Experiential Learning; the Harbinger of the NCF Expectation
According to National Curriculum Framework( NFC), the guiding Force for all education in India, teaching of science must focus on Methods and processes that will nurture
thinking process, Curiosity and creativity. DiscoverEd is a programme built on the belief that experiential learning is the best way to learn science. Currently DiscoverEd services the CBSE private schools.
DiscoverEd believes in the effectiveness of the program and wants to impact a larger portion of the students in the country beyond the private schools.
Convincing the government to consider this model of teaching science can be challenging. To communicate with the government of the effectiveness of the programme, DiscoverEd conducted a workshop 21st May, 2016 at FitKids House, Bangalore.
The workshop included the teachers from the state board Mr. Prakash (Sri Venkateshwara English High School) , Ms. Navaneeta (Sri Jnanagangotri International School) and Ms. Geetha Lakshmi (Sri Jnanagangotri International School) and DiscoverEd employees Mrs. Perveen Anjum, Mr. Chetan, Mr. Sarbjeet Singh and Mrs. Shruthi.
Objectives of the workshop were :
- To assess DiscoverEd’s programme through by the representation from Government schools.
- Map and check the programme to the NCF as perceived by the important stake-holder teachers.
The workshop started off with a discussion on children and how they learn. Mr. Lalith Prasad, spoke of the time from the previous generation when self-learning or independent was a norm. Activities like cycling, dancing are some activities we learnt without a teacher and are remembered forever, as the ownership of the learning lies with the individual.
The discussion then moved onto what NCF was and the intricate details as to how the NCF was structured. Following which all of us read the Position Paper in pairs, one each from DiscoverEd and a Govt school teacher. A summary of the expectations (Aims of Science) and the implementable pointers of the NCF for teaching science to upper middle class were discussed and documented.
The teachers are then introduced to DiscoverEd as a program. DiscoverEd believes in hands-on learning hence the teachers made to do the activity. The teachers were given the hands on investigation kit and a casefile (Retrieve the Copper). The teachers read casefile and based on the limited information in it, they conducted the experiment.
After this the teachers were asked to reason based on evidence. This is one of the core principles of DiscoverEd. The discussion focused on the importance of knowing the difference between evidence and reason. The teachers made more observations as the discussion progressed. The challenges faced by the teachers were discussed as DiscoverEd case does not have cookbook recipe and encourages open inquiry.
Post lunch, there was a full-fledged introduction to the DiscoverEd programme. Now that the group has been introduced to the expectations of the NCF and the DiscoverEd program, the teachers made an individual comparison of the original NCF expectations they wrote down and the ability of the DiscoverEd program to satisfy these objectives.
This was done by individual teachers. The two documents were compared to understand and validate the extent of
mapping of the discovered program to the NCF. The comparative showed a significant mapping of the DiscoverEd programme to the NCF. The responses of the teacher were taken in a written format. Teachers were happy and told us that they were inspired to do new things in class.
Now, what next!?
With this evidence, DiscoverEd intends to approach the relevant parties with a proposal that could turn into something beneficial for the millions of children in government schools across our country.
Watch out for further updates.