Learning Principles

Learning Principles - Complete study material and syllabus

What is Meaningful Learning?

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In order to know what of learning is meaningful, let us discuss about the meaning of the term ‘learning’. It has been defined by the different psychologists in various ways. Some have defined it in terms of the changes or modifications brought out in the behaviour and the other have understood it in terms of some development. R. S. Wordworth has presented a beautiful coordination of these views by giving the following definition:
“An activity may be called learning in so far as it develops the individual in any way good or bad and makes his environmental and experiences different from what it would otherwise have been.”
This definition emphasizes that a child get developed and his experiences are enriched through learning. This means that there are some define changes brought about in his behaviour and realm of experience. The change in development may result in good or bad depending upon the circumstances and hence development may follow positive or negative direction. Learning, therefore, may not be termed as a useful activity in all situation. A child may also pick up meaningless knowledge, undesirable skills and habits, unsocial or criminal attitude and interest through some learning. In this way what is being learnt by children need screening. Children need positive development through useful of meaningful learning. The learning which is helpful in developing the innate powers and abilities of children in a right direction and makes them a useful member of the society may be termed as meaningful learning.

Principles of Meaningful Learning

There are many principles of meaningful learning in general and in mathematics in particular which are being discussed here:

  • Interest and Attention: In order to make learning in the subject meaningful, it is necessary that the students are motivated before they are made to learn anything. A strong interest should be aroused and wholehearted attention to the extent of concentration should be secured.
  • Definite Aim: The aim and objective of every topic, sub-topic or lesson should be made definite and clear before them.
  • Principle of Utility: The aim of every topic or sub-topic can be made more definite it its utility in child’s present or future life is thoroughly explained. It they come to realize in the very beginning that the material to be learnt will find wide applications, then their learning will be need-based and hence meaningful.
  • Importance of Learning Activities: The learning activity should look important, significant, relevant, life-oriented, and stimulating to the learners. This will further ensure meaningful learning among them.
  • Motivation: The interest as principle has been stressed earlier. Motivation is the basic activity for creating interest, Various means such as aids, relationship, historical references, anecdotes, possible applications, games can be adopted to provide motivation.
  • Proper Attitude: There are attitude like heuristic and problem-solving which are basic to meaningful learning. When such attitudes are developed from the very beginning the students enjoy learning environmental studies. To them environmental studies would never appear dull or dreary.
  • Proper Methods: All other principles of meaningful learning will be defeated if the teacher fails to adopt befitting methods of teaching and the students on their part fail to adopt suitable methods of learning. It is obvious that methods like heuristic, analytic, induction and problem-solving are commended to the teacher, and those like self-effort, understanding, intelligent practice, and problem-solving are recommended approaches for the learner.
  • Correlation: When correlation of mathematical knowledge with life, of the licences, and activities is stressed, the learner can appreciate the meaningfulness of his learning.
  • Proper use of mental faculties: It pays to exercise the thinking and reasoning powers of the learns as against the cramming, memorization and retention abilities. The learning becomes meaningful it is saved from mechanical process and blind cramming.
  • Laws of Exercise: In the learning of environmental studies there is need for regular and persistent practice. The student should never lose patience, hope and self-confidence. Thus this learning will become meaningful and fruitful for him.

Discussion Method

The desirable of securing the face and natural participation of students in classroom work has long been recognized. It may be defined; is the cooperative deliberation of the problem by personal thinking and conversing together in face to face or co-acting groups under the direction of the leader. A planned and prepared discussion involves study and preparation. It involves selecting and organizing materials. It also involves the very social art of exchanging ideas with others. It often results in pooling opinions and joint action. Discussion may be informal, or they may assume some such from as a debate, a symposium a panel, or a round table conference.
In the words of Yoakman and Simpson, “It is special form of conversation. It is an exchange of ideas of more reasoned and detailed kind than that found in ordinary conversation.”
According to James M. Lee – “ It is an educational group activity in which the teacher and the students talk over some problem or topic.”
In the words of Yoakman and Simpson, “A discussion technique is one where in ‘children are discussing, questioning, reporting, planning, working in natural ways. The teacher is a guide, counselor, advisor, contributor, and director in the best sense of the work trying to get children discover things by themselves rather to have them nervily by listening to them.”
Thus discussion is a two way process keeping the student as an active member of the teaching learning process.
In order to secure the values of a good discussion the teacher and student representatives should be considered planning.

The whole process may be divided into three steps.

  • Preparation
  • Discussion and
  • Evaluation

Preparation for a discussion
In terms of preparing specifically for a group discussion the following suggestions involving these skills should be helpful.

  • Have already in mind the topic for discussion and search for pertinent information.
  • Find the utilization of the best sources as encyclopedias, yearbooks, and specialized studies.
  • Utilize pamphlet, magazines, and newspapers.
  • Read purposively, critically, objectively, discriminatingly, appreciately, receptively, and constructively.
  • Utilize the material to prepare an outline, a summary, or a written report.
  • Prepare with the thought of presentation.
  • Prepare conscientiously.

