Learning through exploration

This summer a student of class V, Tiel Dorji spent a day at the Maruntabo Forest Kindergarten in Japan, with younger sister Kelsang. The Maruntabo Forest school is built on a bold concept of self-learning through direct experience. Teachers take a backseat while facilitating the process of learning in every sphere, from ‘academics’ to inter-personal relationships to leadership to simply cleaning up after meals. The concept is about promoting self-discovery and fostering independence from an early age.

In Bhutan we have correctly understood the importance of ‘early child care and development’. But when pre-schoolers spend their days locked in classrooms learning 1-2-3 and A-B-C, it seems the concept of early child development has not been fully understood. At the Maruntabo Forest School, there is no real school building. The students and teachers spend the day walking in the forest discovering new things and having new experiences. They take care of their own lunch bag, carry it, clean up and are expected to pull their own weight. When a child gets hurt, the older ones take care. When squabbles break out, they learn to mediate and mend fences.

The concept suggests that constant adult intervention interferes with the development of the child’s own innate abilities and potential.

[see earlier post https://pelkhil.edu.bt/?p=2582 ]

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