How can my actions so far away from the Arctic, affect the polar bear? What are my water footprints? How may I ensure I save my civilization? Will every role model be a personality or a celebrity?
These are a few examples of questions; students ask and wonder about in their daily lives. Learning is not about just finding answers but a lot about inquiring and asking critical questions. Students should be encouraged to think critically, ask open-ended questions, value different perspectives, find solutions to not just local issues but global issues that allow students to have voice, choice and ownership in their learning.
Learning of students should begin with the assessment of their previous understanding of a concept, before introducing it. This helps teachers plan and create learning engagements to further build on their existing knowledge. So, you could say that learning is constructed and tailor-made to suit the students’ needs. The engagements are designed to encourage students to inquire and explore. The teachers are no longer the sage on the stage, neither are they caged in the nuances of completing the book and the chapters. The engagements are further designed to help students develop the right approaches to learning (ATL skills) through the 5 skills of IB curriculum, i.e. communication, self-management, research, social and thinking. These ATL skills are consciously embedded in the classroom culture and explicitly established through the learning process. Through these skills, students also imbibe attributes for being life-long independent learners.
The curriculum at Prometheus aims at developing our students to be global citizens of the world. We follow a broad framework focusing on the conceptual understanding of our children. Each child during these formative years of learning emerges as a learner equipped with appropriate attributes. He learns to be an inquirer and question all possibilities, be a risk-taker and explore the unknown, be knowledgeable by acquiring new information, be a thinker and critically analyse various aspects and also emerge as a good communicator to express himself in more than one usual way. The teachers at Prometheus ensure activities and engagements to not only have the students mastery the academic subjects but also work upon the socio-emotional learning (SEL). The students are encouraged to be kind and caring to not only living things but also mindful of the struggle of limited resources. They develop a sense of open-mindedness and are empathetic towards different perspectives. They learn in the regular curriculum to be balanced in their choices and reflect to improve and apply their learning in the real world.
The learning at Prometheus encourages all students to showcase and further develop their strengths pacing ahead at their comfort levels. The teachers encourage students to inquire and devise their learning strategies. The learning is focused on conceptual understanding rather than the content. Students are encouraged to analyse, compare, justify and reason rather than rote learning of definitions, diagrams and names. For example, students would inquire to understand the interdependence of living things rather than defining and remembering the features of habitat, they would explore the impact of different role models rather than learning just the biographies of famous personalities.
Learning is effective when brought into action. Therefore, the students are encouraged to apply learning not just through projects and models but to participate, advocate, change lifestyles, be entrepreneurs and bring about social justice. So, students create newer solutions to existing problems like climate change, contribute, advocate and spread messages of diminishing resources like water and also make good choices of oneness and spreading humanity.
Each student at Prometheus grows to maintain the uniqueness of their own and establish their own identity. Learning at Prometheus is not about a race of marks or being cast in a stereotypical manner. Students excel and pursue fields of their interests. Be it in sports, drama, mathematics, IT or art; all of them taste success and grow holistically into humans of the world. All of this is not just in philosophy but in practice as all of this is a part of our curriculum; a part of learning at Prometheus. Nothing can be believed until you experience it; come have a visit to our school as each member of the Prometheus community welcomes you.
– The article is authored by Mukesh Sharma, Chairman, Prometheus School
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors’ and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.