Turning the World of Education through Self-organized Learning Environments
Eklavya School, one of the renowned schools in Jalandhar is known for giving its students ample opportunities of learning something that boost their young creative minds.
Children are often smarter than we think. Rather than providing lectures or spoon-feeding information to the students, it is better to ask “engaging, provocative questions” and let them work out the answers. It is good to let the students be self-directed in the areas that are of interest to them. Students will often stretch to comprehend information that might have otherwise been too difficult for them.
The educational experience is enhanced through collaboration and teamwork; an example is assigning a group of four or five students an activity and then having them to share their results with the classroom.
Students of Eklavya School motivate and inspire each other to learn and teach one another on their own, without adult interference with the help of SOLE. SOLE refers to a Self Organized Learning Environment. It is the brainchild of Sugata Mitra, Professor of Educational Technology at Newcastle University in the UK.
The aim of SOLE is to spark creativity, curiosity and wonder in students and inspire them to take control of their own learning.
SOLE sessions are fuelled by self-discovery, sharing and spontaneity. It helps the children to go on intellectual adventures together.
How Eklavya School Implemented SOLE Session
The educator posed a Big Question and students formed small groups to find the answer.
Big Questions are the ones that don’t have an easy answer. They are often open and difficult; they may even be unanswerable. The aim is to encourage deep and long conversations, rather than finding easy answers.
The pairing was done by the educator. Students learn well when different skills and levels are mixed. By doing the pairing in this manner the educator makes sure that the strongest students are intermingled with others.
The educator was largely ‘invisible’ during the session.
The educator used this time to listen to what the students have learned and facilitated a discussion about the question and their process in answering it. The educator appreciated their endeavor and encourages them to think about what they did well, and what they would do differently next time.
Big Questions aren’t just about getting the ‘right’ answers, but about learning the methods and skills needed to find the answers. These questions encourage children to offer theories, work collaboratively, use reason and think critically. A good Question will connect more than one subject area.