There Are No Facts, Only Interpretations
Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective not truth. Most people realise this when they reach adulthood. Many never even reach this realisation ever. However, in a school in Pakistan, even seven year olds can teach you the value of this notion.
Edopia introduces a child-centred module that is planned around the curiosity of the children. ‘Unit of Inquiry (UOI)’ equips children with the ability to solve problems and develop a firm understanding of concepts. Edopia aspires for the “aha!” moments that lighten up eyes when children finally, truly understand.
Ms. Hajra’s Grade 2 can tell you the meaning of the word ‘perspective’ this week. Through a very creative project children have learned not only how point of views vary from person to person, but also understand that bad and good are not black and white.
To explain the concept of a perspective, Ms. Hajra introduced a demonstration where she placed a large cut out of the number ‘6’ on the floor, and had two children stand on opposites sides of it. To the student standing to the right of the number it seemed to be a ‘6’, whereas to the child on the left it appeared to be a clear ‘9’. Disagreement erupted between the two and soon Ms. Hajra had them change positions to stand in each other’s shoes. Lo and behold, both children instantly changed their answers.
This live demonstration served as an icebreaker to the lesson. Following this, students were shown clips of the “Sleeping Beauty”, a tale they had heard many times and seen a coupe dozen times. Reactions were collected on who the evil witch Maleficent was and what she was like.
Sleeping Beauty VS Maleficent
The students then watched Maleficent, some for the very first time. They got an understanding of the character and the two movies in comparison helped the second graders understand two different perspectives to the same story. They now changed their initial statements and sympathised with Maleficent, a beautiful and kindhearted young girl protecting her kingdom, before she is deceived by Stefan. Some students changed their statements to say that it was in fact Stefan who was evil, not Maleficent. Ms. Hajra’s greatest achievement during this project was perhaps when little Aali commented on how the lesson taught her that no-one is born evil, it is people’s situations and backgrounds that sometimes turn them to do things that may seem evil.
In the next part of the lesson students read a flip book on 101 Dalmatians, in which Ms. Hajra introduced her buddy reading system, as one child read from Lucky’s perspective, and a peer would read from Cruella’s point of view.
‘How we Express Ourselves’
Perspectives is a small part of the Unit of Inquiry that looked at “How we Express Ourselves”. Covering art and music in addition to stories introduced different mediums of expression to students. During one such classes Ms. Hajra had children listen to music while simultaneously drawing the first thing that came to their minds. Creative imagination was also used to build a ‘safe haven’ for students to visit in times of distress.
The class watched Charlie Chaplin and saw mime performances as part of non-verbal expressions of communication.
The field activity included in this Unit of Inquiry was a trip to Lok Virsa Museum, where children were introduced to cultures and traditions of their fellow Pakistanis. Through this activity students learned how different people, leading seemingly similar lives have different perspectives and outlooks.
Ms. Hajra follows the Edopian philosophy which supports aiding children with the skills they need to find their individual paths in life. Unit of Inquiry presents topics for students to ponder, giving them a chance to explore their likes and dislikes. We believe that learning can not be boxed into categories of subjects and topics only, and that the walls of the classroom can not determine the scope of learning. Therefore, students are given a wide variety of options and Edopia acts as a mere catalyst in helping students find their unique callings.
Learn more about Edopia: www.edopia.org