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March 12, 2017

Change in culture

Four years back when I moved to Auroville I would post one or two puzzles a week on the school notice board at Udavi. I had announced them in the classes I taught and there were always two children U and D in the school (in 10th grade) who would attempt to answer the puzzles. They would discuss the puzzles among themselves and often submit a solution to the puzzles. Sometimes they would have doubts and come and explain their logic to me and ask me to find a flaw.
I did some visual puzzles with arranging match sticks and these some of the 6th graders were interested in, but by and large, I got one or two solutions for the puzzles with barely any discussion about the puzzles.

Last week Naveen took up the exercise of putting up a puzzle a week in STEM Land. There has been quite some discussion about the puzzle - the 9th graders applying algebra to solve it and the younger attempting to do it without algebra. I even noticed a volunteer who has come to learn STEM has been attempting to solve it. 

It remains to be seen how much of this buzz translates to children taking the initiative to submit their queries, especially as we have not marked any prizes for their submissions. Nonetheless, I can see a change in culture, of attempting puzzles, that was missing in the children before.

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