Conducting the discussion
A good discussion is one in which the participants are able to communicate easily, freely, and purposively. Among the key stages through which it moves are:

(a) Orientation: It is concerned with the creation of a proper climate for group discussion. The teacher should follow these suggestions:

  • Prepare the classroom for the discussion.
  • See that needed materials is available.
  • Provide for varied procedures.
  • Make such that each participant will assume his share of the discussion.
  • Make and maintain a time schedule.
  • Announce the details of the procedure.
  • f recording equipment is used, be sure that it has been tested and adjusted.

(b) Analysis: It is concerned with setting the boundaries for the discussion. The teacher should keep in mind the following suggestion:

  • State the problem as preciasely as possible.
  • Determine what questions need to be answered.
  • Make sure that the meaning of special terms of phrases is known to all.
  • Try to get agreement on the criteria that will be used for testing suggestion solutions.

(c) Elaboration: It is the main part of the discussion. It involves the skillful use of factual information and informed opinions that are relevant to the problem. Each participant should observe the following:

  • Do you share?
  • Heat what the other person says.
  • Speak clearly and coherent.
  • Speak with modesty.
  • Admit that you have not exhausted the topic.
  • Respect other people’s contribution.
  • Try to inform rather than convince others.
  • Be clear; if possible present a map, a diagram, a picture to clarify your point.
  • Simplify your vocabulary.
  • Be deferential.
  • Avoid being forcedly humorous.
  • Be good-natured.
  • Ask sincere questions.
  • Encourage sincere question and comments.

(d) Summary: It may be made either by the teacher, moderator, or recorder. The following suggestions should apply.

  • Indicate general trends and major emphasis that developed during the discussion.
  • Point out opposite or divergent point of view.
  • State major generalizations.
  • Mention the conclusions reached.

Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation

CCE refers to a system of school based evaluation of student that corers all aspect of students development. It is a development process of assessment of broad based learning and behaviourial out come. It is a total teaching learning process and spread over the entire span of academic session. It means the regularity of assessment, frequency of unit testing, diagnosis of learning gaps, used of corrective measures retesting and feed back to evidence to teacher and students for their evaluation.
Second term comprehensive mean that the scheme attempts to covers both the scholastic and the cholecystic aspect of student growth and development. CCE therefore a parading shift in evaluation, shifting the focus from testing to holistic learning. It aims to create good citizens possessing sound health, appropriate skills and desirable qualities besides academic excellence.

Components of CCE

Various tools and techniques such as observation of pupil behaviour in different situations, checklists, inventories, rating scales, records of interest, initiative, and creativity etc. may be used for evaluation in non-academic areas. Cumulative records will show growth charts of the children. The evaluation attempted on these lines will also be more revealing and are of better use for children, parents and teachers.

Various components of comprehensive an continuous evaluation may be as follows:

  • Quizes: Scheduled or unscheduled.
  • Assignments: Class assignments and home assignments.
  • Written and oral test: Objective, short answer, essay type, problem-solving.
    Practical/Field/Laboratory/Project work.
    Term paper/Dissertation/Thesis/Survey reports.
    Tutorial group activities/Seminar/group discussion.
  • Weightage to attendance: Distribution of marks on the basis of presence/absence.

Advantages of Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluations

CCE based on the assumption that the abilities and capacities of children are evaluated continuously at every stage.
It develops the habit of library consolations.
It develops the habit of self study as well as regular study.
It helps to develop confidence in the child.
It provides the opportunity for mutual consolation.
It also helps to develop the habit of advanced preparation of the lesson/topic.
With the remedial programs and projects the foundation of concrete and constructive teaching-learning may be laid down.
CCE incorporates both cognitive and non-cognitive aspect of the child’s personality.
It eliminates the exclusive element of change and subjectivity.
It provides periodical feedback to the child and teacher both.
It provides valuable data about the strengths and weaknesses of the children-regularly.
It provides opportunities for teachers and children to make suitable change in their efforts.
It provides opportunities of remedial teaching and enriched instructions.
It develops all the aspects of child’s growth for his/her optimal potential.
It also helps teachers to continuously and comprehensively update their judgements in respect of the progress of the children in all the three domains of behaviour.
CCE motivates both the teachers and children to improve teaching and learning process.
CCE fosters individual abilities of the children.
Seminars, group discussion, tutorials etc.., lead to a matter of interaction between the teacher and pupil and also between students and student. It helps to remove the weakness or deficiencies in teaching learning process.

Limitations of Comprehensive and Continuous Evaluation

The CCE may work only when there is happy and healthy teacher-taught relationship.
Some teachers and examiners threaten their students and make then insecure as well as mutinous.
It is not possible for a teacher to do CCE washout knowing his students and the background.
Favoritism, biases and prejudices of teacher can make the CCE subjective rather than objective.
The CCE may not be successful in a crowded class-room.
It is more laborious and time consuming.
This can be done by a true and devoted teacher.
The observations and judgements of teacher may be free from favorites, prejudices and partially. i.e., Teacher may fail to maintain objectivity in their role.
If teacher fail to demonstrate integrity, sense of impartiality and resistance to pressures, CCE may become a mockery.

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