What are the Key Characteristics of Participative Learning Reflected in Mirambika?

Key Characteristics of Participatory Learning in Mirambika: The broad features of participatory learning are:

1. Well Defined Objectives:

Participatory learning requires setting, clarifying objectives with the students, since the aim of learning is to identify and respond to the needs and interests of children.

2. Access to a Continuum of Learning Opportunities:

Participatory learning makes learning accessible and offers open participation, unbounded progression, through different stages of achievement. The focus of activity is on wider, long term goals and also the immediate objectives of that particular activity. Learning begins at a place which participants can understand, relate to and get involved in. Success lies in offering opportunities to each individual so that transitions are understood and supported ensuring progress towards more complex or difficult tasks leading to deeper levels of trust and responsibility. All these together generate motivation in the students as they are active participants in the teaching-learning process.

3. Experiencing Real Responsibility:

Work and responsibility are distributed among all participants rather than retained by leaders of organisers. Decision ­making is to be shared as far as possible among participants. Opportunities for leadership are planned so as to equip children to take up responsibility i.e. not to prescribe rules and impose decisions to encourage reflection and critical discussion to provide appropriate guidance when sought. These together help in developing capacity to govern themselves.

4. Collaboration beyond the School and Peer Group:

This calls for connecting resources by placing the learner in the centre and not providing pre-defined materials to provide the correct answer. This helps in transfer of knowledge to contexts beyond the classroom. This encourages the children to consider their actions in relation to people and factors beyond the parameters of education. It also helps to make use of various resources like library, parents, field-visits etc. Thus, the teacher is not the only source of information.

5. Outcomes of Achievement:

The outcomes of achievement are more qualitative in nature than quantitative. Such learning helps students to learn how to perform a particular kind of task, to improve one’s performance record in a particular field like attendance, motivation, responsibility etc. This provides the learner an improved understanding of the world or work and provides insight ways in which democratic decisions are made. It helps to develop norms of trust, honesty and reciprocity. All these are sustained by successful collaboration of the sharing of experience.

6. Regular Review and Evaluation:

Assessment is built in the learning activities and is not summative assessment. Regular review and progress of objectives is carried by the team members and not by an external assessor or teacher. Emphasis is on learners drawing their conclusions (reflective) with the help of team members. Different perceptions help in rethinking, reorganising and developing plans for the next stage.

7. Connecting to Other Areas of Learning:

Commitment to the objectives/ goals is not by control, compulsion, certificates or rewards but is voluntary and is stimulated by activities inherently enjoyable and interesting to the children. This leads to motivation for learning. Also it encourages development of habits and underlying capacities such as resourcefulness, searching skills, independence etc. which support more formal educational attainment.