Schools in the city are looking beyond books to expand students’ horizons. The ‘project-based learning’ concept, introduced by schools has brought relief to students between classes V and X from the routine textbook teachings.
In the project-based learning model, students are divided into groups and each group is assigned a topic. Topics are chosen from various fields and subjects such as Physics, Geography, Environmental Studies. Each group then has to prepare a model and make a presentation on the same. Sometimes, individual projects are also assigned. While the entire process makes for a fun-filled learning experience for students, principals said such projects encourage active and engaged learning.
“The projects require the students to thoroughly research on the topics assigned to them. As a result the students gain deeper knowledge in the subject,” said Kalpana Dwivedi, principal of St Joseph’s High School, Panvel. Students of Class V and above have to work on projects assigned to them.
Principal Sona Mattoo Dhingra of the Thakur Complex branch of Children’s Academy Group said the projects help students understand difficult concepts better. “Students tend to understand concepts better through a practical approach rather than classroom teaching,” she said. “The learning is experiential. They learn more and more as they work on their projects.”
Parents, too, agreed that students learnt better through projects. Aarti Kamble, whose son Svar is in Class XIII in Podar International School, Khar, said, “The children do a lot of research on these projects. While working on their models they realise the practicality of a theoretical concept.” She said the concept encourages team spirit among students. Principals agreed too.
“It’s a great lesson in teamwork. As they work in a team, they have their disagreements but they learn to respect each other’s opinions,” said Dwivedi.
She said students, who are academically weaker, find it easy to understand difficult concepts through the projects. “It’s all about teamwork. Students learn while helping each other,” said Dhingra.
Another parent, Anjani Pathak said her son Ayush, a Class V student of Evershine English School in Bhiwandi, learns leadership skills from such projects. “Each group has to make presentation about their models. This improves the oratory skills of the children,” she said.