In 2018, the Student Council developed an Integrity Code:
TIS, as a family school that provides unique experiences, embodies a spirit of integrity and respect for others which are central to the personal, academic and ethical development of each member. As a TIS family member, I promise to uphold and demonstrate its values, and protect the reputation of the school. I make this pledge in the spirit of honour and trust.
Academic City College, Haatso, Accra, one of Ghana’s premium private universities, organized a workshop for Mathematics and Physics teachers across Ghana. The workshop’s focus was: Teaching Physics and Mathematics in a simplified way. Two teachers from TIS- Mr. Castrol Dumenya (Physics) and Mr. Amidu Abass (Mathematics) participated in the workshop and they’ll share what they learned with their colleagues. Please find a summary of their experience at the event, in the write-up below:
Physics and Mathematics Teachers Workshop- Academic City:
“Academic City College is indeed a city for academics. From the entrance of this great city, one can tell that this is an institution for any aspiring engineer and technologically minded person.
We were welcomed warmly by the organisers of the workshop, and the adherence to stipulated time for each item on the program was fascinating.
The President of Academic City, Dr. Fred McBagonluri, reiterated the actual role of teachers, which is to facilitate learning. This he said would make students actively involved in the learning process for a better understanding of scientific and mathematical concepts. He also gave the various ways we could help students learn, ie, experiential, contextual, unified and extensional learning.
We were encouraged to also explain physical concepts by using the physical phenomena from which the concept emanates.
The two other facilitators who spoke to us encouraged the use of more animations, historical events so as to make the class livelier and enable students enjoy what we teach. History of a concept will give students a better insight as to what went into the birth of the scientific idea being taught.
Teachers were encouraged to allow students to work out their understanding of concepts through independent and collaborative research.
Finally, we were made to know that the intelligence of every child can be altered and the goal of teaching should not be all about solving questions but more of solving life’s problems.
It was a great experience that I will relish for a long time.”
- Castrol Dumenya (Physics Teacher)
“Academic City workshop was organised under the theme “Breaking the traditional chain of teaching mathematics and physics”. The workshop was in three sections, the first section was a presentation from the president of Academic city, Dr Fred Mcbagonluri. During his speech, he shared with us the philosophy of the school, which is providing experiential learning, contextual learning, unified learning and extensional learning. I learnt from his speech that a teacher should see himself as a facilitator and his/her students as ‘customers’. According to him the current generation of teachers think that the current generation of students are lazy because they (teachers) did not have access to electricity and the internet but were able to learn with lanterns and passed their exams. Based on this assertion, Dr Fred asked a question that I find interesting. “Is it that teachers have not figured out how to reach out to the current generation of students or it is true that the old generation is smarter?”
What I learned in the workshop is teachers have not figured out strategies to reach out to the current generation of students, so in order to reach out to the current generation of students, teachers must make use of the resources around their students. That is, instead of teaching students to memorize facts, we should let them discover ideas by themselves, through hands-on activities, watching videos, practical work, among others and also create the right classroom environment for our students to ask questions.
I also learnt that a teacher must not pretend to know everything. According to Dr Fred, it is ok for a teacher to tell your student you don’t know the answer to a question they ask, but it is the responsibility of the teacher to facilitate the student to get the answer to the question. Thus, if students see their teachers as facilitators, they become active participants in the class.
The second section of the workshop was when we were split into two groups based on the subject we teach (Mathematics and Physics). I attended the mathematics section while Castrol attended the Physics part. Dr Raymond Dumeh was the facilitator who took us through the topic: Teaching Mathematics in 21st Century World. During his presentation, I learned the five principles of astonishing math teaching;
- Ask questions: as mathematics teachers, we should ask genuine, authentic, and compelling questions.
- Give students time to struggle:
I learned that we should not rush students when we give them questions, but rather give them time to grapple with the questions whiles also encouraging them to find the solution.
- Don’t be the answer key:
I learned that space must be created in mathematics classrooms for mathematical conversation and debate which allows students to think out loud.
- Say yes to your students’ ideas
I learned that saying yes to my students’ ideas is a form of respect and encourages them to share ideas with the class, however, saying yes does not mean the answer they provide is right. For example, I can respond to my student by saying “yes, that is a good attempt, but that’s not the answer” instead of telling them “your answer is not correct”.
- Willingness to Playing: It is about exploring, fighting, breaking things, playing with math gives students ownership. Einstein says that “play is the highest form of research.”
~ Mr. Amidu Abass (Mathematics Teacher)
Sickle Cell Awareness Initiative (SCAI)
By Malaika Webb – Grade 11
Sickle cell anaemia is a blood disease which affects a large number of Ghanaians, especially the milder form of the disease. Surprisingly, for a disease which is common amongst Ghanaians, not much is known about it. I aim to change that with my Sickle Cell Awareness Initiative. Not only do I plan on raising awareness of sickle cell anaemia in the community, I also plan on educating the community about the nature of the disease and clearing common misconceptions held about it.
On 21 September this year, I will be holding an educational forum as well as a concert (which will serve as an after party for the forum). During this educational forum, experts on the disease will form a panel with the purpose of answering questions and clearing misconceptions. Some expected members of this panel include our one and only Alumna, Nana Esi Duker – IB Class of 2008 (the founder of SCAI Ghana), Dr. Kweku Ohene-Frempong and Jocelyn Dumas. This educational forum will take place in the afternoon. The after party, i.e. concert, will take place in the evening after the educational forum has ended. Some expected performers include TIS music students, the popular musician Kwesi Arthur and TIS alumni musicians such as Almighty Trei. Food and drink vendors will be available.
The overall funds raised from the educational forum and concert will be donated to the reconstruction of Korle-Bu’s rundown sickle cell clinic.
Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women of the TIS community. Keep being awesome!!!