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Phenomenon Based Learning

Wednesday, January 10, 2018
By Lina Ashar

The Indian educational system, over the years, has been receptive to change and breaking barriers. With the acceptance of various international boards and programs there would be an easier acceptance when implementing a phenomenon-based learning (PBL). It will lead to creating global citizens with reasonable levels of emotional stability, a strongly grounded academic base and world knowledge. It will facilitate higher order thinking, greater abstractedness and sensitivity while dealing with life situations. Openness to Change in the context of receptivity to exploring new ideas, readiness to change, trusted and established ways of doing things. We no longer have to be a store house of facts. We will have computers to do that job for us. The rapidly changing world of tomorrow will mean that we will need to be lifetime learners, flexible thinkers capable of adapting to divergent learning path ways rather than rigid structures which artificially classify knowledge into Mathematics, Science, English, History and Geography.

The stereotypical nature of the society need for academic brilliance may prove to be a roadblock that could be tackled by clarifying the myths about the phenomenon-based learning. The receptiveness will be greater keeping in mind the benefits of this system of education. The benefits of such learning systems create greater opportunities for students to explore options, be closer to real world challenges, prepare for college and careers and avoid professional burnouts. PBL helps one to know their inclinations and intentions, what interested them most; what draws their attention. Most importantly, we understand that if the subject is not engaging and enjoyable without concrete experience and with no opportunity to apply the knowledge, it gets deleted.

The teachers will be pushing their limits and be involved in research and development of the delivery of the topic using the inter disciplinary approach. Quality professional development will be of prime importance and the effective teacher training modules will prove to be an incentive to the teachers’ personal growth.

very topic can be taught in many ways as teachers understand that all students have different learning styles. Some are auditory, so students learn best through sound and music; some are visual learners, will learn through visual stimuli such as charts, pictures, movies. Some of us are kinesthetic learners we need to wire information into our brains through movement.

Students no longer learn a curriculum that they will not use in totality in the long run; they will learn the necessary concepts and utilize the same in their day-to-day lives. The standardized assessment parameters will be replaced with the ability to solve real life problems. They will develop healthy inter and intra personal skills and relationships.

Time and its management is what would play a key role in deciding the benefits of such a system for students. A structured marking parameter will be the drawback until a mindset change has been created. An In-depth knowledge of a particular area, to students who wish to pursue a given discipline in the future, is necessary to be disseminated.

Incorporating such an educational pattern from the primary years will be appropriate as the students are able to gather core knowledge of given subjects and seek to develop ways in integrating curriculum with real life challenges. At the Primary grades it will fortify the foundations enabling children when the curriculum is multi- dimensional in its approach. Organizing broad possibilities with natural connections to other generative topics will equip them through the Middle and High School years.

The MUN functions more like a representative body which does enable students to take on the issues discussed at the UN, express their viewpoints and follow the decorum and it impacts a section of students, who voluntarily participate. PBL will be using this as a part of the umbrella change not as the only mind set change for a few. Students will learn to collaborate, to be effective team players and aspire for success in their chosen fields.

As a School we follow the principle of making learning fun and integrating the latest developments in the field of education in the curriculum. For example, a Grade 3 English language reader is not limited to English the students learn math, history, business, economics, art, cooking, etc. At the middle and secondary school level current affairs and community service programs provide an integration point to teachers while introducing concepts. Before our teachers start teaching us poems they show us how singers and song writers train, understanding the power of words and rhythm of songs we love. In this way we see why we need to read and interpret poetry. We relate the purpose and have fun while learning. To encourage children to be thinkers, innovators and problem solvers, to orchestrate experiences that will result in a natural and integrated development of knowledge, skills and thinking.

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