What Adds Beauty to the Face?

Dec 17, 2021 10:00:00 AM | #chrysalis What Adds Beauty to the Face?

An anecdote from a series of funny, thought-provoking ones experienced during field visits to Chrysalis' partner schools.

During a field visit to one of the schools, the following event happened in a classroom. A teacher was teaching a lesson about teeth. She was reading from the textbook and she read out the sentence, "Teeth adds beauty to the face." The students repeated it. This happened 2 - 3 times. Then, she asked, "What adds beauty to the face?" and the students answered, "Teeth adds beauty to the face". One student stood up and asked, "Babies don't have teeth but they look beautiful without it. How?". The teacher was taken aback and she replied, "Good question" and went on reading on the same sentence, "Teeth adds beauty to the face." and the students repeated it too. This question popped up on a cycle test and the only answer accepted is "Teeth". Even if kids write other answers like eyes, smile, makeup, or happiness, they are considered as wrong answers. 

This is a major flaw in India's education system. It's content-based learning through textbooks with little or no room for thinking and imagination. Even when some children analyze the information, think logically, and arrive at conclusions that differ from their textbooks, their efforts are reprimanded instead of being appreciated. If their answers are not in the textbooks, they don't get marks. So, they learn to follow what's in the textbook and stop asking the right questions. Chrysalis aims to decondition this outdated way of thinking. We encourage kids to think and question the facts presented to them. If they have a different opinion, they're free to discuss it with their teachers and their peers. We follow question-based learning where we want kids to find answers to their questions themselves. Our Studios are designed to facilitate this too. That is why Chyrsalis' schools have ThinkRooms instead of classrooms. 

Our Studios are updated based on the current times. A long time ago, it was the wife's job to cook and the husband's job to earn. That's why social science textbooks have pictures of a woman chopping vegetables and a man working in the office.


Woman cooking


When kids see this, they expect men and women to conform to these roles. They learn that this is not the case in a present-day scenario and they have a hard time accepting that. So, Studios have pictures of the husband helping the wife with cooking. We don't depict bad guys as dark-skinned like in the picture below.




We are very inclusive in the characters we use in our lessons which are sometimes presented as stories. We accept that there is more than one correct answer to a question and we ask more open-ended questions. We change the content in our Studios accordingly too. That's why our Studios say, "Teeth often add beauty to the face."

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Vasumathi Muthaiyan

Written By: Vasumathi Muthaiyan