Rajasthan Field Trials: The Learning Process (5-6 May 2016)
This May, the CLIx English Team visited sizzling (38℃) Rajasthan for two days, only to be surprised by cooling showers that brought the temperature plummeting (23℃). No less surprising were the students – at the Gokulpura and Charan Nadi Govt High Schools – with whom we conducted lesson trials.
Much has been said about the low National Achievement Scores this state’s students procure. We were prepared for a tough time, coping with low performance standards. However, we came away reflecting more deeply on how “achievement” needs to be understood.
Imagine not knowing how to use computers at all, how to manoeuvre a mouse or recognise alphabetical order (disorder, rather) on a keyboard or how to absorb what is happening on a computer screen while also having to keep up with the instruments that allow you to negotiate through the user interface. Imagine learning to do all this in just 20 minutes.
Then, just as you are getting comfortable using this new medium, being able to move the mouse so that the pointer on the screen lands exactly where you want, imagine a breakdown in the system that leaves everything “hanging”, as that nefarious old Windows Nemesis, the virus, silently plots to undo all you’ve done. Imagine, then, having to get familiar with using the mouse on a laptop, instead; to shrink your vision from a 21” desktop screen to a 13” one. All within the next 20 minutes, as you listen, record, replay, and share.
This is what the learners in one school did, and cheerfully at that. They could hardly have built a stronger argument for how and why constructionism works, and how the learning process, itself, may sometimes constitute a more valuable achievement than its immediate outcome.