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Session B7

7th Annual CNM Conference on Teaching and Learning

Nachiketa’s Question: Sravana Manana Niddhidhyasa Techniques in the Transaction of Knowledge in the Classroom

Rinita Mazumdar (Philosophy and Culture Studies, CHSS, CNM)

Sierra III, 12:30-1:45

In the ancient Indian texts called the Upanishads (The end part of the Vedas), a special teaching techniques was applied. Before instruction began, both the teacher and the student promised that during this transaction of knowledge there should not be any lack of sincerity, animosity, or violence towards the giver and receiver of knowledge. The three techniques used for the transaction were called, Sravana (listening), manana (reflecting), and niddhidyasana (absorbing the content transacted via a process of absolute internalization and mediation on the content).  Evaluation of the learning happened via a process of dialogue after the above three stages were over where the teacher was bound by his promise to admit his mistakes and revise his initial transaction. The entire process was guided by the principles of humility, sincerity, and a genuine wish to learn on both sides. In this presentation, I will specifically focus on this type of learning received by a young student, Nachiketa, and how at the end of the transaction there was a change in both the teacher and the student’s perspective about some essential things in life.

Intended Audience: Teachers who are struggling to explain to students the usefulness of a specific content that the students are supposed to learn and keep them focused and interested.

Intended Outcomes: Evolving a new technique of teaching and learning based on mutual respect, sincerity, transaction that involves no animosity and eventually to become a person who can analyze their surroundings in a way that is holistic and sustainable.

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