Using badges to facilitate shifts towards student centric approach

By Swati Gupta
Researcher, Adhyayan

During the AQS review taken up by Don Bosco Nasik, one of the suggestions made by Spokey Wheeler (lead assessor, School External Review and Evaluation) was to award badges to students for encouraging participation as well as excellence in various activities organized by the school. The school had identified one its strengths as enthusiasm among its students but was struggling to find ways to channelize student’s energy in a constructive direction.

The school has designed three badges for each activity, namely silver, gold and platinum, which can be pinned on the shirt. Teachers are involved in designing the badges and laying out the instructions for awarding the badges. Students are responsible for identifying the students who deserve them and nominating their names to the respective teachers. Principal is acting as a channel between students and teachers while providing overall guidance in the process.
During out interaction with the students, we pointed out to the badges they were wearing and asked its significance. The proud and excitement on their faces was hard to miss. They immediately started talking about their proud achievements and their self-goals for each of the activities. The fact that the students nominate each other not only motivates them but also keeps them constantly involved in striving for a higher award.

Teachers just love the badges. The sports teacher said that he doesn’t have to work on student’s motivation levels at all, instead the students are so motivated that it keeps him overloaded with work. He proudly shares that two of his students participated at national level in athletics. The subject teachers are so happy that they don’t have to constantly remind students of various activities that they have to do. Students work on their own to earn the badge. For eg, students want to participate in activities in classes.

Parents are extremely proud of their children’s achievements and simultaneously amazed at the new talent that the child is exploring.
It is truly inspiring to see how the school principal has converted dealt with the challenge that the school has been facing i.e. constructively channelizing student’s energy to bring together all the stake holders in the school to work together in a student-centric manner. The school has used ‘award badges’ as a tool to achieve sync between different stake holders and introduce child-centric approach in school.