‘Broadstreaming, not Mainstreaming’ – An Approach towards Solutions for Inclusive Development was delivered at XLRI, Jamshedpur as inaugural address in the conference on ‘Solutions to Inclusive Development’ on January 29, 2010.
Creative Knowledge was released on the occasion of inaugration of Ritu Sinha Knowledge Centre for Creative Learning at School of Creative Learning on December 27, 2009. Visit Picasaweb RSKCCL for RSKCCL Inaugration pictures.
Creative Learning requires development of activities in the form of games. In order to organise these activities, we should adopt the prevalent methods of collecting players, choosing leaders, making pairs or teams, etc. We shall first discuss the general principles involved in these activities.
Before starting a game, the first task is to collect players. Two or three children decide as to which game is to be played. Then they join hands and go on chanting in loud voice by shaking joined hands up and down.
We want to play Queenie, Queenie.
We want to play Queenie, Queenie
Who wants to play Queenie, Queenie.
Who wants to play Queenie, Queenie.
Come and join, come and join.
Join the ring, join the ring.
(Replace Queenie, Queenie by the name of the game played).
On hearing the chanting the children interested in playing “Queenie, Queenie” join hands and start chanting. This way the voice becomes louder and louder. The process continues till the required number of children have given consent to play the game.
One of the interesting findings of researches on learning is that the child should be exposed to reading books from quite early in life. This process should start as early as possible without even waiting for the child to show responses to the stimuli. Now it is also being suggested that a child should be read a story or shown pictorial stories right from his/her birth, when he/she returns from the hospital. It may appear that the child is not responding to the story or is not looking at the storybook, but gradually, it would be realised that the faculty of reception sharpens. It has been found that if a child is read a storybook right from birth, he/she may start reading the book right from the age of 3-4 years.
Similarly, if a child is exposed to songs, tunes and rhythms right from birth, s/he becomes more receptive to the rhythmic tunes. If a child were shown more and more pictures from early childhood, his/her spatial intelligence would be more developed in comparison to the child who is not shown any such pictures. Since information is received through sensory organs, all sensory organs should be fully developed to receive information. Hence, games and activities must be designed for developing all sensory organs in early childhood.
Grandma’s Techniques Many children show great reluctance in eating. There is an age-old tradition to make various designs of ‘rotis’ (breads) for children. Some breads will look like animals, for example, goat, or birds like parrot, or in some geometrical designs. These designs are not only suited to the temperament of the child to facilitate eating, it also makes them learn about various animals, birds, geometrical designs, etc.. Even if the child may be reluctant to eat, he eats the bread, when it is presented in the form of some geometrical design. Many parents further facilitate eating by linking the design to some story. For example, they may narrate a story of a bird and present the bread in the form of the bird to the child.
Dining time is another great occasion for learning. Dining together in a family situation is helpful not only in binding the family together, it helps in understanding likes and dislikes of family members also. It is also useful in effecting emotional closeness among family members.
Traditionally, mother and grandmother used to remain present during dining time of the children and other persons, even if they were not dining themselves. This was helpful in showing concern for the family members.
Dining time interactions can be an extremely useful period for learning. This period could be used for
• Learning the experiences of the children during the day in the school and outside.
• Telling the experience of parents during the day.
• Telling the history of the family and the village.
• Discussion on the problems encountered during the day by different members of the family and possible solutions thereof
• Story/puzzle/jokes telling session by children/parents
• Discussion on any news items or important events of the day.
When young infants go to bed, they expect their parents to be with them. This is a good occasion to interact with them. It has been seen that songs and stories narrated to them at this time have great impact on the development of their brains. Earlier, we had folk stories for these occasions. Now, as parents are living in a nuclear situation and are generally extremely busy people, most of them do not remember these stories. As such, they are not able to make best use of these occasions. There is an urgent need to collect such stories or to write new stories and supply them to young couples.
Shampa learns Hanuman Chalisa at 3 years
Shampa was born in a middle class family. When she was a child of 3 years, her mother Sharda Sinha, a teacher educator, used to sing Hanuman Chalisa (40 couplets in the praise of Lord Hanuman), when she went to sleep. She used to start singing, when she was going to sleep and continued till she was fast asleep. As a result, Shampa learnt Hanuman Chalisa by heart, even at the age of 2 years, which is a commendable feat for any child. Today Shampa is a teacher at Teacher’s Training College, Patna. She feels that such techniques used by her mother had a great impact on her life.
Family is said to be the first school, but we have done little to develop it as the first school. Swami Dayanand had identified father, mother and teacher to be the three pillars of education of a child. In Satpatha Brahman it was said,
matriman pitrimanaachryavan purusho ved (A man is knowledgeable, if he is under the guidance of learned mother, father, and teacher.)
