A concept called LEAP
If implemented, it can make the difference
EDUCATION - IRFANA CHESTI
“Do not train boys to learning by force and harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each”. These words of Plato seem to form the foundation of LEAP, a new concept in teaching-learning process. The elementary teachers orientation programmes conducted this winter were almost revolving round the same concept. While keeping in view the different dimensions of child psychology, LEAP, an activity based teaching-learning process, has made some valuable and very effective suggestions to make teaching – learning process more interesting and joyful. The key elements of LEAP are: ‘Learner’s desire’; Encouraging environment’; ‘Application’; and ‘Processing’. Similarly four key elements of Active Pedagogy in the LEAP programme are: 1. Learning corners, 2. Exploration, 3. Assessment that is child friendly and continuous, 4. Participation by children in decision making and classroom management.
Each child is actively engaged in learning activities at his own pace through hands on exploration, questioning and thinking. Teachers act as facilitators for collective learning rather than knowledge transmitters. Under LEAP, assessment of learning is child-friendly, stress-free and continuously integrated with the teaching learning process. Assessment is also done to improve teaching-learning process. LEAP believes that mistakes committed by students are a necessary part of learning process. Students must have confidence to try and make mistakes. By discouraging them merely for committing mistakes is like preventing them to make attempts which ultimately affect the pace of their learning.
What the LEAP demands from the teachers is a sort of attitudinal change in their behavior that cannot be imposed by the system from the top; but the desire and vision for change must come from teachers themselves on a missionary basis. A teacher must have a friendly approach towards what he teaches and should ensure individual attention to each student. A teacher should not act as dictator but as facilitator, friend and guide. Most importantly, a teacher must ensure the arousal of interest among students, as to waken interest and kindle enthusiasm is the sure way to teach easily and successfully. Teaching is a delightful task, to rear the tender thought, to teach the young idea how to shoot, to pour fresh instruction over the mind, to breathe the enlivening spirit and to fix the generous purpose in the glowing heart. Our teachers possess the talent and capability to deliver the way time and system demands provided they are given exposure in the form of capacity – building programmes, seminars and workshops. A teacher has to be a student all his life, should update himself with the latest techniques and strategies to make his teaching a success. He should be able to stimulate the minds of the students and awake in them an abiding interest towards studies.
So as a teacher if you wish to implement LEAP in your classroom, you need to implement the core components of LEAP:
1. Localized School Planning
2. Empowerment of Teachers
3. Active Pedagogy and
4. Partnership with Community.
LEAP calls for empowering teachers as they are the basic agents and architects of desired change. We must empower teachers to think, reflect and they themselves take ownership over their teaching process. ‘Children generally hate to be idle - all the care then should be, that their busy humour should be constantly employed’. In light of these words by ‘Locke’, LEAP believes that knowledge is dynamic and evolving – learning means discovering and building to create new knowledge through doing, discussing and thinking. Memorization is an old concept and now we need to focus on ‘thinking’. Regarding failure of the children, LEAP says children fail because they are afraid, bored and confused. They are afraid, above all of failing, of disappointing the anxious adults around whose limitless hopes and expectations hangover their heads like a cloud. It is a crime, even a kind of murder, psychological and moral murder if a student fails. A failure can mean a lifelong crippling, psychological derangement for a child. How many murders are committed in cold blood by those teachers who don’t know much about child psychology and the right strategies and methodology of teaching? Children feel bored because the things they are given to do in schools are so trivial, so dull and make such limited demands on the wide spectrum of their intelligence, capabilities and talents. They are confused because the most of the torrent that pours over them makes little or no sense.
Manken opines, “A teacher is not one who knows the most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and the wonderful which slips into the infantile comprehension.” Teachers are only catalysts so we have to be kind in igniting the fire that is inside. Teacher is only a spark. Each child has their own unique gifts and talents and has creativity and potential. LEAP rejects the concept that students are born with a fixed level of intelligence. With regard to attention to children LEAP says that every child is created in God’s image, with equal value and worth in God’s eyes – and must be nurtured like one’s own child. It rejects the traditional concept that teachers dominate and fully decide the content and pace of learning. It says children must be treated with respect and dignity. They can be independent learners, can make decisions about own learning. Regarding teacher-student relationship LEAP says that teachers are also learners, learning from and with their students. Regarding the purpose of education, LEAP believes that character development, value formation, imparting knowledge and life skills, transformation, help them attain their unique God-given potential, nurture them to pursue their own dreams.
(Irfana Chesti teaches at Govt. Boys Middle School, Alustaing, Ganderbal. Feedback at: email@example.com)
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Mar 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 17 Mar 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 18 Mar 2010 00:00:00 IST
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