Webinar Education

Kindle their curiosity

Let them explore and wonder   | Photo Credit: Pixabay

For most students and parents alike, textbooks are synonymous with learning. In short, ‘when in doubt, turn to textbooks’ has become the unsaid refrain over the decades. However, there exists an alternate universe where learning can take place just as efficiently and effectively.

Kindle their curiosity

This was the message from the recent webinar hosted by The Hindu Education Plus along with Pidilite Fevicreate Idea Labs. Vivek Abrol, Senior Vice-President-Arts Stationery Fabric Division, Pidilite Industries; Jyothi Prabhakar, journalist, writer, and managing editor, ParentCircle; and Srimathy Kesan, ambassador to the NASA, ESA and GCTC space camps were the speakers in the session moderated by Radhika Santhanam, Assistant Editor, The Hindu.

COVID-19 effect

According to Prabhakar, the lockdown was a sort of blessing in disguise because children and parents got to spend time with each other. “They have learnt so much that they would not have otherwise learnt at school. The child’s creative side is developed outside the school, from his/her interactions at home, with friends and peers, from the activities they are involved in...” She spoke of how kids learn by touch, feel, drawing and moments of inquisitiveness and also by finding ingenious ways to get out of being reprimanded. “This helps them learn to handle bigger problems and challenges when they grow up, by thinking on their feet. Design thinking can be inculcated simply by letting them be creative and exploring. The lockdown has effectively offered many parents this chance,” she said.

Vivek Abrol spoke about how The Fevicreate Challenge helped parents keep their children engaged and stoke their creativity. “The stress is on learning by doing, craft and theme-based projects that could help them gain clarity of concepts. During the last few months, we learnt from parents about their wish to bond with kids, and about the complete disconnect kids had with their parents due to the influx of all things tech. So, we realised that a crafting challenge could help them bond.”

Activity-based contest
  • According to Abrol, the Fevicreate Science Labs Contest was envisaged to encourage activity-based learning. “Children can read about science concepts on their own and develop a 3D model of that concept and upload it on the site. It could be anything — from the solar system to the Chandrayan. The aim is to encourage creativity.”
  • The competition is open to all and last date for submission is December 31.
  • For more information, visit fevicreate.com

Kesan debunked several misconceptions about the need for a lab to learn science. “Science is everywhere,” she said enthusiastically. “Curiosity among kids is immense. Parents must feed that, and they don’t have be a scientist; rather, they just need to equip themselves by reading. For example, the CV Raman effect can be taught with something as simple as a kaleidoscope.”

Encourage questioning

Asked about how inquisitive children are often told to pipe down, Prabhakar pointed out that, while teachers face immense pressure and tend to focus on completing the syllabus, parents also have a role to play in kindling curiosity. “They have to give time to kids, answer their questions patiently, unflinchingly. Encourage them to ask any kind of questions at all times.” Kesan took this further saying that children should be taught without knowing that they are learning. “Teach them through play acting, using objects available around you. Teach your kids about what chlorophyll in a plant is, or about evaporation when you boil water. It’s all in your house.”

Abrol also agreed that parents also must be involved in their children’s activities. “Stop telling them they are right or wrong at every step, as it hinders their ability to problem solve.”

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2021 2:55:31 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-children-need-to-learn-by-doing/article33200345.ece

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