Our Offerings

 

 
An Integrated Problem-based Learning and Life Skill Development Model
 
We have done various experiments with teaching techniques in science education and life skill development over two years in our community centers of Kolhapur and Mumbai and come up with an Integrated ‘Problem-based’ model for science education and Life skill development model which is our main offering. The model aims for a holistic development of personality of children through Knowledge, Skills and Attitude. The following diagram shows the areas of intervention of the model.
 
 
 

 

 

 

The Problem-based Model (PBL)

The problem based model presently developed for Science Education is an activity based model which believes that
children learn better through experiencing and actively engaging with things and problems encountered rather through passive accumulation of knowledge through lectures and books. While we do have a number of activity based models developed by various organization, the uniqueness of the present one is it follows an interdisciplinary and ‘Practice to Theory’ approach to learning; meaning that diverse learning from various areas is derived through activities or projects rather using activities to simply ‘teach’ specific concepts.
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.
 
 
The Problem-based Learning Model consist the following approaches to learning
 

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

 

Field Activities:

 
 
 
Apart from the activities in the classroom, children are engaged in various outdoor activities such as Field visits to important places that are related to their curriculum, Educational Trips and study tours to nearby places, Residential Camps, Street plays on social issues, etc. that gives them immense opportunity to learning and food for thought. It develops strong interpersonal relations among children and the organization and creates an environment of free learning full of enthusiasm.
 

Key Challenges