We encourage “No Tuition Policy”

A world of academics at school, at home and yet again, in the tuition classes - is it really helping your child to perform? Or is it merely increasing the workload, setting unrealistic goals, making your child sleep deprived, anxious and stressed?

Objective of a no tuition policy
At PICT, we stand by a No Tuition Policy. We intend to inform the parents that children do not have to undergo the ordeal of ‘listening’ to extra lectures in the tuition classes to perform better, they need time for reflection.

Why do we say no to tuitions?
The most important reason is that students need to take responsibility of their own learning and become independent learners. Students going for tuitions often consider completing homework or preparing for the next day’s lesson as the responsibility of their tuition teachers. Tuitions cease to encourage self-learning skills in students because they do not have time to analyse their own strengths and weaknesses.

Extra classes, after school, tend to rob the childhood from growing kids. Tuitions often take up the time that should ideally be dedicated for other creative and physical activities in addition to academics. At tuitions, quite often, concepts are repeated, making the sessions monotonous, thus, risking the joy of learning.

How do we make sure our learners don’t need tuitions?
We understand that each child is unique and learns at his/her pace. With our individual learnings programmes, we facilitate every student to learn according to their styles and speed without the fear of being left behind.

Our teaching-learning methodology supports ‘active learning’ which provides opportunity for acquiring knowledge and assimilation of concepts through experiences.
Educators at PICT do not indulge in traditional ‘chalk and talk’ learning method, subjecting learners to passive listening. Instead, they believe in creating a healthy learning environment where each child is encouraged to think and express their perceptions of different concepts, apply the concepts in real life, discuss over various issues with fellow classmates and finally, synthesize a conclusion.

We appeal to the parents to spend time with their children, discussing the day’s learning, motivating them through constant emotional support which will help them to become autonomous learners who can take responsibility for their own development. At PICT, parents and educators collaborate to provide a learning environment which enables the learners to grow up with an enlightened mind.

We design in Individual Learning Plans.

In today’s competitive world where the tables have turned from “Jack of all trades and master of none” to “Jack of all trades and master of one”, one really has to possess strong conceptual understanding of various different fields and, master at one of them. Naturally, parents are often worried about the lack of individual attention been given to the development of their child.

What is individual learning?
‘Individual Learning Plan’ or ILP is a method of teaching that is paced to student learning needs and customized to student learning preferences and interests.

How is ILP different from traditional learning?
Traditional learning structure is based on mass production- teaching students in a generic manner and expecting them to adjust to the system. Individual learning structure is based on mass customization- teaching students according to their needs and focusing heavily on equity, ensuring all students get a chance to succeed.

Benefits of Individual Learning:
1. A generic model does not account for students’ different learning preferences or interests. Individual learning allows for learning - anywhere, anytime.
2. Individual learning encourages students to research and refer to a variety of resources, collaborate with experts to gather information, according to individual needs.
3. Students enjoy the liberty to focus on their interests and personalized goals.
4. ILP facilitates learners to learn at their natural pace, without the fear of being left behind.

At PICT, we facilitate individual learning.

Educators at PICT strongly support individual learning. Students are given opportunities to engage in peer or self-review in order to initiate the process of taking responsibility for their own learning as well as mistakes. Our learners are constantly inspired to think and voice their opinions on various different topics. We strongly believe that each student is unique and so should be the method of building his/her future. With us, the child would be motivated to become lifelong learners.

How does ILP help your child?
A personal approach to teaching or training yields better results. It gives learners an opportunity to engage with the content meaningfully. The emphasis is no longer ‘teach it’ but instead ‘learn it’ or better yet ‘apply it’.

With individual learning, PICT offers a different perspective on education, one that positions the students first.

Why Peer Learning is important?

“Profound changes to how children access vast information is yielding new forms of peer-to-peer and individual-guided learning.”
-Sugata Mitra

What is Peer Learning?
‘Peer learning refers to students learning with and from the help of their fellow learners without any implied authority to any individual’. Based on this quote by David Boud, students learn a great deal by explaining their ideas to others and by participating in activities in which they can learn from their peers.

Peer learning is learner-centred education that transcends content knowledge acquisition. Peer learning provides a more value-added, holistic and quality-enhancing education that will better prepare students for the needs of the workforce in this coming years.

