Working in a low-resource classroom in India, a primary school teacher shares her story of how she encourages the involvement of all her learners regardless of their level.

In this video, Barnali from Assam, India talks about how she manages to involve all her learners in the lesson despite the classroom layout and the mix of levels within the group.

As Barnali explains, 110 primary pupils are packed into rows of benches in her classroom leaving very little space for her to move around and monitor, and making it impossible to rearrange the furniture.

However, this does not stop her from using group work to maximise opportunities for involvement. She manages this by getting students to turn around and face each other and then dividing them into groups. Within these mixed-level groups, students pool their resources, learn from each other and complete the tasks they’ve been given. Working within the constraints of a low-resourced and cramped space, Barnali has managed to achieve a learner-centred approach with a class of over 100 students.

Reflection and discussion 

One of the purposes of these resources is to help you with your own teacher development in related contexts. The questions in task 1 and 2 below are designed for you to think about and discuss with colleagues, either informally or as part of your formal professional development.

Task
What constraints do you face with your classroom space and resources? How can you manage your space to carry out and monitor pair and group work?

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