Mathematics and Science are often perceived as difficult subjects. It is generally believed that premier institutions like IITs, NITs, IIScs, BITs, IISERs and the like, only admit geniuses into their institutions. Are these assumptions true? Is it possible that an alternative approach towards teaching and learning can change these circumstances? Instead of a textbook-based, exam-based approach, would an inquiry-based, self-learning approach change outcomes?
It is precisely these questions that the teams at Centre for Advanced Learning (CFAL), Early Learning Centre (ELC Kindergarten) and the newly established The Learning Centre (TLC PU College) in Mangaluru, have been trying to answer. A step towards this was ‘The Learning Centre Day’ that was recently organised at their campus in Bejai-Kapikad.
The event saw the attendance of Mr. Sasikanth Senthil, IAS, the Deputy Commissioner of Mangaluru. The learning carnival featured numerous activities such as tinkering labs, robotics and building electric circuits, which created various avenues to build interest and a strong foundation in mathematics, sciences, GMAT and other subjects that required logical reasoning. Contests based on the Rubik’s Cube, sudoku, mad ads, science kit assembling, stroop test and simulation provided one-of-a-kind experiences to participants. The event also included demonstrations of a telescope, a mini-observatory, and makerspace. Talks on career guidance, teacher training, storytelling, and an amazing session on stand-up paddling by Tanvi Jagadish, India’s first professional woman stand-up paddler, enriched one’s experience at the carnival. To top it all, Mr. Senthil felicitated CFAL student Prathyush Poduval for his outstanding accomplishment of securing a silver medal for India in the International Astronomy and Astrophysics Olympiad.
Image: Participants at Makerspace during the carnival
Image: The mini observatory at the campus
Image: Mr. Sasikanth Senthil, IAS, the Deputy Commissioner of Mangaluru, felicitating CFAL student Prathyush Poduval
Besides this, the children of ELC Kindergarten celebrated Grandparents’ Day and Christmas Carnival with lots of stories, games, stalls, pottery, food and fun. There were stalls by women entrepreneurs and local businesses. The students and alumni of NITK, Surathkal were also seen volunteering at various counters. Grandparents were requested to record their favorite stories and were felicitated by the Deputy Commissioner.
Image: Tiny tots at work during the carnival
This carnival certainly was a huge step towards revolutionising the process of learning in the region. But it wasn’t the first. This group of institutions has been working towards changing the paradigms of learning in the region for quite some time. It has been breaking record after record in some of the most difficult examinations in the country, including Olympiads, NTSEs, KVPYs, JEEs and the like. Wondering how these extraordinary results, that have never been seen in the region before, are being achieved?
The institution believes that, “Good results are mostly byproducts of strong foundational understanding of a subject. Grades achieved by merely memorising a textbook and solving older question papers is not an indicator of such an understanding. Deep understanding happens when a subject is studied through observation, analysis, questioning, figuring out answers through hands-on work, tinkering, creating, working with patterns, drawing inferences, peer discussions and self-learning. An environment where enquiry and exploration are made possible is where learning happens most effectively. Time and again, research studies too have shown that children learn the most when they figure things out themselves instead of being told what to do.” We couldn’t agree more.