What are the benefits of Peer learning?
In addition to content researching, peer learning also nurtures and fosters the development of:
1. Adaptability- A student with the qualities of adaptability and flexibility will be able to acclimate to new situations and challenges.
2. Entrepreneurialism- This skill will help the students to invent their own careers.
3. Metacognition- When a student practices metacognition; the act of thinking about their thinking, it helps them make greater sense of their life experiences and start achieving at higher levels.
4. Communication- An important aspect of learning is for students to be able to communicate what they know, or think they know. If they excel in communication, they can express themselves better and climb the stairs of success with ease.
5. Collaboration- Encouraging students to reach out to each other to solve problems and share knowledge not only builds collaboration skills, it leads to deeper learning and understanding.
6. Applied Thinking- It is a key skill that students need to have in order to become lifelong learners and self-advocates for themselves.

At PICT, we facilitate Peer Learning.
We, at PICT, believe that there is a necessity to shift the paradigm from teacher- centric pedagogy to 
student-centric learning in which learners are equipped to take greater initiatives and responsibility to control their own learning process. One of the key aspects of child-centric education is Peer Learning. Reflecting on concepts in groups help a learner develop greater adaptability, collaboration, communication, applied thinking and metacognition.
Educators at PICT practices the pedagogy of Peer Learning in Classroom Teaching. Learners are given opportunities in the classroom to interact with their peers through a wide range of activities such as quiz, lab activity, role plays, extempore speeches, debates, poster making etc.. This practice motivates our learners to ‘think hard’ as well as provides the comfort of their peers to take up the challenges which otherwise they would shy away from.

How it helps our learners?
Learners are able to gain a fresh perspective on various topics when they are with their peers. The exchange of study notes and techniques scaffolds individual learning. At PICT, learners construct their own knowledge so, learning becomes ‘meaningful’ and this is achieved by researching, analysing, evaluating and applying the information with the help of their ‘peers’ to complete any given assignment. Immersing themselves in constructive conversations also provides a platform to grow emotionally and socially as well.

After having a designated time to share their views with their peers, in every period of instruction, the learners are encouraged to consolidate and demonstrate their learning in multiple ways. This way the learners equip themselves to communicate and collaborate, sharpen their problem solving and critical thinking skills, enhance their networking and team building skills. The educators make sure that the learners have a fruitful time with their peers and to build concepts comprehensively after weighing the opinions and perception of their peers.

At PICT, Your child is a certified English Speaker

There are more than 7000 languages spoken around the world. Nearly two third of the languages are from Africa and Asia with the fewest belonging to Europe. Languages have traveled around the world through colonialisation, immigration, business and trade. It is not wrong to say that languages are flux; living and dynamic and are shaped by our rapidly changing world. Through the process of globalization, a third of the languages are endangered. And only a few hundred languages have genuinely been given pride of place in education systems and the public domain, and less than a hundred are used in the digital world today.

English, is one of the languages which holds a pride of place in the education system. This is no one way makes other native languages across the world inferior. Research proves that mastery over mother tongue plays an important role to acquire and learn other languages. UNESCO rightly says that learners must have access to education in their mother tongue and in other languages to foster sustainable development. The need of knowing a second language or a global language assumes significance in our country given its cultural diversity and its inherent multilingual thread. We have embraced the global language English, making it a widely used language in our education system. Acquiring mastery over English language ultimately aims at learning to think, speak and read in English. This transition comes over time with constant exposure to the language through schooling. Language learning has four skills viz. listening, speaking, reading and writing. We, at PICT Model School, follow this approach to communicative language teaching learning approach to ensure that our learners develop a good command and fluency over this global language. We have teamed up with Cambridge Assessment English (hitherto known as Cambridge English Language Assessment) to ensure that our learners are trained and certified as per the Common European Framework Reference (CEFR) for languages.

This global exposure to English language learning gives our learners the required language skills to gain a hold over the language. As all our learners gear up to take the assessments from Cambridge University at levels they are comfortable with (which need not necessarily be as per their academic grade levels), they approach the language in a sequenced and structured manner, making language learning fun and interesting. Our educators take them through the listening skills, speaking skills, reading and writing skills through the learning material from Cambridge University Press. We are thus gearing up our learners to become global learners confidently.

