Director, Educon International School, Pune
“Tell me and I forget, Teach me and I remember, Involve me and I learn”.----Benjamin Franklin
Explore Engage Experience is the new age mantra of 21st century Learning. The concept involves students fully in their own learning through wide range of active and participatory learning methods. Experiential learning , learning by doing engages the learner while developing their confidence, self esteem, skills of communication ,critical thinking, collaboration and creativity.
As educators seek to engage students in their learning inquiry based teaching can be an effective way or approach for transforming teaching learning practices.
Research has demonstrated that engaging students in the learning process increases their attention and focus, motivates them to practise higher level critical thinking skills and promotes meaningful learning experiences. When an educator adopts a student centred approach of instruction it increases opportunities for student engagement which then helps to achieve learning output more effectively. This can be achieved by Inquiry based Learning or Project Based Learning. Inquiry Based Learning is about discovering an answer, Project Based Learning is about exploring an answer. This type of teaching and learning involves engagement, exploration, explanation, elaboration and evaluation. In this model rather than initially presenting the desired material to their students the role of the teacher is to provide opportunities for students to explore and act as facilitators to encourage them to develop their own ideas through guided exploration. Rather than beginning with a more structured , teacher centred lesson teachers need to plan ways to “engage” the students in the topic and “explore” related phenomena.
“How are we going to do this?” or “What do you think this is going to look like?” should be the questions asked while discussing a topic.
When students are able to engage with the material in their own way not only are they able to gain a deeper understanding, they are able to develop a passion for exploration and the subject. So every resource should be used to enable children to express themselves, handle objects in an effective way.
e.g STEAM Activities provide a chance for all the students to have an experiential learning and hands on experience of all the activities. When children get an hands on experience the knowledge which they get or gain is permanent and it opens their mind to learn more and more.
Panel discussions and debates are also good methods for the students to explore and learn.
When a child explores and engages himself in an activity Creative and problem solving skill is developed. Problem solving skills is the self dependant and brain storming process to find some innovative solution.
As quoted by experts “Learning can be seen as the acquisition of information but before it can take place there must be interest. Interest peremeates all endeavors and precedes learning. In order to acquire and remember new knowledge it must stimulate your curiosity in some way.”
Inquiry based learning is more than asking students what they want to know It is about triggering curiosity.
Project Based Learning is also an innovative systematic teaching method that promotes student engagement through deep investigations of complex questions .At its best ,the PBL focuses on imparting specific knowledge and skills while inspiring students to question actively, think critically and draw connections between their studies and the real world.
Both Inquiry Based Learning and Project Based learning have a positive impact on the children’s mind.
A very common E.g.
Various of factors promote plant growth. When these are changed or absent, growth will slow or stop. This activity will allow students to investigate which factors are essential for plant growth and in what amounts.
Provide basic information regarding photosynthesis (carbon dioxide, sunlight, water, oxygen) and what elements are required for it to take place. Also give information on how soil nutrient levels, shade, and the presence of other factors that play a role in plant growth.
Give them different seeds for their experiment .Students can explore and put their knowledge in use to create favourable conditions for plant growth.By doing this they will learn in a practical way how seeds grow into plants and what factors can affect the growth.
“Curiosity is the fuel for discovery ,inquiry and learning.”
Let’s really transform teaching.
Director , Educon International School, Pune