By Syed Khaled Shahbaaz
Hyderabad: An Indian-American educationist Anjum Babukhan tipped off an interesting discussion on the strong need for a revolutionary system of education in India, the likes of which, according to her, are a rarity in our country. The discussion, which took place on 15th July 2016 at Park Hyatt Hotel in Hyderabad, sparked off during the launch of her book titled ‘ABCs of Brain Compatible Learning’.
The chapters in book outline a clear message: a pragmatic pedagogy that rhymes with the learning mechanism of brain will be more effective in teaching students. Speaking exclusively after the launch of her book ‘’ABCs of Brain Compatible Learning”, Ms. Anjum Babukhan said “This is the first of its kind in India. It is a compendiary of tried and tested brain-based education techniques that make learning interactive, easy and fun.”
What makes this book different is the entirety of its existence as an unprecedented guide that explains how scientific yet simple methods can be used by parents and teachers to optimize learning and make teaching discourses more effective.
Delving into the details she explains “each chapter diligently decodes the ABCs of brain-based learning. For instance, A is for attention and explains how to sustain the attention of the student, which is 5 minutes for a 5 year old and 15 minutes for child in early teens. Most teachers are unaware of this and stretch the classroom sessions to tens of minutes at a go, which is something the brain may not calibrate well with. As a result, the effectiveness of teaching fades away.
Proposing a steadfast solution to this problem, the book aims to utilize applied psychology in elevating the standards of teaching, and learning whilst projecting multifarious approaches to common problems, is a comprehensive summation of this experiential learning, and could bridge the gap between teaching and learning. It is ideal for both parents and teachers, and could revolutionize the teaching methodology followed in our country.
So what sparked the idea to pen this book? Anjum Babukhan holds a Masters degree in Educational Administration and Instructional Leadership from University of Chicago, and is a noted Educationist. She says “when I moved back to India 20 years ago, the crowded classrooms, stereotypic teaching methodology and instructional attitude of teachers was almost ubiquitous. It raised a silent alarm that there was tremendous room for improvement and the pedagogy needed an overhaul.”
That’s how the idea kicked in and the collective set of procedures and practices projected by the author at several prestigious national and international forums and initially shared with thousands of teachers in her social spheres was significantly refined and impressed into a book.
Quoting famous Tollywood director S.S. Rajamouli who launched the book she says “if we are looking for a creative society, we need more creative teaching practices in schools all across, and the ABCs of Brian Based Learning is the first attempt to plug into that gap.
While the book itself was published in limited copies, the author has plans to gradually make it available across online stores like Amazon and Flipkart in both print and digital editions. The book, essentially a teaching guide, could be a good buy for parents as well as teachers once it hits the stores.
Besides education, Anjum Babukhan has more reasons to fame than just the persona of a sparkling educationist. She belongs to one of the most revered families of Hyderabad being the daughter of ex-Minister and noted philanthropist Mr Bashiruddin Babukhan and is the wife of the Salman Babukhan, the scion of the Babukhan family who overlooks the lofty empire sprawling different realms including education.
Crediting part of her success to her marital lineage, and support of her mother-in-law and parents, she hopes that the book will be adopted and imbibed in the syllabi across all schools across the country, and hopes the favourable review of Dr. Ajit, dean of the prestigious Indian School of Business and other academic reviewers can help these techniques make lives easy for millions of school children across the country. Eventually, the book is also slated to be available in select regional languages including Urdu.
Ms. Anjum Babukhan, has also served formerly as the chairperson of the Women’s Wing of FICCI, and is currently the director of Education at Glendale and the Lead Consultant at Edvantage Teacher Leadership Training institute.
Most of these techniques we already use at our institutions (Glendale Academy and Springfields School), it remains to be seen how long before such medium of learning takes the pivotal stance in ameliorating the teaching practices in schools across other parts of India, and for starters, this book is more than just a ‘teaching guide’ for teachers and parents, she concludes.
The launch of ABCs of Brain based Learning was a glittering affair as eminent personalities from different spheres including Dr. Abhimanyu Acharya, UGC Professor of Eminence, former Dean of Indian School of Business Dr. Ajit Rangekar, noted Tollywood director Mr. S. S. Rajamouli and Joint Managing Director of Apollo Hospitals Ms. Sangita Reddy who is a member of the advisory board at Glendale Academy and other eminent personalities were also present on this occasion.
Filmmaker Mani Shanker directed the video series of the book.
[Syed Khaled Shahbaaz is a techie-turned journalist. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or +91-9652828710]