Unless all pillars are equally strong, the child cannot be said to be properly educated. Today couples get married. They also have children. But, they are never trained in the methods of rearing the children. They are never told how they should steer the child in the elementary stages of learning. It has now been established that about 90% of the development of brain take place before the end of 5 years. Since couples do not know how to take care of the child, they depend mainly upon hit and trial methods. Thus, children may not attain full development of brain as per their own potential. As such, they are not fully prepared to take advantage of the learning system, when they enter the school system.
There are many games you play in your due course of activities. But have you ever thought about learning with games?
For example, there are many children love playing cricket.
Is it possible to learn from Cricket? Let us see…
In this game learners are divided into two groups. One group asks questions whereas the other group is supposed to tell the answer. As in cricket the baller is given chance to ask 6 questions in a row. Rules have been framed for getting boundaries and sixes based on the complexities of the problem and nature of answer.
In this game learners are divided into two groups. One group asks questions whereas the other group is supposed to tell the answer. As in cricket the baller is given chance to ask 6 questions in a row. Rules have been framed for getting boundaries and sixes based on the complexities of the problem and nature of answer. Children enjoy the game and learn the lessons as well. Similarly, children play the game of puzzles as well as carrom. If we improvise the game for learning laws of motion, laws of friction, laws of reflection, chemical combinations etc. it would be much easier to understand.
It can also be used for developing imagination by asking learners to arrange the coins in different shapes and patterns and give them exciting names.
As floor games are quite popular among the village children, they can arrange lot of floor games to learn mathematics, grammar, science and social sciences. In fact, in all classrooms 10X10 squarish pattern can be drawn. In the corridor various patterns 3X3, 4X4, 5X5, 6X6, etc and other geometrical patterns can be displayed.
These activities are new to both teachers and learners, but can be an interesting session of learning.
When children do not get good grades in any subject or are not able to perform up to our expectation, we often chide and goad them to work harder in the subject. Is it the right way to assess and motivate the child?
Experiences at School of Creative Learning have shown that the issue of failure in the examination may be a product of various factors like physical ailment, emotional distraction or disturbance, lack of proper motivation, etc. However, even if there is no such problem a child may not do well in the examination due to different learning style or lack of proper mental competencies. For example, if the child is not doing well in mathematical competencies, one must also look whether the child is of different learning style than logical and/or is deficient in
If the child is really deficient in these competencies, the child should be asked to perform exercises to develop those competencies. For example, if the learner’s learning style is different, the teaching learning strategy has to be different. See A short note on Multiple intelligence and How to identify the Learning Style of Your Child for details. Further, if the child does not have good concentration, he should do exercises to develop it. Once concentration is developed, a bit of hard work may do wonders. Following chart may help in diagnosing the basic problems in a child. For appropriate solution consult Creative Learning Volunteers or write to us. The table here shows the reasons for poor performance in the following categories (You can click on them to take you to related matter directly):
In 2004-06, APCL had run a project with CEF on ‘Education for Democracy’. In this project, it was found that there was a need to orient learning systems to take care of the socio-cultural context of the underprivileged. For this purpose, it would be better to have laboratories in different subjects, where we can supplement the care and concerns of the underprivileged. In the project teaching learning materials and books were developed for setting up Social Science Laboratories in schools in the class VI to IX. A book was also developed for creating awareness of interactive laws. In order to enhance the self-esteem of underprivileged section three pictorial story books on Shabari was developed. The materials have been used for setting up Social science labs in different schools of Patna, Samastipur and Darbhanga districts. The pictorial book-sets on Shabari are being used widely for motivational purposes in Mahila Samakhya programme and also by Dalit communities and Non-Governmental Organizations in their motivational programmes for dalits in general and Musahars in particular. It also transpired during the project that we need special targeted materials to meet the special needs of the local underprivileged communities so that their self-esteem may be enhanced which is a pre requisite for any quality learning programme.
In the year 2007, APCL conducted a programme on “Broad streaming of underprivileged education in Jamsaut Panchayat”. The project tried to identify the special learning needs including content and transaction methodology of the underprivileged sections of society and worked on underprivileged children mainly belonging to Musahar community to formulate proper strategy for ensuring right to education in respect of underprivileged community.
A survey of underprivileged children showed that the children of underprivileged children did not get proper environment at home conducive to motivate them to go for learning. So we have to work at both school and community level. Creative Learning Centres were established and run in the hamlets of underprivileged sections to complement and supplement the learning at school. This has proved very successful for first generation learners and other vulnerable groups. Workshops of stakeholders, VEC members and Panchayat workers were also conducted. Wall writing related to new interactive pictures and social issues related to mathematics, language, social studies were done on the walls of schools. The pictures were so designed that they enhance the self esteem of underprivileged section of society.