Firstly we will work on the schools in our region in Kolhapur district that still follow the traditional methods of teaching. We think we still do not have a convincing method of teaching and learning in spite of the innumerable innovations in Curriculum and Pedagogy because these innovations are yet to reach majority of the schools, especially the ones in remote areas.
Secondly, we still need to work on the various developments in curriculum to overcome some challenges that they face. For example, some of them are costly in implementation and demand wide resources such as technology and teacher skills which are not available to many schools.
On the other hand, some innovations address the problems in learning only to a superficial level, keeping the root of problem unaddressed. For example, the use of activity-based methods of learning is gaining interests among many schools. However, they are used only as a means to explain concepts in an effective manner and create interest in learning among students. This is a narrow approach to learning and shows the shallow understanding about the problem of learning, which is much deeper. Many of them still focus on learning as ‘Knowledge-based’ which we want to shift to ‘Skill-based’ without adding any extra subject to the curriculum. Though the value of Skill Development is well recognized, somehow it is unable to form part of the regular learning in schools.
We therefore want to use our knowledge and skills to work on developing the teaching methods by experimenting with our own ideas and testing them with children and make them accessible for the schools even with low budget.
Through these innovations we want to address the following systemic issues in the domain of Curriculum and Pedagogy.
1. Low learning levels: children are unable to attain the desired learning level and are far below average. We feel that infrastructure and resources play an important role in this cause but we cannot be totally dependent on it. We feel we need to develop teaching methods that require minimum resources and provides enough motivation for teachers and students. Our philosophy says that learning must be connected with real life activities.
2. Lack of trained teachers: we want to spend enough time (over two years) to train and provide continuous support to teachers in such a pedagogic model that develops the learning level of children. We also want to take these innovations in the ‘pre-service teacher training programs’ by collaborating with the government so that it reaches a wide number of schools and children in the future.
3. Developing a holistic assessment method: our education system hasn’t come up with any assessment method that measures the learning of children in diverse areas and not just their ability to memorize. Implementing some of the popular approaches such as the Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is not free from challenges, but we are determined to find a suitable method in coming years through continuous experiments.