Tinkering LAB [T-LAB]

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T-LAB: Dream yard for happiness

We create T-LAB as translation of Natural learning model on ground, which becomes an attraction to children. We learn from eminent thinker and philosopher and develop a unique design for the same.

Gandhiji’s concept of education-an all-round drawing out the best in the child and man-body, mind and spirit[i]. “The complete development implies, therefore, the education involving 3H’s-Hand, Heart and Head”. The present education and school only entertain Head, very little space of Hand on in the system and no one talks about children’s Heart engagement. I believe the quality education with idea of 3H would certainly win over few other issues stopping children to receive education.

The same is reflected Ivan illich famous quote as well “Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful setting[ii].”

What is T-LAB?

T-LAB is a dedicated space for children’s creativity inside the schools. At T-LAB children freely work on their ideas and questions at their pace and interest. T-LAB act as niche of children validates and recognizes children’s natural creative activities. We ensure children ownership of the space by making them partner in developing the space.

T-LAB is a hub of children’s dream and ideas with variety of resource material. T-LAB aspires to give space to children to learn and grow in an environment of trust, responsibility and freedom. It consists of different work stations and an ever-growing repository of materials. Skilled facilitators are available to suggest them various dimensions of the project they are engaged in. They also help the children to improve the design and processes.

T-LAB Design

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Resource segregation – The T-LAB has organized section to facilitate the process and to divide the resources according to the nature of work such as Electricity LAB, Color LAB, Chemical & Microscope, different work station etc.

curencyT-LAB Currency  –  Children use the currency to buy stuff from T-LAB and they would sell their finished project/model back to T-LAB. This way they could earn a value for their efforts based on aesthetics, 5innovativeness and originality of their project.

Planning & Sharing – T-LAB has a specially designed planning board, which children would declare their projects, after discussing it in the group and with the Idea team. It is observed that sharing with friends is a biggest source of motivation to work. One corner of the T-LAB would have a Podium desk.

T-LAB Processes

Election process – No external authority to manage their activity in T-LAB. Children themselves are the authority of this space. So, we facilitate to conduct election and create three teams

Idea team (Planning) ensure ideas of their peer to be in action and get support and encouragement.

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Second team Bank would manage currency transaction in T-LAB.

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Third team Material Team would organize the stuff in T-LAB and sell according to the project need.

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Effective Facilitation – We spend significant time with T-LAB facilitators to help them unlearn the authoritarian role of teacher. Facilitators play important role, they are always around for children to discuss the ideas they are working on. The facilitators may influence their thinking process by asking questions and sometime hand hold if required higher level of skill set.

The facilitator:

  • Actively listens to their ideas
  • Questions to improve their ideas and their implementation
  • Ensures that they find resources to implement these ideas
  • Assists if any group require different/higher set of skills or references
  • Be a curious and appreciative audience for the presentation of the finished project

Execution and outcomes – Each child decides her own list of things to do and her own way of doing things. T-LAB in effect works on an individual and personalized syllabus and complements the ‘textual’ academics from the school with the concept of ‘doing’ academics. The successes and failures add on to the gradual learning process and attaining different competencies and their levels. We believe it to be Experiential Learning[iv] into action truly complementing school’s learning. It enables achieving generates important personal and social values[v], such as self-reliance, creativity cooperation, critical thinking, problem solving, observing and questioning. It also provides plenty of opportunities to develop on their motor skills.

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