I’ve been working with Bookworm since November last year. Having started off with the team as a volunteer for MOP and now, since June, coordinating the School Book Treasury Program; there have been scarce moments that have not been learning experiences for me.
Yet another learning opportunity was presented to me by Sujata in the form of course audits of the Masters of Elementary Education program at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS). This meant a 3 weeks contact period in college. This, I thought, would be good for our work and would help me understand the learning process a lot better.
The 2 courses I opted to do were Materials Design and Development and First Language Pedagogy. Both subjects provided me with multiple awakenings as well as substantial points to ponder.
The experience I had acquired in the field suddenly met the theory behind it in the 21 days at TISS. The predicament of the students I meet in multi lingual classes who are being flooded with a barrage of stimuli in terms of language, inconsiderate texts and often irrelevant material was now clearer.
In the duration of the course we discussed the general nature of language, how children learn language, how social differences exist in how language is learnt, social differentiation and teaching literacy amongst other things.
I’ve come to better understanding the concept of emergent literacy and how crucial it is for a child to receive sufficient exposure to material that will assist in the development of their literacy skills. Discussion with people in class with so much of their own varied experiences gave a wealth of information.
While I’m still learning, from texts and from my work with Bookworm, I have an improved outlook towards how learning happens, how the system is working with elementary education and also, things I need to pay more attention to being in the field.
I look forward to the learning that is yet to come…