Applying Playful learning beyond classrooms

Shreeram Shrestha (Shikharapur Community School)

Building confidence and new innovation from PEBL lessons

The students at our school have developed newfound confidence and positive attitude towards experience based learning. This was evident when they represented our school in the municipality level and inter-municipalities of Kathmandu district Science Exhibition. Using the learnings of PEBL lessons, the students prepared a project for a wind-powered Water pump. The students were over the moon when they were awarded first prize among 26 schools within the municipality. We were even selected for the district level competition securing third position.

Adding meaning to PLAY

I have been experimenting with allowing students to play freely and figure out the activities on their own during PEBL classes. I have realized that free play allows students to use their creativity and come up with diverse solutions rather than constraining them in a guided or specific structure. I however, do give students real-life examples such as for Scribble Bot, I gave the example of acrylic paintings and scribble art that is gaining popularity in the contemporary world. The activity created high curiosity among students. The students were initially doubtful if the bot would work but I encouraged them to iterate and improve on it. We arranged for them to present their model in front of the whole school and seeing it work they were overjoyed and it built their self-morale.

Getting the entire school on board on Learning through Play

The presentation of PEBL lessons by students had the whole school buzzing with anticipation and excitement for PEBL activities. The students kept asking me and other teachers anxiously about when the next lessons would take place. We had scheduled PEBL classes in a way that their regular classes were not hampered, but surprisingly the students were willing to give up their free classes. Seeing such positive response towards the program, the school management also are onboard with the plan to include more PEBL classes for other grades as well. The other teachers who are not directly involved in delivering the PEBl lessons also come and sit in PEBL classes and observe what the students are up to.

Traditional teaching Vs What 21st Century learners needs

The teaching pedagogy in Nepal is very teacher-centric. Student centered programs such as PEBL makes students more active, curious, participatory, engaged and innovative. It sets an example that each student has the potential and if they get the chance they can present their creativity in a unique way and this is the most remarkable experience we have faced while going on the PEBL activities.

“Learning is more effective when its fun”

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