As we learn and acquire command our English, let us not forget to celebrate International Mother Language day on 21st February, every year. The UNESCO theme for 2018 is ‘Linguistic diversity and multilingualism count for sustainable development’.

How we establish a positive teacher-student relationship at PICT

Parents of shy and introvert children are often worried about sending their children to ‘big schools’ thinking that they may be intimidated by the sheer size of the classroom, wouldn’t get ‘individual attention’ of the educators, wouldn’t be comfortable to participate in class activities or would find it difficult to communicate with the teacher. This concern is very natural and is a perpetual cause of worry to a lot of parents.

So how does PICT make sure to address these concerns?

We at PICT endeavour to establish a positive student-teacher relationship by accepting and respecting the individual qualities of each learner. A positive student-teacher relationship is probably one of the greatest weapons in education. It fosters a favourable learning atmosphere in the classroom. Everyone wants to feel valued by significant people in their lives and learners are no exception. So in such instances, a positive student-teacher relationship really helps the learners to open up during classes which boosts their self-confidence.

Through our meaningful student-teacher relationship we ensure a constructive impact on the learners. Right from the admission phase, the educators study the information about the learners as furnished by the parents and log their individual interactions with the learners to chalk out ‘individual learning plans’. Throughout the academic year, the educators monitor the interactions of every learner with their peers and with other educators to gain an understanding of the learner’s strengths, problems, fears or apprehensions and develop interventions. Learning through pair and group activities make the learners more comfortable in the classrooms. Educators form these learning groups where all the members are allotted specific responsibilities depending on their abilities and interests. Constructive feedback is shared individually, with all the learners, at regular intervals. This way, the educators demonstrate respect towards the learners thus winning their respect in return. In such a stimulating atmosphere, the learning process becomes joyful and to which all the learners keep looking forward to.

The benefits of establishing a positive student-teacher relationship at PICT have been many. Some of them are:
- Uplifts the self-esteem of learners.
- Fosters good behaviour among learners.
- Encourages learners to attend school regularly.
- Motivates learners to do well and perform better academically.
- Improves learners’ socio-emotional skills.

Parent-Teacher Meeting, every month at PICT, helps bringing the parents on board. Individual meetings facilitates sharing of specific feedback. The feedback is given in four parts – the current status of the learner in comparison with the expected standards, the role of the educator, the support expected from the parents and the road map for the learner.

The first educational experience that comes about in the primary years of the learner’s life is extremely important to lay the foundation of a meaningful academic life and the development as a person. At PICT, educators endeavour to establish a positive relationship with their learners by communicating truthfully with them and providing exclusive feedback for the holistic development of our future citizens.

Why we Choose Apply and Analyze Information over Memorization at PICT

There is a huge difference between accumulation of information and assimilation to synthesize. Gathering knowledge is the initial process which is later followed by comprehension, application, analysis, evaluation and synthesis. While Memorizing is defined as the acquisition of knowledge through study, experience, or being taught and store in memory for later recall, psychologists have defined Comprehension as a psychological process related to an abstract or physical object, such as a person, situation, or message whereby one is able to think about it and use concepts to deal adequately with that object. Understanding is a relation between the knower and an object of understanding.

Many parents complain about their children unable to remember certain concepts no matter how many times they go over it. And no, we aren’t talking about the learning difficulties your child might be facing, we mean the instances when your child has preferred memorizing to actually gaining an understanding of the said concept. Psychologist Benjamin Bloom described, in order for meaningful skills and comprehension to develop, “knowledge” must be practiced and applied. It’s only through repeated application of “information about something” that ideas are transformed into deep comprehension, real ability and useful “real world” skills. Therefore, application of information help remember complex concepts taught in the classrooms.

How do we do it at PICT?

Our teaching – learning methodology supports “active learning” which provides opportunities for accumulation of knowledge and assimilation through experiences.
- Passive learning has no place in our classrooms. Educators do not believe in recycling information with the traditional ‘chalk and talk method’ and subject the learners into endless listening to their lectures. They believe in creating an environment in which the child is stimulated to ‘think’ and ‘express’ their perception of concepts, apply the concepts in real life situations, debate and discuss with fellow mates, ponder over others’ opinion and synthesize a conclusion.
- Rote memorization of facts is more prone to be forgotten over a period of time. Such is not the case with application. Learners correlate data from different situations and dig deeper into concepts, strategies, ideas, etc.
- We want our learners to become smart-thinking individuals by including conceptual understanding and the creation of rich, integrated knowledge structures.

