Praveen Mariadas -Senior IB Faculty for Biology, ESS & TOK. Pathways World School, Aravali, Gurgaon
Praveen Mariadas, the Senior IB Faculty for Biology, ESS & TOK. at Pathways World School, Aravali, Gurgaon, has been associated with the school for the last 9 years. Pathways World School follows the PYP-MYP-IB Curriculum.
My favourite part of teaching Biology is taking students for field trips- aligned with the topic I’m teaching in class. It comprises of two events per semester. Practicals and its implications in Biology, to a larger extent, have been dried up in Schools, since 2014, only because of Animal rights policies and Organisations like PETA, who has imposed a ban on Animal dissections or preserving Biological specimens. The absence of dissections and other practical has led students to do experiments only in Plants and few selected micro-organisms. This has taken away 60% of the passion away from students which was very strong years back!
Genetics, Nucleic Acids, Evolution are few of my favourite topics to teach, as it’s very vast, interesting and can debate a lot.
Teaching keeps you trendy!
What I love most being in classrooms or in this profession, is a state of ‘Well-being’! Keeping myself updated to current issues of society, Sciences, Politics, Entertainment etc which many students randomly discuss, we are indirectly getting exposed to it, and we gather information on recent trends in Science related to the inventions and for a better tomorrow.
Above all the daily routine of associating with teenagers will keep you young, vibrant, lively……..all the 365 days! We’ll also be updated about changing trends in fashion, lifestyle, dress code etc, which no other profession will give you.
Fear of STEM subjects
There’s a trend of students reluctant to take STEM subjects. It’s not Fear! As already I mentioned, science students have a larger than life ambitions- mainly targeting fields in Engineering, Medical and other related higher professions. Few may follow their parent’s ambitions or blindly follow their footsteps. They don’t realize the change in exam pattern & study environment which has happened from the 1970’s or 1980s to the present scenario. This lack of decision-making result in poor grades or poor performance. Influence of media has led teenagers not only wasting time but also leads to a professional urgency in life…………just to make money!!
This uproots their sincerity towards each subject, and hence later disinterest develops towards that subject. And then they say ‘ that so& so subject is very tough, I made a mistake by taking that’. It’s not toughness, it’s the lack of sincerity and passion that leads to reluctance. STEM subjects need constant focus, revision, additional reading and passion for the subject to become geniuses. This is absent in many teenagers of today.
We encourage fieldtrips & workshops to enhance classroom learning. These outdoor activities should be parallel with content teaching. Assignments and projects become a part of FLIP CLASSROOM – a technological and theoretical combination, where students can study in a collaborative way, outside the classroom or even offline, or being just at home to complete assignments.
The biggest challenge in science is in implementing and getting successful projects from students. The absence of passionate students in Sciences, Laws enforcing a ban on Animal dissections in the lab can be threatening to Science classes, especially for Biology in future.
Science is a subject- be it Physics, Chemistry or Biology – an involvement lasting throughout the semester is important. Constant distractions like School events and other programmes can lead to a lag/delay in syllabus completion and take away the connect from students. It will also distract the deadlines to be met by students in a semester.
Teachers should be sent for Foreign Workshops & conferences, for studying the new trends in curriculum, as part of their professional growth, atleast once in a year. It should be based on experience and not on ‘Face-Value’.
Advice to aspiring Biology teachers
They should take this profession, only when they really feel the ‘calling’ to this profession. It’s a service than an earning profession. Passion for the subject and the patience to survive through hurdles and new technological advancements should be there. A sense of belonging to the children and should cater to the needs of students, at any point of time.
Pathways World School
Off Gurgaon-Sohna Road,
Haryana (NCR Delhi) India
T: +91 124 4513000 | EXT: 3846
M: +91 88005 39078