Education has always been thought of as the flow of knowledge and information from teachers to students. Most people still believe this. Few years back, when we pivoted to education, Pete Pattission gave us a demonstration of a re-defined concept of education.
He came up with three glasses: one filled with water and two empty. He started with the model of education that we were used to. Take two glasses one empty and one full. Full glass is a teacher with knowledge filled in it and the empty one is a student desperate to be blessed with knowledge. During teaching process, knowledge flows from the full teacher glass to the empty student one. The student glass is still and steady. When knowledge is poured from the teacher glass all of it gets into the student glass. But look at the reality of the classroom, students are not still, they keep on playing with their mind and they will miss important piece of knowledge. Same thing happened when he moved the student glass while he was pouring water from the teacher glass, more than half of the water gets to ground.
In a re-defined model there are three glasses. One glass containing the water, represents the teacher, one empty glass represents the students whereas the second empty glass is represented as the processing glass. This time Pete did not pour water into the student glass, instead he directly poured water into the processing glass and immediately started shaking it. He kept shaking the glass to capture our attention. He then explained the important part, the processing glass. Knowledge was being processed in this glass and no pouring was required into the student glass. He mentioned that once processing takes place the students take in information in their own unique ways.
Since then Karkhana prioritizes how students process information rather than what information to give them. Besides getting students’ attention, I have realized a couple of more advantages of this model. One, student interpret processed information in their own way, they relate it to themselves which ultimately becomes a meaningful bit of knowledge for them. Two, since they have taken the processed information on their own, they take ownership of what they learned and retain it for a longer period of time.
I am going to explain 2 ways of processing information in this blog.
- Zigsaw activity
- Story to art
- Divide the class into groups of 3 or 4 members
- Provide each group with different bits of information/ Knowledge
- Let each groups study and discuss upon the given information.
- Nominate someone as team leader from each group and inform the remaining group members that they are visitors.
- Now, all team leaders have to stay on their own place while the visitors move to other teams rotating from their right side.
- Each team leader has to explain the ideas based on the group discussion they had earlier.
- Repeat the process until each team members come back to their own place.
- Pick some visitor students and ask them to explain few things other group leaders shared to them. Correct them if something is missing or wrong.
This process is one of my favourite because it gives student a chance to process same information multiple times and from different perspectives of diverse students.
Story to Art:
- Cluster the class into groups
- Provide them a piece of information and a blank paper (Big chart paper preferred)
- Ask them to discuss and convert the piece of information into an art form.
- Share their piece of art to whole class and discuss upon how the information provided is captured in art.
Story to art strengthens team bonding as groups of students work together to come up with common solution. It helps students to think creatively and serves as an special tool for visual learners.