Our associate Steve Padgett visited Christ University in Bengaluru, Southern India. He was there to talk to B.Ed students about how our visual thinking tool LVT can be used to facilitate learning in the classroom.
Destination: Christ University, Bengaluru
At 5.30, with dawn breaking, I arrived at Christ University, Bengaluru. The taxi journey from Kempegowda airport had taken an hour and by the time I reached the university I had been travelling for 17 hours and was ready for rest. With the city left safely behind high and guarded gates I slept. On waking a few hours later I could see that I was in an idyll, an island of trees, verdure and beautiful buildings. The campus is a traffic free space where the background sound mixed tropical bird calls with conversation as, below my window, students walked to classes. This was to be my base for the next ten days.
Engaging students of education
Having used LogoVisual Thinking (LVT) in a wide variety of places, here was a fantastic opportunity to flex my LVT muscles in a different setting and a two-hour session had been arranged for me to meet a group of second year B.Ed. students. The event had been organised by the School of Education and advertised as an interactive session with the snappy title: ‘Creative Learning Approaches and Critical Thinking and their Association with Socio-cultural Uses of Language in the Classroom’. The theme was clearly something that struck a chord as 80 students arrived and were ready to go.
Hands on with LogoVisual Thinking
I began by taking a glance at some aspects of socio-linguistic theory, discussing how we need to deliberately and carefully plan to facilitate language use in the classroom. This developed into an examination of the way that LVT can help to deliver those ideas as it creates a problem-solving context in which authentic learner language and collaboration is demanded as learners move towards the achievement of a specific goal.
Tasked with considering the question ‘How can we encourage independent thinking in our classroom?’ the session involved the students having hands on experience of the mini-LVT whiteboards in small groups. We also used Logovisual Capture software, and the group using this found it easy to navigate and convenient to use in the limited time available. Observing and supporting this enabled me to appreciate the new features and functionality of the updated version of the software.
A thinking tool to support teaching
The messages the students took from the session can be summed up like this:
LVT is a thinking tool that supports teaching as it
- Helps to generate a creative learning environment
- Promotes the collaborative use of language (written and spoken)
- Provides opportunities to problem solve and arrive at novel and original solutions
- Facilitates critical thinking
This was a remarkable experience; the students had such positivity and a clear sense of the links between theory with practice. They were eager to interrogate the approach and there were some very interesting conversations about how LVT could benefit the learners in the schools these students were familiar with and the impact it could have on the effectiveness of their teaching.