Vol. 2, Issue 5 (2017)
Making economics classrooms exciting: Role of experiential learning
Author(s): Sanya Sachdeva
Abstract: A classic Indian economics classroom at the secondary level is characterized by a teacher dictating notes or a book reading and underlining session, boredom, monotony and distracted students, hardly paying attention to what is going on in the class. Students are often found writing note slips to one another, whispering or day dreaming due to lack of engagement in the classroom. A reason for this could be poor, non-exciting and demotivating classroom environment. There is absence of activities or experiences that encourage dialogue, involve students, or require them to perform mental or physical action. Hence, lethargy prevails. Teaching and learning is completely textbook centred, which makes students believe that the textbook is the only source of knowledge. It is also noted, that the teachers expect the students to master particular sections of the textbook, encouraging rote learning. Many a time’s children are given ready-made answers to typical questions that are repeated in the exams. It is noticed that all teaching learning activities are planned for scoring well in the exams i.e. pedagogy is solely examination oriented. Thus, in the Indian scenario, there is a much felt need to digress away from the traditional chalk and talk method and assess how well child centred approaches can fit the frame. This inquiry then is based on how do children in Indian classrooms feel the difference when they are taught with experiential learning and when they are given live experiences of learning. How the attitude of pupils is built up and how their attitude changes with regard to learning per say, and also regarding Economics; so is to say how perceptions of children are formed towards economic learning and how this perception changes when they are taught with experiential learning tasks. When students of economics in an Indian classroom are taught with a different method and are given a chance to experience learning, how does it redefine their perceptions on economics learning. the key findings indicate that not only is there space for experiential learning in an Indian Economics classroom, but once exposed to this learning style, students to tend to enjoy learning and take more interest and participate in classroom activities. They definitely prefer this learning style over the tradition chalk and talk or notes dictation methods.