Participatory Learning

Teaching-learning has now been reconceptualized over the last few decades to recognize the socio-cultural applicability of knowledge in the broader context. Learning is now perceived not only as a passive activity with knowledge transmitted from the teacher to the learner, but also with the learners actively constructing knowledge and solving problems individually or collaboratively. During the pandemic, the online based communication among students and teachers has escalated the need of students’ active participation into the teaching-learning procedure. This kind of learning procedure is also known as Experiential Learning (EXL). The concept was first explored by John Dewey and Jean Piaget. It is the process through experience, and is more specifically defined as "through reflection on doing". It is popularly known as hands-on kills, knowledge, and experience which are acquired outside of the traditional academic classroom setting.

 

 

Context:
Experiential Learning (EXL) and Participatory Learning are initiated with the concept of 360 degree development, completeness and competency of the students in emerging global scenario. The concept of success in life is based on ability to correspond positively and get well along with others which is possible through experiential learning. Undoubtedly, EXL is an important aspect of a successful career. To be effective, one needs to understand what to learn, when to learn and how to implement it so as to get hands on experience. Dr. MeghnadSaha College is conscientiously moving ahead with an effort in inculcating experiential learning through numerous activities that provide platform to the students to showcase their talents and make them noticeable at every shade of diverse persona of student fraternity. Besides this, the COVID 19 pandemic has also necessitated the reformulation of teaching-learning mechanism to incorporate the participatory learning and co-curricular activities.

 

 

Practice:
In pursuance of transforming the students and making them ready for participatory learning, Dr. MeghnadSaha College adapts the strategy of fusion of co-curricular, academic and extra- curricular activities. This kind of learning process helps in achievement of program specific outcome, along with course outcomes through well-thought activities, which make students to bring in positive changes and explore the excellence within them. Dr. MeghnadSaha College organizes following events as parts of participatory learning process:

 

  • Annual Departmental Exhibition: The College organizes Annual Departmental Exhibition as a part of experiential learning. Each department is provided with financial assistance by the college authority to organize this departmental exhibition which is often theme based and student oriented. The students make models, posters and diagrams to elaborate their knowledge on the selected themes. Eminent judges come to evaluate the quality of the each departmental exhibition and the best exhibition was given prize. This annual exhibition has been organized from the very beginning of the college. It has been very useful for the overall development of the students in the following ways:

 

  • The exhibition gives the students an opportunity to use their theoretical knowledge into applied platform.

 

  • Students participate in this exhibition not as an individual, but as a team. Hence, this kind of co-curricular engagement develops the spirit of teamwork among the students.

 

  • The exhibition also helps in the grooming of the students. They have to represent their exhibition to the judges. The judges ask various kinds of questions regarding their models and posters. The whole practice develops the self-presentation of the students in the public arena.

 

  • As the Annual Exhibition remains open for public visit for three days, villagers, students and faculties from other schools and colleges and people from various sections of life come to visit this exhibition. This provides an opportunity for the students of our college to socialize with different sections of the society and to present their works to the general public.

 

  • Our Annual Exhibition is also very popular among the surrounding school students who will be the future pupils of our college. It eventually ignites the aspiration of the future students to perform better than their predecessors.

 

  • It also succeeds in bringing out the creativity of our students. While decorating the exhibition camp and making posters and models, the imagination of the students flies high and achieves new heights.

 

  • Study Tour: Students are regularly taken to Study Tours by the Departments of History and Geography. They are accompanied by the faculties of the college who assist them to gain applied knowledge through these tours.

 

Evidence of Success:
Our college is known for transforming and empowering students who come from diverse backgrounds and mostly from underprivileged sections. This participatory learning practice has become the preeminent practice of the institute, imbibing behavioral competency and encouraging students to work in a spirit of unity and camaraderie at both institute and professional level.  It also helps to facilitate self-growth, self-worth and actualization of potential of the students through myriad ways of empowerment and competence building. The evidence of success is visible, qualitatively as well as quantitatively. The results bring some prominent factors to light. The students when shown the right direction and given the right encouragement can achieve the goals they desire. Annual Departmental Exhibition not only gives the students a platform to showcase their best talents , but it also gives them space to apply their classroom knowledge in a more creative way. The Study Tours bring them outside the classroom and offer them the first-hand knowledge in the natural background. Annual exhibitions and study tours also nurture the spirit of teamwork among students which will be necessary in their future professional life. Holistic development rather than only academic success contributes in creating socially sensitive individuals which is a prominent requirement of educational institute.

 

 

Problem Encountered and resource required:
As Dr.MeghnadSaha College is located in a rural area, the non-availability of adequate materials and technical assistance is one of the major problems encountered in the participatory teaching learning process. Most of the students of our college belong to the underprivileged sections of life. So social backwardness often becomes obstacle in the path of the fulfilment of their dreams. Besides this, they find it difficult to acquire financial resources to nurture their creative talents. In fact, resources in terms of finance are continuously required to upgrade technology requirements to develop the participatory teaching learning process. The locational disadvantage also contributes in the lack of proper digital exposure of the students as we know that updated digital facilities are becoming part and parcel of the modern participatory learning process.