Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Learning life skills in school

While returning back home after picking 'J' up from her After-school club I try to ask her about her day, mainly what she had for lunch and snacks (these are provided by the school) and what special they did in school. My experiences have taught me that this is not the best time to ask questions (as we both are very tired and hungry) but being a typical Indian mum I have failed to resist myself from these questions. Anyways I have found some very polite ways like asking her first about the games they played in school and how was the drama class and so on.

Recently, I am learning a lot about how much life skills are they learning already in school. The core of education is although same as we were taught but the delivery method has undergone a massive revolution. Learning by doing is more emphasised today in contrast to learning by heart from our times. The terms used in schools are also very much practice oriented and life centric. In last two school going years 'J' has acquired or is acquiring some of the very important skills just by following them in school  routine. Here are some examples:

Team work: One day she told me that three of them were in a group and they painted a big picture of Thumblina, the prince and the background together. One painted Thumblina, other the prince and the third one painted the forest and the flowers. She added that this is called team work you know, where every one have to do their share and have to look after others work too!

Problem Solving: Now a days the class is involved in problem solving which means
Guess - Check - Improve
They follow this rule for mathematics as well as for aptitude questions, field work, speech and so on.

Race against time: Some times the teachers ask them to tidy up and she sets the clock for ten minutes or so. They call this game as race against time.

Balancing art: One day she announced on her way back home that she had made 5 paper aeroplanes at school, they are busy with some toy project. By making these planes she was testing how she can finally build a good plane which will fly high for long time. Which kind of papers are good for making planes (e.g., news paper vs. chart paper). 

Comprehension: Often they have story time and then they are asked to repeat the story in one or two sentences.

and the list goes on.

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