Blindfolding students to increase their attention span

It’s not just parents who are struggling to address a child’s short attention span. Teachers, too, are finding it increasingly difficult to engage with students in the classroom. In an attempt to address this, some of the more enterprising schools in Bengaluru have started a ‘blindfold technique’ where students have to cover their eyes with a piece of cloth and listen to audio lectures. These sessions are usually for a duration of less than 40 minutes.


The audio lectures cover all subjects that have been recorded or sourced from verified open-source platforms. Prashanthi Shashikanth, headmistress of Blossoms School, which has made this concept of teaching a regular feature this academic year, said it is usually done for one period. Last year, they had introduced the blind folds technique on a pilot basis.


Every week, students have one class per subject through which they have to sit wearing blindfolds. “It is an innovative teaching method and helps engage the auditory skills of students when they get bored and don’t want to read and write. As their eyes are closed, students have to focus entirely on listening to the audio clips,” said Ms. Shashikanth.


Shailaja Manjunath, whose child studied in class 10 last year at Blossoms School and was part of the pilot project, gave a thumbs-up to the technique. “My daughter and her friends observed that this method helped them improve their concentration as well as their ability to recall certain concepts,” she said.


Ironically, this method is being adopted when classrooms are increasingly relying on gadgets and technology as study aids.


Manoj Kumar Sharma, professor of clinical psychology, National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences, who heads the Service for Healthy Use of Technology Clinic, said that while the blindfold technique aims to encourage students to spend some time without gadgets, schools should also test its efficacy after observing students for a three- to six-month duration. Besides observing changes in academics, he said that behavioral changes among students should also be noted. D. Shashi Kumar, general secretary of the Associated Managements of Primary and Secondary Schools in Karnataka, said that Blossoms Research Application Interact Nurture research center is conducting research to test the effectiveness of this technique. “Once we are convinced of its benefits, we will issue an advisory and teaching methodology to all our 3,000 member schools. Another advantage of this technique is that it does not require any investment,” he said.


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