My 10 year olds walked out of the Municipal Commissioner’s office with a broad smile and bouquets in their hands -Mission accomplished ?” Yes and more than that “they screamed in unison . I said , ” I can see that . Your chests are full of pride and you seem to have grown taller in an hour’s time “. They smiled sheepishly . These fifth graders were interviewing and having discussions with the Municipal Commissioner and the town planners on the future plans for the development of Thane .
When the children of Grade V met a few days back telling me about their project on Thane city., I briefed them about doing references through books and digital media , inviting guest lecturers to talk to them about Thane to widen their knowledge .I wanted to to go through the TMC website to know about their functioning. I advised them to design ways to contribute to the development of the city.What followed was a huge file of researched work and action plan .They were accorded such a warm welcome with inputs from district authorities which added first – hand experiences to their reservoir of knowledge already gained.
This blog is in continuation of the previous one on where and how to begin…..to make learning better.The above example is a case of true learning . Practically , one can not do this exercise each time . But these experiences makes them more inquisitive ,more thoughtful and makes them own up their learning . A few more examples – Shops and vendors are spaces to learn budgeting and planning.
Let children own their learning . Preparing a schedule, working on it and setting goals . Goals are not percentages. It is about understanding concepts. In the visit to the TMC , they may have learnt a lot of Civics. While making their presentations to the class they will acquire clarity of concepts. Every day experiences provide fun in learning When kids are packed off to tuition class with the hope that they learn more , the opposite happens . They learn by rote. Retention does not happen since the intake is hardly 20 % . Kids want to just complete the task .The reluctance of children to go through an ordeal is quite evident from the fact that look unenthusiastic.They will give excuses as how the teacher was too strict in her corrections or the questions were out of syllabus or that just careless mistakes. Carelessness comes from lack of concentration. Lack of concentration is sign of disinterest and disinterest is due to monotony. Yes ! Monotony is due to absence of wonder and joy in the learning.This explains why students perform below average even when they are tutored privately .
Create inquisitiveness , more research and understanding that leads to fun in the process of learning.We must know how how to ride roughshod over shirkers.There can not be any complacency from the teacher or the taught.The mind cannot be idle with dull thoughts.better learning happens with open minds, willing to experiment and be flexible. An environment that is stimulating ,where all kids – introverts and extroverts , slow and quick learns find space to grow. Working with kids bit by bit, just creating a difference in their outlook towards learning will see a need based value addition to the learning .