What is Holistic Education?
Holistic learning, also known as global learning, is a learning style based on the principle that students will learn more effectively when all aspects of a person--mind, body and spirit--are involved in the experience.
[Source: About Holistic Learning].
It is a philosophy of education based on the premise that each person finds identity, meaning, and purpose in life through connections to the community, to the natural world, and to humanitarian values such as compassion and peace.
Islam encourages us to relfect on signs spread around us; signs for those who reflect: Day and night, rain and water, mountains and deserts, our human nature.....
What is Project Based Learning?
There are many schools and educational environments using PBL approach. .
Students develop their own investigations in groups which allows them to develop valuable research skills. The students engage in design, problem solving, decision making, and investigative activities. PBL allows students to work in groups or by themselves and allows them to come up with ideas and realistic solutions or presentations. Students take a problem and apply it to a real life situation with these projects.
Real life problems typically are not limited by boundaries of artificially defined subjects:
For e.g. baking bread requires costing (maths), following the recipe (reading), making a list of required ingredients (writing), procuring the ingredients (interpersonal), planning (intra-personal), kneading the dough (motor skills), fermentation and yeast (biology), measurements and timings (maths), conduction and convection (physics), etc.
Thus, projects give a coverage of a large number of subjects. Furthermore, project based education makes sense because kid knows what is the objective and why some thing is done. Typically in maths, kids are made to work out fractions, but are not often told why. Whereas, during this project the kids would know that if the instruction says one-third cup, then they know what it means. It makes sense.
What are Multiple Intelligences?
Gardner argues that the concept of intelligence as traditionally defined in psychometrics (IQ tests) does not sufficiently describe the wide variety of cognitive abilities humans display. For example, the theory states that a child who learns to multiply easily is not necessarily more intelligent than a child who has stronger skills in another kind of intelligence. The child who takes more time to master simple multiplication 1) may best learn to multiply through a different approach, 2) may excel in a field outside of mathematics, or 3) may even be looking at and understand the multiplication process at a fundamentally deeper level. Such a fundamentally deeper understanding can result in what looks like slowness and can hide a mathematical intelligence potentially higher than that of a child who quickly memorizes the multiplication table despite a less detailed understanding of the process of multiplication.
The theory's eight currently accepted intelligences are: (Ref: Educational Psychology, Robert Slavin. 2009, 117)
What is Problem Based Learning?
Problem-Based Learning (PBL) is a student-centered instructional strategy in which students collaboratively solve problems and reflect on their experiences. Problem Based Learning is often considered to be a subset of Project based learning because a problem to be solved can be considered as a project.
What is Active Learning?
It is an umbrella term that refers to several models of instruction that focus the responsibility of learning on learners. This is as opposed to sitting in front of TV or sitting in a lecture by the teacher which is called passive learning. In active learning, kids involve themselves in activities, projects and problems that make sense. Active learning takes place when a person is trying to compare, contrast and relate the incoming information to solving of a certain problem.
What is Collaborative Learning?
Collaborative Learning is the process of learning that occurs in teams and groups.
How is Assessment done in Project Based Learning
For early learners, a project's artifacts along with the synopsis written by facilitators or by them indicates the extent of their learning. For older learners, project work is accompanied by maintenance of a project folder containing the artifacts of the project with periodic progress markers. Evaluation of these artifacts indicates the extent of learning.
For each project specific learning objectives are defined. Each one of these is assessed by a Performance Assessment Rubric. Rubrics vary according to the complexity and the level of detail to which a particular objective is defined.
This type of assessement is also called authentic assessment.
How would the Learners prepare for Matriculation/Intermediate or O/A level exams
Students of conventional schools often prepare for their matric/inter or O/A level exams through tuitions. The objective of such tuitions is to cram them with facts. However, L2L curriculum of projects based learning concepts is developed in a manner that by the time the student would reach the external examination stage, he would have internalized the concepts through practical projects. The learners would have by that time grown out of their dependency on tutors or external support sources. Their ability of self-learning will enable them to prepare for these exams as students of 30-40 years ago routinely used to prepare, i.e. on their own. This is the whole point of Learn to Learn. We make the learners learn how to learn on their own without external dependency. This is crucial for meeting the challenges of the coming century.
L2L curriculum follows the progression leading to O/A Levels. L2L designs the projects keeping in view the assessment targets of national curriculum for UK for Mathematics, Science and English. For subjects such as Urdu, Islamiat, Social Studies, the assessment targets of Pakistan are used. Meeting of the assessment targets is ensured through Rubrics. This ensures that the students are fully prepared for the Matric and O'Level exams.
How will they learn to read, write and do arithmetic
Reading is developed through the Read Right approach. Writing and arithmetic skills are developed through the use of specifically designed projects. Arithmetic skills are further enhanced using the Aloha curriculum.
Research indicates that it only takes about a 100 hours to transmit reading, writing and arithmetic to a kid in his mother tongue. Double the time to 200 hours if in addition the kid has to learn in another language other than his mother tongue. At L2L our learners are able to master these skills in a couple of years (or much less depending upon the peculiarity of a child) through activity based learning which makes it fun for them to read, write and do arithmetic. Point to Ponder: If it only takes 100 hours to transmit reading, writing and arithmatic, then why even after 12 years of schooling, children neither read newspapers nor profess to have ever read a novel or a book other than their course books. A survey of students entering engineering and business schools indicate that over 85% of the students have not read a single book or poetry during the last few years !!
Will the learners be interested in books and poetry
It is now widely reported that a large percentage of students coming in to universities after 12 years of schooling (and two years of KG) have not read a single book (either in Urdu or English) that is not in their syllabus. Student appreciation of literature, poetry, and arts is surprisingly deficient. At L2L we stimulate their interests through book readings, poetry recitals, exhibition visits, plays, dramas etc. Books, poetry, arts and literature are first enjoyed by seeing and listening to masters performing. Our effort is to teach them to take interest through example and emulation through enjoyable reading, reciting, playing activities. If an activity is fun, interesting and sensible, it is always accompanied by learning. Only when the task is boring, senseless, fragmented and disconnected with reality that the learning is slow, unpredictable and limited. If you want to see this in action, please come and visit one of our sessions.
How is the curriculum structured for different age groups
Typically the conventional syllabi are structured around grade levels, which expects that all students in grade 3 would possess the same competency in English, Maths, Science etc. Similarly, miraculously, when they reach in grade 4 they would again be in lock step and would possess the same level of competency in each of the subjects.
Research indicates that it is not important what is the competency level of a student at each grade level. What is important is their competency level at the end of secondary and intermediate levels that is when the board examinations (or O/A Level examinations) are conducted.
This is borne by the way kids learn. When they get interested in some area, they delve deep and long in to that area till they have explored it thoroughly before moving to another area. They get bored and move to a different area when they find that there is no more challenge and nothing more to explore. The key is to keep them providing more and more stimulation in the area of their liking till they have had enough and want to move to another area for exploration. When we use project based real life activities that defy the strict compartmentalization of subject boundaries, then students develop these skills in areas of multiple intelligence according to the requirement and the challenge of the project. "Multiple Intelligences" activities indicate that we can develop capabilities of any other area through projects which apparently lie in one area. For e.g. a kid's interest in history can be used to develop his intelligences in all the eight areas (maths, spatial, verbal, rhythmic, physical, arts, interpersonal, intra personal). Similarly, another kid's interest in nature could again be used to develop his intelligences in all the eight areas (maths, verbal, rhythmic, arts, spatial, physical, interpersonal, intra personal). Our facilitators guide the selection of activities such that there is well rounded coverage of all the activities.