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Facilitation and learning at Thicket Tales

Children have an outdoor session
Outdoor sessions for children is a key part of Thicket Tales Modules

When I looked up the etymology of Pedagogy, this is what turned up:

“The word comes from the Greek pedo for "child" and agogos for "leader." A pedagogue leads people by teaching.”

If that’s the case, are we good teachers, if we’re not leading the children to think?

Simply put, Pedagogy refers to the method and practices of a teacher. It’s about how you teach, and to a good degree what you teach as well. Some of the factors affecting it include the subject, ability of the teacher, approach and teaching philosophy of the institution, goal of the institution, ability of children, and age group of children.

There are multiplemultiple pedagogies. Thicket Tales majorly employs Constructivism.

Here are some of the key points regarding our approach to facilitation.

·       The core of our teaching philosophy is to not give information, but place questions in a strategic manner so that the child arrives at the answer themselves. There is of course space for other related, and unplanned questions! It is often wonderful to see how much children already know and their ability to connect the dots with previously existing information. That’s the idea with which we step into the session.

·       Our sessions are not necessarily in classrooms itself. One of the key aspects of Thicket Tales’ programs is that it is centered around nature. The benefits of being around nature are plenty, but nature is also a wonderful teacher to learn from. This doesn’t mean you always need nature to learn about nature, that takes us to our next point.

·       As much as we think children should spend sufficient time outdoors, and should not be obsessed with social media, we believe in leveraging technology to enhance the aiding process. Some of our episodes facilitate learning through various wonderful, subject-specific applications and web portals.

·       Children are great thinkers too, in their own capacity. Also, their thought process is not as clouded as that of the adults, owing to their relatively fewer years of living. We give space for this thought process of theirs. Sometimes, there are right and wrong answers, but that doesn’t mean there is no space for wrong answers and no space for improvement.

·        Relevance: “Why am I even learning this? What’s the use?” is a question many students wonder over a major portion of their academics. But Thicket Tales’s curriculum is made relevant to them by hyper-localising the concepts and enabling the child to connect the dots to their life, to make it relatable to them.

·       In all of our sessions, children are divided into groups to enhance their social skills and empower them to work in groups and learn from each other.

·       Gamified: We inculcate games into our modules so that children learn the concepts through games, and thereby the learning process becomes fun.

·       Experiments and experiences: All our sessions are activity-based to make it engaging for the learner, and we focus on the experience the child has when they are learning so that they do not view it as something dull and boring.

So, when it comes to the concept of Piaget’s schemas, what we do is let the child decide what they want to add, and lead the child to the possible answer on their own. We give minimal information and extract maximum understanding.

Of course, this approach might not be suited for all topics, subjects, and all levels of education. However, it leads the student to see why learning is important, how what they learn is connected to them, and most importantly, enjoy the learning process. Once they’ve done that, they will have the desire to learn, they will understand why it’s important to learn. Then, it’s up to them how to take it forward.


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