SERVE 4students

Our notes on The Izzat Factor elsewhere in this Website and other comments in these pages will give you background to why SERVE had to create a different system of pedagogy (= teaching). The thinking behind it is that education is about growing as much as knowing. It is a child-centred system.

We introduce the system at III or IV and then it moves with the class on through the school as long as the authorities allow it.

The class is arranged by the teacher into teams of six (though fives are permitted when the total is not a multiple of six). The teacher balances the teams as well as she can in academic terms.

From here on, decisions are democratic, the teacher merely observes.

The teams choose a captain each. Then under the captain they choose a name for their team, the teacher’s only role being to confine the naming to a category like animals, flowers, planets, or in a boys-only school perhaps cricketers. The teacher lists the team-names on the chalkboard. Each captain allots one letter-name to each child in her/his own team – A,B,C,D,E,F.

So now a child might be “Tiger team, D” or “Marigold team, B”.

All this takes one class period. Teams are unchangeable for the year, but the Captain may be changed every fortnight or month.

Teams sit together, preferably but not compulsorily at hexagonal tables.

This process takes one class period.


The teacher allots a portion – say, “Page 24 in your History text”. She tells them to study that together, and help one another, and that she will examine them after fifteen minutes (or so). Meanwhile she writes in a special History copy the same number of questions as there are teams in the class, and, in the early stages, lists the team names on the chalkboard. Then, “Close your books. All the Ds come to the front.” Each team’s D comes, and she lines them up parallel with the chalk-board according to the listing she has written.

She asks each child a question, and for the correct answer she writes a two, 2, after the Team Name on the chalkboard. The class applaud. If the answer is not correct she simply writes a dash, -. No applause.

If the number of 2s exceeds the number of –s, she knows the task was viable. If not, she knows the portion was too long or difficult and may have to repeat it or explain it. No individual child is noticed, everything is the team. But the child who answers represents her/his team, and that promotes the growth of the child.

After a month the teacher works out her own Score-book (see Where the child is without fear, p43 ff). All scores by the children are entered in that. The system of scoring written work, like essays and such, is slightly more complicated, and the teacher may learn it from the same text.

Scores are added to make up a Monthly, Term or Final report.

This system won its spurs in Delhi at the beginning of this millennium in many Government schools for six years. It has affected educated thinking throughout India, and has been adapted in various ways. It is simple, easy on the teacher and on the child,  and produces even better academic scores than the traditional teacher-centred system.

Learn more about it from the recommended book (available at Oxford Book Store, Park St, Kolkata and elsewhere), or phone the SERVE office.