). We also discussed if and how Bloom’s Taxonomy was used during the process, and if any of the thinking moves from MTV were also used. We also learned how to analyse – we were asked to analyse each other’s projects’, their pros and cons, etc.
Next class, we made paper towers, and came up with a bunch of different ideas to make stable and strong structures. This class taught me how to approximate, and in a deeper context, showed me (through the structures) that the base should be strong – even when we speak of academics, one’s basics should be strong, and only then can you build upon those foundations.
In the class to follow, we were taught to use mere ‘observation’ to learn. The class was based on circuits. We analysed different electrical components and how they work. In this type of teaching, the instructor tries to invoke curiosity in the students, so that they themselves strive to learn. I felt that this was one the most effective teaching techniques, and came to realise that Sakar had actually been doing the same with us since day 1.
After that, came the chance for us to try and lead a class (a mock class, if I must say), based on a subject that a member(s) from our team was learning about. I think this was the actual test where we learned that teaching is not the easiest job, and that it takes practice to master it. All of the groups did a splendid job, and got to learn valuable feedback regarding their class, so that they did better when they taught an ‘actual class’.
And finally, last week some of us taught a class to our peers here at NYU Shanghai. This time, we had done more practice runs, and were better prepared, than for the mock classes.
Making Maker Education has been a wonderful experience for me, and I have learnt a lot from the class – from teaching techniques, to teacher perspectives, to in depth evaluations of classes. Quite honestly, I do not have anything in mind that I would want to change from that class. I hope Sakar offers this course again at some time, because I believe a lot of students would benefit from it, as I myself have. Now that the course has come to an end, I walk out of that class as a new person, with a changed perspective on things. All I can say is, everywhere one sees, there is definitely something more, than meets the eye.