Visitors coming into Arya Gurukul and Little Aryans for the first time, they stop for a while and look at children’s work hanging on the walls’ Drawings, paintings, scribbling, craftwork, carefully displayed in pleasing arrangements, attract their attention. A heading tells the visitors that children are studying “The Pond.” A large mural of a pond covers one wall. The visitors first admire the mural as children’s art. Leaning closer, they are struck by the detail and care with which each element of the mural has been executed. Around the mural, they see preliminary sketches of sections of it. Photographs showed the children sitting near a pond in a field and they sketching the very plans that they now displayed. The visitors are captivated at a child’s face searching for information in a book. The child is intently involved in her work. Her small finger is on the picture in her book and her small drawing book lies next to the book. Visitors can see that the child is comparing the picture in the book with her own drawing. The teacher’s notes explain that the child is using books as a resource for the first time. As the visitors look at the picture, they notice how small the child is. Quickly searching the wall, they find a summary written on a printed form and framed. “These children are 5 years old! They wonder, “How did these children learn so much about the pond? How did they acquire the skills to do this kind of work?”
Suddenly the visitors hear children coming down the hall. Peering down the corridor, they see a small group of children settling onto the floor of the School Hall facing another display of children’s work. They are carrying papers with them of work they have done. As they looked at them, they hear them discussing the work that they had previously completed, which is now displayed on the wall. These children are comparing the work on the wall with their latest work and talking about what they know now that they did not know before. The teacher is jotting notes on a Post-it pad and sticking the notes on a writing pad. Next to the notes she is making a list on a page entitled “Books and Materials needed”. Turning the corner of the hall, the visitors almost stumble over a large block structure of a pond. Labels written by the children designate the parts of the pond where it is deep and shallow. Having learned from their first experience with the mural, they immediately searched in the walls to find the summary of this part. They see that this study lasted 2 weeks. They also noticed that this display includes teacher’s observations of how individual children’s concepts changed. As they enter the office to talk to the principal, their first comment to the Principal was “We can see that children are really engrossed in learning at this school.”
This is the PROJECT BASED APPROACH which is very different from the traditional teacher-speaks-and-children-listen approach. lt is a path of enquiry, self-discovery, asking questions, observing, applying, arguing, documenting and reflecting. Teachers are only facilitators and they too join in the learning process. They are eager to share and learn how to teach better, how to meet the needs of their children, and how to open the eyes of others to the wonderful world of young children’s learning.
Yes!! This is the future l!
The metamorphosis in the teaching-learning process has begun!!!