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Here's How You Can Use Demonetisation To Teach Kids Critical Thinking

4 great teaching and learning techniques.

06/12/2016 1:58 PM IST | Updated 08/12/2016 8:52 AM IST
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This is part 3 of my "World Is Your Learning Oyster" series. Read part 1 here.

We can learn a tremendous amount from our environment and everyday events. Teaching children using practical examples helps create a deeper understanding of the subject and it leaves a lasting impression. The latest event that can be used is the demonetisation of ₹500 and ₹1000 notes in India, a move that was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on 8 November.

Let us start with the definition of demonetisation—it refers to the act of stripping a currency unit of its status as legal tender. Demonetisation is necessary whenever there is a change of national currency. The old unit of currency must be retired and replaced with a new currency unit.

So, how do you get kids to wrap their heads around the concept?

Here's a bunch of activities (that can be done individually or in groups) that will help children engage with the subject and quite possibly know more about it than many adults!

Six Thinking Hats

Six Thinking Hats is a simple and effective parallel thinking process that helps people to be more productive, focused, and mindfully involved. It's a powerful tool set, which once learned can be applied immediately!

  • White hat (facts): Make children research and gather all the various facts of demonetisation.
  • Black hat (judgement): Spot the difficulties and dangers; where things might go wrong.
  • Yellow hat (positives): Explore the positives and probe for value and benefit.
  • Red hat (feelings and emotions): Tap into the feelings experienced due to demonetisation. Express emotions and feelings and share fears, likes, dislikes, loves, and hates.
  • Green hat (creativity): The possibilities, alternatives, and new ideas. It's an opportunity to express new concepts and forge new perceptions.
  • Blue hat (manage the thinking process): Analyse the impact after looking at all perspectives in detail

Imaginative Re-Creation

Distribute handouts and web links on demonetisation to research from and then delegate tasks.

  • Ask two students to engage in a dialogue on demonetisation. Let them define and describe the impact of demonetisation on the economy. Students can also evaluate the information on hand and conclude with their personal views.
  • Dramatise an incident related to demonetisation.
  • Change a newspaper report on demonetisation into a short story, or into a television news item.
  • Compose a song or poem on demonetisation.
  • Prepare an audio-visual presentation or an advertisement with tag lines on the subject.
  • Put together a graphic organiser on demonetization
  • Design a cover that captures the main ideas of demonetisation.
  • Write a diary entry after the announcement on demonetisation.
  • Write a letter from one person to another, with reflections on this topic.

Cubing

Cubing is a method of instruction that allows teachers to provide six concepts or ideas to students in a simple way. Cubing is a great tool for providing differentiated instruction.

  • Describe it (what does it look like, sound like, feel like?): Define demonetisation in your own words.
  • Compareand contrast it (what is it like? How is it like that other thing or concept? How is it different?): Research if a similar demonetisation exercise has been undertaken by any other country. Draw a Venn diagram stating the similarities and differences.
  • Analyseit (how is it put together?): What are the features of demonetisation? Research on various YouTube links.
  • Applyit (what is it used for? What other uses other than its intended purpose is it good for?): What are the uses of demonetisation?
  • Associateit (what does it remind you of? What memories do you have attached to this person, place, thing, or concept?): When you think of demonetisation, does it trigger any associations or memories?
  • Arguefor or against it (take a stand. Is it desirable or not? Why or why not?): What are your views on demonetisation? Back them up.

SCAMPER

The SCAMPER technique aims to provide seven different thinking approaches to find innovative ideas and solutions.

  • Substitute (this technique tends to provide alternative solutions for decision-makers to evaluate different solutions in order to reach the final action): Are there better alternatives to get rid of black money? Can we replace the process with a simpler one?
  • Combine (this tends to analyse the possibility of merging two ideas, stages of the process or product in one single more efficient output): Other than demonetisation, can we think of another idea that would rid the country of black money? Can we merge two steps of the process? Research on how other countries have tackled the issue of black money and what can be applied to us?
  • Adapt (a brainstorming discussion that aims to adjust or tweak a product or service for a better output): How can we improve the existing process of demonetisation? Conduct a survey with your neighbours/family/relatives /friends and ask them for realistic solutions.
  • Modify, minify or magnify (changing the process in a way that unleashes more innovative capabilities or solves problems): What if demonetisation stated that only 1000s would cease to be legal tender? What do you think the impact would be? Will modifying the process have an impact?
  • Put to another use (how to use the current product or process for another purpose or how to use the existing product to solve problems): Black money is the focus of most discussions on demonetisation, but what are the other benefits? What other problems will be eradicated?
  • Eliminate or elaborate (aims to identify the parts of the process that can be eliminated to improve the process product or service): What would happen if there was no demonetisation?
  • Reverse (aims to explore the innovative potential when changing the order of the process in the production line): What would happen if we reverse the process of demonetisation? What if 100s and lower denominations ceased to be legal tender? What would the impact be?

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