OELP began as an exploratory search driven by our belief that a meaningful school experience can play a major role in transforming the lives of young children and is in fact the inalienable right of every child. We wanted to look for ways in which the experience of schooling can be made more meaningful, especially for children who come from homes in which they do not have support for school based learning. Our earlier experiences with schools, in various capacities, had generated a serious concern that schooling was in fact not translating into learning for many children that we had encountered inside classrooms in different locations of our country. This fact of non learning inside classrooms was supported by recently available documentation and large-scale studies. We therefore decided to engage with children and teachers inside classroom to seek answers to some questions.
Some questions that have propelled us:
- 1 ) How can children’s’ natural ways of learning be supported inside classrooms in ways that are doable on a large scale?
- 2 ) How can classroom learning environments and teacher agency be enhanced to facilitate meaningful and purposeful learning in ways that honour learner diversity?
- 3 ) What are the connections between ways of reading and writing and ways of talking, thinking, interacting, valuing, and being in the world? How can these connections be enhanced to build strong foundations for meaningful learning inside early grade classrooms?
- 4 ) What are the notions of success that exist inside classrooms?
- 5 ) How can purposeful and meaningful learning be made achievable for each child?
Our journey began in 2006, in a few Municipal Corporation (MCD) schools located in a semi-urban area on the outskirts of South West Delhi. Most chi