Participatory learning

Participatory learning

There was a time when teachers engaged in monologue in classrooms, and class tests and assignments only induced worries in the minds of students, but not any more.

 We now live in the era of Information technology where knowledge is available to everyone at the click of a mouse. 

Hence, students are well aware of current happenings, almost at par with teachers. This has led to a more interactive form of learning which is best known as participatory learning. 

Participatory learning is the new mantra of Indian classrooms. Unlike traditional teaching method where the teacher does all the talking, here, students are now encouraged to put forth their valuable inputs to broaden the horizon of the learning process with their creativity and ideas. 

The teachers are just facilitators, who steer the students through the right direction. Brainstorming sessions, simulation classes, current affairs debates and discussions are a daily part of this form of teaching where students get a heads on experience of what they are learning.

Teachers are now finding new ways to implement this approach in daily classroom activities.

In this type of learning, teachers make sure that  students get a good bird’s eye view of their concerned field of study. 

May it be a mock court session for law students or cooking and presentation session for hotel management students, real time learning is said to interest and capture the attention of the students.

Students are more than happy to help their teacher conduct these interesting activities. They even give suggestions on what activities the teachers should hold. 

Activities pertaining to how employees are hired and fired, communication skills and subject based word-building games seem to be highly popular. 

Students take keen interest in a subject only when they understand its application in the real world. 

For example, for a commerce student, activities like mock interviews or product launches or industrial visits give an idea of how the industry works.

And it’s not just the learning sessions; participatory learning has also been brought into assignments and class tests. Teachers encourage students to take up internships in companies relating to their field of studies in order to gain valuable insights on how the company and the industry as a whole works. 

Analysis of case studies and detailed discussions on current happenings are some of the attempts made in building general knowledge and preparing students for the professional world. 

aThese activities not only build confidence in students, but also helps them develop skills of analysis and critical thinking. Also, it is a fun way to learn.

From working out commerce related crossword puzzles to organizing a real time quit interview, participatory learning is the future of classroom teaching method. 

Both teachers and students have to be proactive throughout the process of learning, slowly equipping them to explore situations and act accordingly. 

This aspect makes it more interesting and future-oriented and is slowly being embraced by our education system.  
(The writer is a professor of Commerce, Christ University, Bangalore)  

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