Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Play to Learn

Maanasi Baa writes about the Pratham Books-Jumpstart workshop conducted at JUMPSTART, New Delhi.

If numbers indicated success, the Play to Learn workshop was clearly a success. With more than a hundred participants coming from over fifteen schools, the workshop had definitely hit the nail. However, a quantitative criterion doesn’t necessarily gauge success, which is exactly the point that these alternative models of teaching are trying to endorse. No need to worry though, this workshop did pretty well under the quality control check, too.

A number of different teachers had come to learn how to play, which was an interesting concept in itself. The teachers introduced themselves, role-playing their own students and the room reverberated with laughter. The teachers got comfortable, pretty quick and well the rest as they say was just fun and games.

“All Children are the same and all of them are different.”

Dr. Asha Singh invited her participants to dwell rather deeply on this observation. Every child is unique, and even though we herd them as one huge collective, we forget to engage with their differences. There is no universal method to teach children and not every child learns in the same way. This tussle between the traditional model of teaching that doesn’t cater to every child’s needs and that of a more flexible model that allows every child his or her own limitations, is an old tussle. But we often forget and remain ignorant of these debates.

Amukta Mahapatra touched upon the tendencies of children. She says that children have a tendency to explore all that is unexplored. There resides a sense of curiosity that motivates them to engage with real life concepts. However, all of this happens through play and thus play, must be encouraged. The three E’s are of immense importance: Energise, Excite, Engage.

Read the entire article.

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