seven years old – not a child any longer!
While we were walking together for the morning assembly on the 13th April, morning when I mentioned to one of our students that it was an interesting one. She shared that the page number of the notebook on which she took down notes this morning bore the number 13 too! We talked about how we generally consider the number 13 to be inauspicious and maybe even ominous. We decided to check the truth of blind beliefs by experiencing the day that awaited us! We hope it will help us dispel blind beliefs even further. This interaction provides a glimpse of the scope and nature of the educational intent of our seven-year-old school.
In the pre-technology days, we explored and learnt about the capacities intrinsic in us. A deeply interactive relationship with the surroundings makes us interdependently alive with the environment.
Obviously to gain scientific knowledge the curious and persistent investigators from ancient times have relied on obtaining and analyzing dependable and verifiable data. Investigators who could remain skeptical through their study went farther into developing a closer picture of reality. Such students built inherent mechanisms to check and verify the observations and data collected. Those who did not follow this scientific method of enquiry had developed inherent limitations in their processes and that set limits to their work.
Scientific method of understanding an issue or problem, collecting data to study it and analyzing it systematically seems to be an important part of learning. Hence it becomes imperative for an educational institution to focus upon it. But how does one do it? There must be several strategies and approaches one could try. Some of them have been tried by teachers and educators over the last many years.
A few of the methods tried in schools to develop a clearer conceptual understanding which could eventually lead to the dawn of the more comprehensive scientific thinking are conducting experiments and recording the data, analyzing it and inferring from it. The method of making working models and illustrative projects for the concepts is another effective method. These objects and illustrative examples could then be displayed with the children explaining the underlying concepts to the visitors! This enables the student to develop a better understanding so that he or she could explain and clarify any questions that may be asked of him.
The exhibition being organized at our Orchid International is a modest attempt to provide a scintillating opportunity for our students to explore and learn some of the basic concepts of mathematics and sciences through the hands-on, fun method! The items made by them and presented have provided the students with a tactile sensation of the underlying principles. It is needless to say that our teachers and students have worked with diligence and passion to understand and learn the processes. The exhibits are a mere manifestation of the quest.
This exhibition is a unique example of how an individual visionary and dreamer can work with an institution to make a dream come true. Sri Satish Bhide, our friend, philosopher, guide and collaborator in this endeavor has seen through all the odds while working in an alien place for him. He was guided by his single minded devotion to what he wants to do-enable children to learn about the principles behind this marvelous universe and its mechanisms!