Live! Civics Lessons

The Power of One
The Power of One

We are in the midst of the heat and hustle of Indian Elections. It is one of the world’s largest democratic festival. There are sound bytes, cacophony, abuses, praises, commitment, hope, aspirations, despair, prejudices, double standards, well the list if very long.

The election mood is all pervasive. On our TV channels, on our mobiles, on the streets and in our conversations. This a great opportunity for those who are studying Civics and elections in school to learn it LIVE. You watch cricket Live, concerts Live, award functions Live, well here are Indian Elections Live!

Parents, teachers, siblings, uncles and aunts, neighbors — Take this opportunity to discuss and share your feedback with kids around you. The same boring, yawn-inducing chapters on Constitution, Elections, Elections Commission is beaming live through the television channels.

It is a known fact that students hate history and civics. They are known to tear up pages of the offending text book as soon as the elections are over. Students are known to take out their frustration on history textbooks as they wield their pens to deface the pages.

There is no point in blaming them. The fault lies with the way we teach them history. The offending text books, the way we teach them and the way we evaluate, it is an excruciatingly  frustrating experience.

Well, here is a chance to make some amends. The visuals of elections campaigning across India are a powerful tool to reach out to the youngsters. They need to feel invested in their future and that future is closely linked to who comes to power and rules India for the next five years.

The Power Button
The Power Button

3 Tips on engaging with youngsters during the election season:

1 Understanding viewpoints, perspectives
Scan channels for coverage of the same story and how the perspective of that channel influences how they cover the story.

This skill is valuable when they start working. It helps them do whatever task they are performing better as they realize that it important it is to build a consensus to get the work done.

2 Democratic duties
The media tends to focus on the controversial incidents during the coverage. Look for the positive, amusing, inspirational stories and share them. For example, images of brides going to vote during the wedding. elderly voting on wheel chairs, people travelling long distances to vote. They make a powerful impression on the young minds.

3 Learning from the interviews
Identify a couple of interviews. Sit with the youngsters to point out how difficult questions have been handled. How the smart ones answer a question without saying anything. The youngsters can learn a things or two. May be this technique can save them many arguments and screaming matches in their personal lives.

This is learning LIVE! Make it as interesting as possible.



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