We had lively interaction with teachers. Normally teachers won’t be forth coming with correct description of problems they face. But this time, they opened up. Their question “what else we need to do to make sure the students taking their learning tasks and daily responsibilities seriously?” They told that they remind the students orally with reasons; they asked the students to write daily reflection in the student log, they asked the students to jot down their next day tasks for completing the project. But still things are going slow. Students forget to bring things needed for carrying out a critical task in the project. Students don’t do the task assigned as home work. And the school I am talking about delivers curriculum through inter disciplinary approach of project based learning. It is an approach where focus is more on imparting the skills especially critical, creative thinking skills and projects are real world problems. The project based learning approach is entirely different from the normal project you see in the schools. So we assumed that since projects are sophisticated real world examples, it will drive the student’s interest to carryout smoothly. But what we end up in every project is delayed time schedule, poor quality of craftsmanship in product outcomes, less enthusiasm for improving further the work, etc.
So the brain storm session continued and finally one senior teacher asked an intriguing question “Are we considering what student like? Are we asking them what they want to do? Are we asking them what puzzles them during their daily life? Are we asking them what motivates them? Are we asking them where they feel the mystery in things?” If we ask the students these questions and then we will know more about their passion and what matters to them. If they also partner in deciding the project topic, then it may be possible they me do things with self motivation. So we decided to take this forward. At the end it, it looks simple. If the learner decides what to study, then we need only facilitators not teachers. In that case, organizing the right learning environment becomes a major task for teachers rather than driving them through endless lessons and tests, which are essentially meaningless to the children. This is what we see in most of the schools today.