So instead of asking, “what are you learning?” we must ask “how are you learning?” Because in the long-run, the learners will remember the concepts that they have understood, rather than the voluminous information that they were forced to memorize.

My favorite subject: Space Science

I like aeronautics and space science. I like space science because it has part of aeronautics - sending rockets into space. Also I am curious about space. I want to find out about all the mysteries of Space Science. I wish to make a rocket to reach the stars. I am curious what happened after the universe began? Or does it have beginning or end?

In this vast universe with so many galaxies having millions of stars and millions of planets, can’t there be a planet with life? Can it have life /organisms like there are on earth? Can we develop science in such a way that we can explore this?

How did single cellular life evolve from simple molecules? Why can’t we explore more about this fascinating subject? Can there be a planet where Mesozoic era is going on when we have Cenozoic era here on earth now? Will life follow same kind of evolution on other planets as it followed on earth? Will life always be oxygen based?

Why are we searching for only oxygen based life on other planets? Can there be a planet on which there is life based on different elements which are not found on earth? Can we develop the science to explore this on other planets?

I am very interested about the subject of colonizing mars. My parents encourage my interest in space science and take me to various science exhibitions, lectures, and education tours. They took me to the National Space and Science Fest in January 2017. When I saw the student volunteers there explaining the charts, and satellite, and space craft models, I wanted to be a volunteer too. For that, my mom told me, “You will have to study hard to know more about space science”. I have tried to do that since then.

I went to IUCAA on open science day in Feb 2017. There I saw the Muon detector. I heard about muon for the first time. From the explanation I came to know that when cosmic rays hit the earths’ atmosphere, the particles in the rays’ breakdown into smaller particles. One of them is muon. These muons are then detected by muon detector. I also saw a small model of LIGO which is used to detect gravitational waves. Gravitational waves are produced when two black holes or neutron stars merge together. As this event is rare, it is very difficult to detect gravitational waves. I was excited to know that India is going to build this LIGO facility for detection of gravitational waves. Few months back, I came to know that 2017 Nobel Prize in physic was given to scientist for gravitational wave detection. My excitement grew when I came to know that gravitational waves created by rare merger of two neutron stars was detected by LIGO in Aug this year. This event was observed by LIGO and other optical telescopes across the world. I am told that the data collected will tell us a lot more about our universe as we now have data of this event across range of optical telescopes and LIGO and comparison will bring out new information about our universe.

At IUCAA I came to know about Aditya L1, which India is going to launch to study the sun and about our participation in 30 meter telescope in Hawaii. I also learnt more about ASTROSAT- that it is the first satellite sent by ISRO to study distant objects in space. I saw the live tracking of ASTROSAT on computer screen as it went around the earth once every 90 minutes.

When I went to ISRO Ahmedabad with IndoScience Education Trust in April 2017, I eagerly searched for ASTROSAT model, but I did not find it there. But there were many scaled models of various satellites such as Chandrayan, Mangalyan, communication satellites, PSLV, etc. And we had discussions with scientists who spend their important time to encourage us and to answer our curious questions. During ISRO, Ahmedabad trip we were encouraged to think deeply about different topics related to space and to ask questions. We discussed about various satellites GSLV mark III, Mark II, Vikas Engine, Cryogenic Engine, fuels used in Rockets, Reusable Vehicles, International space station, and many more. I had many questions to ask which were all answered. In this trip we also went to Science Center in Ahmedabad where we did activities based on various scientific principles making it easy for us to understand these principles. We also saw real dinosaur fossils which was very exciting!

I have to understand more about what I have learned till now and I have to learn many new things. My discussions with my parents, school teachers, and space science classes at Indo Science Education Trust have increased my curiosity to study more about space sciences.

I wish to be a volunteer for 2018 National Space and Science Fest. It would give me chance to learn more about space science and to share it with others.
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