ISR creates a learner-centric environment where the child can get excited, identify the problem, ask the right questions towards finding solutions to the identified problems, work towards the solution through numerous iterations without the fear of failure; learning from each step and mistake made in the process.
Children learn from what is taught: at school by teachers, at home by parents. Or do they really?
Institutionalized education system grinds us into believing that the system knows best what children need to learn. More the input, the greater is the learning. Generations of learners, rather rote learners have been produced down the centuries, ramming tonnes of textbooks down their cerebral cortex. Syllabus across curricula and Boards have been consistently expanded. Not only has the process eaten into the creative output of learners, it has largely killed their curiosity thereby rendering the so-called education merely as a necessary process to help score marks, qualify examinations and earn certificates, famously denoted by Sir Ken Robinson as education’s “Death Valley”.
It is convenient to believe that a child is incapable of thinking on his/her own and needs to be taught to think so that he learns. The teachers on the job have themselves been bred on similar lines which makes them practise the same principle onto their subjects. However numerous recent studies prove the contrary. A study by Flavell, Miller and Miller done in 1993 proves that children as young as 3 or 4 years possess abilities of actively monitoring and regulating their own thought process, known as Metacognition. In fact, 85% of a child’s brain development also happens by this age. So, if children are given the opportunity to exhibit their thinking abilities from this age, they can get curious as they fiddle with multiple things; in the process develop their analytic, integrative and organising skills; and intuitively learn to identify connections between and among things. This is what noted Cognitive scientist David Cabrera refers to in his celebrated DSRP theory (Distinction, Systems, Relationships, Perspective) in 2008, where he propounds the ways in which learners can improve their thinking skills.
International STEAM Research or ISR ( www. isrspace.com) has a Heutagogy based approach to teaching and learning which is largely self-determined. It is learner-centric and creates an environment where the child can get excited, identify the problem, ask the right questions towards finding solutions to the identified problems, work towards the solution through numerous iterations without the fear of failure; learning from each step and mistake made in the process. It empowers learners for lifelong learning with mindfulness and versatility.
Such is Experiential Learning. As David Kolb, one of the seminal educational theorists of the 20th Century has propounded, Experiential Learning occurs where ‘knowledge is created through the transformation of experience’. It thus becomes imperative to offer a rich and variegated experience that will make learning a fun-filled and holistic experience. ISR integrates the 4Cs of the 21st Century into the Experiential Learning process; viz, Communication, Collaboration, Creativity and Critical thinking. At ISR Happy Zone, learning happens in teams that encourage learners to communicate and collaborate with each other. The ecosystem they operate in encourages learners to enhance their creativity and improve their critical thinking skills. In the process, learners are encouraged to be more sensitive and compassionate to each others’ culture, be more curious about their surroundings, and take ownership of their activities with increased commitment.
National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 published by the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India advocates the cause of Experiential Learning as a mandate to be implemented by all schools across the country. Conceived as hands-on-learning that diffuses the boundaries traditionally separating the disciplines from each other; it also integrates Art with all the other disciplines. Curriculum, Extra-curriculum, Co-curriculum are no longer seen as distinct domains. Experiential Learning is practised by ISR through STEAM education that integrates Art along with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. Here learners are encouraged to apply Futuristic technologies which provide the foundation for future jobs, integrating Art to foster a holistic development that creates enthusiastic lifelong learners.