Logical Sequence of Learning: Making science curriculum an adventure of curiosity – Part 1

Logical Sequence of Learning: Making science curriculum an adventure of curiosity – Part 1

Will you find a movie interesting if it shown in disordered bits and pieces without following any time sequence? No wonder why many kids find science difficult and boring, as the curriculum is not covered in a Logical Sequence!

Schools, especially the ones catering to underprivileged sections in vernacular medium, do not try to ponder upon whether sequencing of chapters will have an effect on learning science. From my experience, the sequence followed in class is mostly as per the numbers are given in the textbook which seems just as disconnected, with some more vague classification like dividing ‘hard’ and ‘easy’ or long and short chapters. Many times, extremely complex systems of biology like DNA and Evolution are introduced much before more basic concepts like the chemistry of carbon compounds. Due to this ad-hoc approach, learners fail to see that DNAs are also made up of carbons, the discovery of the chemistry of atoms and progress in physics enriched our understanding of biology, and thus all subjects are interconnected.

So often at the beginning of the course, teachers have to wonder which lesson to take first and what sequence to follow. This is especially even more confusing for homeschoolers, parents, tuition teachers and education volunteers. Our textbooks need not be arranged in a way that follows the Logical Sequence of Learning.

LOGICAL SEQUENCING OF LEARNING IN SCIENCE CURRICULUM

What do we mean by Logical Sequence of Learning? We agree with Dr. Nagarjuna’s (of Homi Bhabha Centre of Science Education) position that, knowledge or rather Gnowledge (herein Growing/Evolving Knowledge) is not just in the content of subjects but also in the connections between them.

We mean to say that “Any new chapter should be connected to the previous chapter and the inter-connections have to be made strong again and again by revision“.

Our role of science explorers and educators is to find Paths of Logic and make it wonderful with a touch of artistic magic for making the journey of science learners more simple, yet wonderful! Now the question arises, is there only one path? No, there may be more than one, but not too many!

There will be only a few paths that follow a logical sequence which does not introduce new information abruptly. In fact, one of the suggested exercises is finding connections between different chapters during the process of revision and making such connections stronger. Such connections if made strong will eliminate a lot of misconceptions and give the learner confidence to navigate more into uncharted territories.

Logical Sequencing of 9th and 10th std (Maharashtra board)

Given below is an example of Jigyasa Adventure Map, an attempt to bring logical sequencing in the 9th and 10th curriculum of Maharashtra Board. Students can use this map for self learning and teachers can use this tool for assessment and even as a report card for individual students. It will be easier to identify and rectify the gaps in knowledge if we compare answer-sheets with the logical sequence. The curriculum need not be confined in the classroom. Please refer to Jigyasa Adventure Map – 1  for beginning the journey. Bon Voyage! One would be amazed that there is so much science to learn using just dimensions of length and time! We can progress in this map using Connect, Extend and Challenge strategy. Connect with previous chapter, extend your knowledge by learning current content, and challenge yourself by extending those connections towards new knowledge zones. A quick reference to Harvard education’s Project Zero, Connect-Extend-Challenge  will be quite helpful.

In the map given above, contents of 9th and 10th standard subjects are categorized as stalls and stations respectively. The stalls and stations are connected by an arrow sequence. What is written on both sides of the arrow are Connectors and Challengers, the rule is to not take new challenges until previous connections are strengthened. There is enough amazing digital and textbook content for learning as well as practical experiments that can be utilized for progressing in the science adventure. For those in Mumbai, an educational picnic to Nehru Science Centre would give a glimpse of many of the stations and stalls in just a day.

Nikhilesh Iyer

Nikhilesh Iyer, (Founder of asanvigyan.in; works in Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai)

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