Green: soft tones replace angry red ink in Mumbai schools

Green is the new red. At least in the academic world with more schools in the city migrating to the garden, a softer tone to soften the blow of angry red, a color typically associated with warning, threat or danger.

It has been over a decade that anti-red sentiment began to emerge between teachers and group conversations with principals, teachers and parents have led to a growing school of thought that green or purple are calmer and friendlier colors. . A paper or page scrawled in red may seem quite scary. It can annoy children and create weak students, says Swati Popat Vats, president of the Early Childhood Association, which addresses the quality of care and learning in the pre and primary sector.

A test strip survey conducted last month to 105 teachers and principals from 80 schools in Mumbai by the Global SLN Network, a professional network of school, principal and educator learning revealed that 60 percent of them now have a policy that dictates the use of the red pen for branding and suggests the use of ticks and comments in more relaxing shades of green, purple, blue, glitter and even stickers and stamps.

Anna Correa, principal of Stanislaus High School where all teachers in the pre-primary and elementary sections have been instructed to qualify and correct using ink with pleasant tones instead of red, says: We chose to opt out of using red and opt for Less negative and more constructive and comfortable colors for a child. However, it is not just about color. The way teachers handle a red pen can also be demotivating and often similar to screams that highlight the failures of a student who end up feeling demotivated or humiliated. Intensive use of a pen to surround and underline things vigorously can be problematic and do little to encourage good work. So we sit together with our staff and develop words and symbols to establish standardized correction rules that motivate children to improve.

Preeti Choksi, principal of the Shishu Vihar school in Chinchpokhli, assumed his mandate to ban red ink more than seven years ago when he ran a state board school. I witnessed a child in preschool with a problem distinguishing mirror images. It is not as if they were scolding him, but his notebook was full of red circles and marks and he retired, refusing to participate in class activities or even taking a crayon in his hand. Many are afraid of how their parents would react. We decided to introduce bright pens and replaced the brands with emoticons and that seemed to work. In Shishu Vihar I continue with not only different correction inks but motivational stamps that say 'good work, you can do better, well done and emoticons like emoticons and thumbs up.

A growing contingent of schools is also using purple and pink to get attention without being aggressive.

The legacy of red ink dates back to the 1700s, when employees used red ink on pens to correct books before it came to teachers and became a traditional tradition due to the way it was stood out from nowhere. black that students write. In 2013, a study conducted by researchers from the University of Colorado showed that students felt severely evaluated in red compared to blue or green, even when their grades and comments were identical.

Many parents still believe that the documents should be corrected in red while giving up the venerable color of discipline and authority has not been easy for many teachers as well. The resistance of a large number of parents remains a challenge for schools trying to move on because they feel that their children will not be afraid and need that jolt to work harder than they think comes with some shots of red while around 25% of teachers use red ink as a weapon they feel makes them more dominant. Although the transition is happening, it implies a lot of unlearning for both teachers and parents, explains Vats.

Teachers and principals agree that it is the level of qualification and attitude toward corrections on the page that should be reviewed. Too many green corrections would make it the new red with the same negative connotations and it would be equally daunting. Defacing pages with scribbles can also be belittled. Fewer marks and encouraging comments make students feel valued and respected, says Vats.

But psychologists wonder if colors matter a lot. The most important thing is the participation of the teacher with a child. If that is based on anger, humiliation and rejection, whether on paper or verbal, green will have the same effect as red, says psychologist Harish Shetty.

Unlike the red corrections that would make ten Yuga Banerjee students feel sad, pink makes me feel that I can still fix it, she says.