Making Learning Meaningful

15 October 2018


In the competitive age that we live in, it is very important to provide children with a learning environment that aims at holistic development along with academic excellence. Every top school in Bangalore aims at making learning more meaningful. There are some simple concepts that help improve knowledge and prepare children for better opportunities.

Laying emphasis on occupation

An occupation is not merely a profession that brings in income. It defines who you are as an individual. As the term suggests, an occupation is what you engage in and how you stay occupied. This includes even personal roles and responsibilities such as being a parent or a sibling.

A meaningful learning environment focuses on the changing nature of occupation throughout one’s life. Therefore, it is necessary to make young people aware that you need to have enough knowledge and skills for each occupation. These skills are most effectively learnt when children are taught through different occupations and by keeping children engaged in them.

Using occupation as a means of teaching

Most international board schools in India adopt this teaching method to help students develop knowledge and not merely get through each grade by passing a test. This is most relevant in early childhood when children cannot really sit at a desk for hours.

Occupations that are socially relevant are provided to children to help them learn. This is done by designing several experiences that are relevant to the age of the child. For instance, the task of making a model gives the child a different occupation form the regular subjects in the curriculum.

Most schools follow the “units of work” method which simply categorizes the child into different grades. This makes the primary occupation being “a child of a certain grade” which only has one objective- to pass the grade.

Instead breaking this down into occupations like “being a friend”, “being a swimmer” or “being a group leader” can enhance knowledge as each occupation has something new and relevant to teach the child. These are called genuine occupations that can be created based on the units of work in each grade.

These genuine occupations take several things into account including the background of the child, the abilities, the experiences and the interests. Each of these occupations has an end result which is a creation. This could be a video presentation or even a chart that is relevant to various topics of study.

Improving education

Combining formal education with these genuine occupations creates an environment that allows children to think and create. Keeping them engaged improves learning in comparison to using an artificial occupation such as being a student of a certain grade.

By simply organizing middle school into a series of genuine occupations once a week, children are exposed to 100 different genuine occupations that gives them a large repertoire of skills.

This approach will not only improve the education system but will also provide the society with better skilled individuals who are capable of a deeper level of engagement in any occupation.

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