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Science Poster Method
The problem in learning:
It is hard to disagree with the fact that a constant problem faced by
primary school teachers is the lack of attention span of the children
they are teaching. This lack of attention can be traced to a large extent
to the dry mode of instruction particularly in a country like India,
where the system focuses more on memorizing of concepts rather than
on understanding them. Compounding the problem even further for the
underprivileged children in certain regions of the country is the fact
that in such areas there may be a dearth of teachers or one teacher
may be teaching many subjects. It may also happen that the teacher teaching
science may not be with a good science background. The condition of
the tribal children of Maharashtra illustrates this situation pertinently.
Although the state government has opened Ashramshalas or residential
schools for tribal children, it happens many times that the teacher
is in great need of supportive material which will help him/her give
confidence in science teaching.
As Navnirmiti (NN) holds the Universalisation of primary education as
its topmost priority, to ensure quality education to the tribal children
came up as an imperative in front of the NN team. In 2001 some members
of the NN team met Prof. Paul Webb of the education department of the
University of Port Elisabeth, Johannesburg and were introduced to a
science poster kit developed by Prof. Webb and his team. After having
looked at the kit, the NN team felt that his method can be adapted and
extended for tribal school children of Maharashtra. It was with this
belief that Navnirmiti started its own Science Poster Project.
The Science Poster Project:
The Science Poster Project undertaken by Navnirmiti, aimed to develop
a set of interactive colour posters on the lines of the South African
kit, to cover class 5 syllabus based on the curriculum of the Maharashtra
The attempt in designing the color posters was to transmit a playful
and cheerful mood, enhance curiosity and create interest in science.
The posters which are being developed by Navnirmiti are envisaged to
be full size _____ x ________ posters and will be made in such a way
that there are two parts of the posters, the front and the back. The
front part which faces the class will contain a colour picture and the
back part which faces the teacher will contain a write up in the form
of a set of questions and answers related to the picture. The write
up will serve as a guideline for the teacher to teach the subject. The
questions are ordered in such a way that they follow a deductive flow
and children are guided by the questions to help understand the subject
and arrive at the conclusions by themselves. The answers given on the
rear side help boost teacher’s confidence and will encourage interactive
teaching. We hope that with this teaching aid even a non-qualified teacher
should be able to successfully teach the subject. . In this way the
concepts are not thrust onto children as in the rote or lecture style
of teaching. This kit however does not aim to substitute the textbook
and the children are to use the textbook concurrently with the posters.
This mode of teaching has several advantages over the conventional method:
It involves the children in the process of learning and does not merely
treat them as passive receivers of knowledge. By actively involving
children it overcomes the problem of attention span as it is expected
that children are likely to be a lot more attentive when made an active
part of the learning process.
It is common knowledge that small children, and which includes the children
of the target audience, like colourful pictures and cartoons. Since
many posters are made in a cartoon style it will surely have a positive
influence on increasing the attention span of children.
It provides for a certain minimum standard level of questions, which
can be used by any teacher. Thus it will help to raise standards at
a systemic level.
Relatively untrained teachers can use it with some initial training.
Besides the questions
and answers all posters contain a set of activities to be performed
by the children.
Apart from the advantages
listed above this approach also helps in:
Comprehension of basic concepts of science and their applications in
Enthusing students to acquire experimental skills through carrying out
Inculcating human and egalitarian values in the students.
> Activities > Science
Poster > Method