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2nd International Colloquium on Teacher-Student Relationship in Education

August 19, 2014

Sri Atmananda Memorial School, Malakara, Kerala, hosted the ‘Second International Colloquium on the Teacher-Student Relationship’ from August 11 to August 13. The three day colloquium was organised with the aim of bringing the teacher-student relationship to the forefront of education.
Distinguished guests on the occasion included Francoise Nyssen and Jean-Paul Capitani, partners in the French publishing firm Actes Sud; Paul Sagoo, founder and director of the Lemon Group International Ltd. from the United Kingdom; Dr. Frank Bloch, Professor Emeritus of Law, Vanderbilt University (USA); Ravi Sinha of Decathlon Sports India; Manoj Sankar of Intel India and Susan Beaird of the Beaird Family Foundation, USA.  A special keynote address was delivered on behalf of UNESCO New Delhi, signaling their support and interest in the colloquium theme. In a communication to the colloquium convenor, Qian Tang, assistant director general for Education, UNESCO, Paris, France, stated that the colloquium’s theme, the teacher-student relationship in education, is indeed a very important determinant for the quality of teaching and learning.

Among the issues addressed in the colloquium sessions were the building of a relationship of trust with a child, careful observation of a child to know how he or she is prepared to learn, introducing curriculum through individual interest, the importance of the teacher as a model for a child’s thoughts and feelings, and the necessity for support and encouragement of a child to explore learning in his or her own way.

Tarla R. Nanavati, general convenor of the colloquium and principal of Sri Atmananda Memorial School, welcomed guests and the school community to the colloquium by explaining the educational approach of the school inspired by the great sage Sri Adwayananda. The relationship between the teacher and the taught is at the heart of the school.

“The teacher carefully observes the child to know his interests and supports and encourages the child to explore subjects in his own way, often making connections between subjects that we may not even think of.” She said that the colloquium aimed to explore why this teacher-student relationship is not more prominent in the present education system.

The central session of the colloquium was an afternoon-long alumni-teacher interaction in which guests were able to experience the educational approach of the school firsthand.  Through these interactions, teachers and students explored their close relationship and its implications for the child’s education, career and life. Other sessions explored the concept of implementing a strong relationship with students and the role of parental support. The colloquium concluded with a session focused on the challenges to this kind of education, including standardised assessment and the financial implications of a high teacher-student ratio.

The International Colloquium on the Teacher-Student Relationship is a yearly event organised by Atma Vidya Educational Foundation, Malakara, Kerala, and its support organisations, Association pour le soutien a AVEF (France) and Organisation for Atma Vidya Educational Foundation (USA). For further information regarding this or next year’s international colloquium, please contact: [email protected].

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