The New Pallikkutam Pedagogy
The foundation of learning for every child has to be established in pre-school. Pre-school teachers are the most important resource persons in our education system as they have the toughest age group of children to handle. Often at times, the role of pre-school teachers is underestimated. They are the ones who are primarily engaging with humankind’s future generations. This means that they are the most challenged as well. Their biggest duty is to prepare them for the future, today itself. These teachers hence have to be foreseers and visionaries.
The biggest challenge pre-school teachers face is capturing the attention of the young minds at hand, and creatively engaging them in the process of learning, without making them feel that they are taught something. The Covid-19 pandemic has boosted the call for remote learning across the globe. The best innovations and ideas are coming up in this sector. But the fact of the matter remains, that interpersonal teaching cannot be matched with remote learning. This is where the toughest situation for pre-school teachers lies. For the time being, they may have to seek a solution in collaboration with parents. The latest pre-school curriculum of the NCERT (August 2019)gives importance to three aspects of learning for the wholesome development of a child.
They are Play, Exploration, and Communication. It also sets three important goals for pre-school education, which ensures that: 1) Children Maintain Good Health and Well-being, 2) Children are Effective Communicators and 3) Children become Involved Learners and Connect with their Immediate Environment Our team at Rajagiri Media has experimented during this lockdown, with a new pedagogical approach for pre-schoolers and primary school children, that can complement the school’s syllabus as well.It is a pedagogy founded on the ancient educational legacy of India, the Buddhist pedagogy, which at the same time integrates the anticipated requirements of the workspaces of tomorrow.
The workspaces of the future look for people who are creative and innovative, those who can give unique contributions to the society in collaboration with others, with true entrepreneurial spirit. (A more detailed presentation of the pedagogy is available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qLolEEUO9A).
Pallikkutam Playmate is designed to keep preschoolers, aged 3 to 6 in mind (https://www.facebook. com/groups/1230141033822824/) and Pallikkutam Companion is meant for primary school children, starting from 1st standard to 5th(https://www.facebook.com/groups/281269033046965/).
The pedagogy goes through a 5-step process, where the focus is on the process of learning, rather than the knowledge generated by the child or information collected. Here is how the 5-step-process unfolds in the pedagogy, keeping the focus on the Process of Learning or the “How”’ of learning:
Step 1: Creation
The child makes mindful explorations into the reality outside, aided with the five senses, and creates a new piece of information. It is to be noted that the child is encouraged to use their natural instinct of curiosity and explore through their senses to find new knowledge.
Step 2: Celebration
The child expresses new knowledge in diverse and creative ways and thus celebrates the discovery of new knowledge. A new discovery leads the child to have its eureka moment.
Step 3: Challenge
The child uses the new knowledge to expand and enhance one’s own existential horizons, by developing life-skills, values, and attitudes, etc.
Step 4: Collaboration
The child playfully cooperates with others and consolidates one’s knowledge of true synergy with others.
Step 5: Campaign
Child, along with the collaborators, employ the new knowledge for some service meant for the welfare/wellbeing of others.
The unique thing about this pedagogy is that the instructions given to the children are open-ended. For a set of daily learning tasks, there can be as many possible correct answers. The tasks executed by the child are collected by us in the form of photos and videos and then shared on to our social media pages.
Apart from the ideas for the learning tasks, we also provide the latest news and insights according to the theme chosen daily.
• They are based on a modern pedagogy inspired by the pedagogy of the ancient Buddhist Schools (Pallikkutam Pedagogy), which is tuned to the learning needs of the next-generation students.
• They are extremely simplified platforms, which work with the least data load and in this way surpass the much feared digital divide in online education.
• They adopt explorative, playful, and collaborative learning processes and ensure the best learning outcomes.
• Feedbacks are greatly simplified such that teachers could monitor the learning curve of the child on a daily basis and with great ease.
• They could be used either as a tool for insightful homework or as an online substitution of regular classes for pre- and primary students.
So far, the parents and children have loved and appreciated the style of our pedagogical approach. We have been receiving positive feedback from those who have taken part in the learning process. With this New Pallikkutam Pedagogy, we hope to see a radical change in our way of teaching and learning. Learning facts is not what our children need. Rather, they need the opportunity to be able to develop their creativity and explore their individuality.
Rajagiri Media invites passionate pre- and primary school teachers across India to join hands with them to revolutionize the pre-school and primary school education of the nation.