Namaste Academy Approaches to Learning and Teaching
Namaste Academy, we are very aware that different students learn in different ways. For this reason, we try to offer a wide variety of ways of learning. But one common element is always behind our thinking: the student is at the heart of every lesson – not the teacher!
We believe that students should be inspired by their teachers’ love of their subjects so that they are interested in researching some topics on their own as independent learners responsible for their own progress. This necessitates their having access to the internet and to books, journals and magazines. It is because of this that Namaste Academy is always striving to update its connectivity and software and to improve its library and laboratory facilities.
This emphasis on learning also means that teachers are more guides than instructors, supporting students in their learning, rather than lecturing children and young adults who are half-asleep in their classrooms. In other words, we believe that students learn best by interacting with each other and with the teaching staff, sharing ideas and opinions. This leads us towards cutting edge teaching techniques – like flipped classrooms – where students present their own understanding of key concepts, not only listening to their teachers explaining them. Of course, the teacher is always at hand to put them right if they make mistakes or have not understood. However, students always learn better if they are actively involved in discovery and in supporting their class mates. They do not learn so well if they are passive receptacles waiting to be filled up with their teachers’ knowledge!
In line with our interest in encouraging students to take the initiative for their own learning, we get them doing things that test their understanding of theory by putting it into practice in our state-of-the-art laboratories. For many students, a theory that is opaque in a textbook will suddenly make sense if they conduct an experiment to shed light on it. In short, they learn by doing, not just by listening and reading!
This approach applies not just to traditional school subjects like Maths, Nepali, Science and English but also to our presentation of Sports and the arts: painting, dance, music, drama and handicrafts. Some students do not have any interest in taking part in these activities, of course, but still appreciate watching them. That is fine with us: we cannot all be great artists or sportspeople. But the opopportunity is there to participate for those who want to.
The same is true of Business Studies! Rather than just learn the theory of Human Resource Management or the principles of Accounting, we offer our students the chance to put their bookish knowledge into practice by running their own business. In this way, they learn how to make presentations, learn the value of team work and audit their own accounts – all supervised by our Social Studies teachers, of course!
And let’s not forget our school counselors who are always there to point out options at home and abroad after our students leave us for universities and secure, satisfying and well-paid careers!
Namaste Academy: truly a great place to grow!