Kids grasp Math concepts through classroom fans, floors
What do a classroom window and the humble ceiling fan have to do with a child’s development? Probably nothing, most would think, dismissing them as mere distractions. However, they can be innovative and effective tools of learning.
Specially designed window security grills can help preschoolers develop gross motor skills and make older students conceptualize fractions. Angles marked on the door or the classroom floor can be used to decode basic geometry. Painted ceiling fans with coloured wheels can make children enjoy colour formations and understand rotational symmetry.
These and many other unconventional ideas are part of architect Kabir Vajpeyi’s Building as Learning Aid (BaLA) concept, in which parts of the school building play a major role in engaging children in subjects like Mathematics and Science. “The objective is to come up with unique designs using school spaces and architecture in a way conducive to child development,” he said.
Kabir, who has had an inclination towards applied science since childhood, said: “I am using a common element in all rural schools — physical infrastructure — to improve quality of education. BaLA translates abstract theories of child development into an actionable pool of simple design innovations which can be implemented by principals, teachers and engineers in new and existing schools to enhance student-friendly education.”
Through Dream a Dream, a non-profit organization that empowers underprivileged youngsters by teaching them creative life skills, a few government schools have adopted Kabir’s model to impart knowledge. Horammavu Government School at Agara and Government School at Chennasandra are among those who have come on board.
Rudramani AS, teacher and block resource person of Bhadravati School in Shivamogga district that has recently switched to the methodology, said: “The BaLA method maximizes the educational value of the school space by using parts of the building as teaching instruments. This makes the learning process more interactive. Abstract concepts are explained through concrete structures of different dimensions, textures and shapes, making the teachers’ job easier and boosting students’ enthusiasm. After we implemented the project, children’s involvement in the learning process has gone up by leaps and bounds”.
Traditional methods of education seldom provide young curious minds the platform to explore or channelize their energy and creativity, said Vishal Talreja, co-founder and CEO, Dream a Dream. “Kabir’s concept brings together creativity and experiential educational concepts, which can tap the hidden capabilities of children unleashing their imaginative powers,” he added.