How do you tackle sensitive topics in class? Teachers underline how it is all about balance

While teachers around the world, especially in the US and UK, are reminded of the importance of maintaining the balance between influencing students and imposing their own thought process, Indian teachers also feel this is important, especially given the fact that students also come here from different backgrounds.

“The idea of ​​balancing influencing students and making sure you don’t impose your thought process is a very sensitive topic in itself and that is also in higher education,” Poornima Gupta, Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior and HRM , at Great Lakes Institute of Management told Indianexpress.com. She said this is more important in India, where students come from different castes, classes, communities and regions. Prof Gupta adds that during higher education students actively pick things up by observing and seeking influences in their lives.

But how can this balance be maintained while ensuring that teachers continue to have a positive influence on their classrooms? Daviender Narang, director of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Ghaziabad said that the “sole purpose of education can only be solved if the teacher is unbiased and (she) does the same with students”.

Avoid the topics

Some teachers believe that no subject should be off limits in dealing with students, and that everything should be impartial, but Indian institutions seem to have taken a different approach in such situations.

Prof Gupta told Indianexpress.com that their faculty members avoid getting into debates that can lead to controversial discussions. “We don’t talk about politics with students. Although, we have certain discussions among the faculty because our ideologies are not the same, but we have healthy debates, and we agree to disagree,” she added. “We make sure we don’t impose our ideologies on children. We don’t talk about politics and we don’t show our stance on political issues in front of students.”

Sandhya Gatti, Head of Pedagogy and Professional Development, Chaman Bhartiya School, supports this and said teachers should be deeply aware of their own actions and words. “It is the duty that teachers develop the ability to be highly objective in their approach, to be aware of their own thoughts and actions, and to learn to regularly question their own biases and prejudices with their peers and peers,” he added. them to it. “Regularly challenging and questioning our own ideas and beliefs, working to cultivate a growth mindset, being aware of the world our students find themselves in will find its way into objective discussions of concepts and real-world problems in the classroom.”

Student experiences

Meanwhile, students speaking to biharengineering.in emphasized that such situations are rare in the Indian system. “I finished my bachelor’s degree three years ago and now my brother is in his second year, but neither of us has experienced a situation at school or university where our teachers or professors have tried to tell us what to believe in,” a MBA student from Delhi who didn’t want to be named. “Maybe we’ve been lucky because we’re in the capital, but I do believe there are very rare instances where teachers force their thoughts on students.”

Another student from Chandigarh had a slightly different opinion. “We’ve had some situations where political jokes were made, and during our sociology classes, the teachers sometimes got into political discussions,” said Divyanshi Sharma, a sophomore BA Psychology student at Panjab University. “Nevertheless, this was very common at our school. Political science teachers used to often get involved in debates about political parties. During demonetization days, one of the teachers had even ranted about the power party introducing GST.”

Sajal Jain
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