An Integrated Problem-based Learning and Life Skill Development Model
The Problem-based Model (PBL)
For example, children are engaged in making various science based toy activities which are made from simple everyday materials or wastes. Children deal with various problems while making these activities which allow them to learn various diverse concepts in an integrated manner. Simultaneously, they learn diverse skills of problem-solving; Inquiry, observation, identifying problems, analyzing reasons behind problems, thinking through solutions, testing and verifying them, application of solutions, etc. which forms a whole process of scientific method. The social skills generated through such a children group activity are also equally focused. It generates knowledge and Skills (cognitive, psychomotor and social) among children. The learning generated through such a process outperforms the traditional ways of learning through books. The Life skills model adopted by us is learnt through other organizations whose sessions are also conducted to reinforce the skills hidden in such activities. Thus we follow a unified Life Skill and Science Education Model.
a. The Problem-solving approach: In this approach, the children work on various toy activities or projects and the learning process is shaped by the problems that they encounter in these projects. The process typically looks as follows.
Sometimes the children are given a task such as to prepare an instrument of shooting sticks or pebbles (like a gun) or an instrument to prevent an object from sudden fall (eg. Parachute) and the designs they come up with together as a group are dealt through the above approach.
b. Inquiry Approach Various demonstrations and experiments are posed as problems to be solved or questions whose answers have to be discovered which instill a sense of curiosity and start a process of inquiry among children which leads to further learning.
c. Cooperative Learning Since activities are carried in a group, we believe in peer learning and that children can learn a lot through positive interaction among themselves. They get ample opportunity for interaction with required facilitation by the facilitator.
d. Learning by experiencing Before shifting to books and concepts in the books, we believe in starting through real experiences. This is the foundation of all learning in the PBL model.
e. Constructivist Approach Constructivist learning is based on the premise that children actively ‘construct’ their understanding of the world when faced with real experiences and problems and that a readymade knowledge cannot be instilled from outside to develop understanding. The above learning approaches together create a constructivist learning environment in the classroom