Our Teaching Approach
Our teaching methodology does not follow any one particular philosophy- instead, we use best practices from various methods and are always looking at current research and innovation in the field of education. Many schools in Mangalore call themselves ‘Montessori schools‘ or follow outdated methods of textbooks and rote learning without giving proper consideration to the uniqueness each child. We believe that every child, every region and every period in time is different and blind replication of any one philosophy and following the same old method of teaching may be redundant in changing times and in a changing world. ELC is considered as a Special school in Mangalore that provides education for children with multiple teaching methodologies. ELC India is one of the best Play School in Mangalore with world class facilities for play school, after school classes, day care centres etc.
At ELC, we have an open ended curriculum – we believe that children can decide what they want to learn, how much they want to learn and we work with them to further their interests. We have certain basic parameters that have to be completed, but there is no upper limit to a child’s learning.
Children can choose to learn on their own, with each other, with their teacher, and from their environment. More than teachers, we are there as facilitators.While we are always there when the children need us, we are not project managers that direct every aspect of the child’s learning. Children are encouraged to be free and independent leaders rather than micro managed followers.
We believe that play is the highest form of research- we value independent play, thought and self-discovery. Also, we follow the mixed age group classroom concept as we believe that children learn best from each other – there is no need to separate them based on ages. We love, respect, learn and teach each other.
We provide a very high quality learning environment- from a creative outdoor area that includes an antique chariot that incorporates a rock climbing station and a community slide, a sun themed sand play space, a tree house, sky walk way, cycling and skate boarding tracks, organic garden, outdoor art easel, inflatable pools, water sprinklers, pottery machines, clay and mud stations, sensory tables and the like.
We also have a library with the largest collection of books for young children, learning resources from the best suppliers in India and abroad, Lego block stations, train tables, Montessori supplies, puzzles and a huge collection of toys.
Every group has I-Pad and classes have projectors which we use for presentations, music and dancing and we incorporate the best technology and online resources in our classrooms.
We have various experts who work with us including classical musicians and dancers, artists, scientists, mathematicians, doctors, environmentalists, cooks, farmers and members of the local community. They speak to children, work with them and teach them hands on work. We also take children for field trips every month.
We believe that children do not need to learn for some external objective (marks/ stars/ making others happy) but for their own love for learning. To foster this, we do not have harsh examinations, tests and competitions- instead, we have a lot of inclusive activities and our assessments are personal and non-threatening.
Parent’s role at ELC
Loris Malaguzzi, the inspiration behind the Reggio learning approach often said “Nothing without joy!” Joy in learning is intrinsic to children; they are not instructed or shown manuals on how to crawl, stand or speak; yet they do so despite the challenges. Every child is born with the irresistible urge to ask “why?” They don’t do this for marks or gold stars or because they are forced, but because, deep within them, they are curious about everything and have an irresistible urge to learn. However, inadequate parenting, unscientific schooling and unsupportive learning environments largely kill this joy and stifles creativity. The child, at some point stops asking questions and says, “Just tell me what to do.” Why? Because at some point, the child stopped believing that his questions are important. He stopped believing that he is special. The child’s environment made it easier for him to be like everyone else instead of being unique. The child is forced to do what everyone else does- he is forced to be ordinary.
At ELC, we recognize the hazards of the conventional system and in order to counter it, we provide a progressive, play based, relationship based and value based education.
We believe that each child is different and each child is special- but enabling this requires time, effort and tact. Plato, as early as 350 BC said “Do not train a child to learn by force or harshness; but direct them to it by what amuses their minds, so that you may be better able to discover with accuracy the peculiar bent of the genius of each.” This is the reason why ELC was started despite there being hundreds of schools in Mangalore. Since our methods and philosophy is vastly different from others, we are an alternative school and so understanding our philosophy and methods is a very important part of being a parent at ELC. If you think that subjecting children to the factory model of education, or rote learning or micro managing or being a strict disciplinarian is what constitutes childhood and learning, ELC is definitely not for you! However, if you trust children to learn, if you believe that childhood should be filled with joy and laughter, if you understand that play is not ‘wasting time’ and that real learning almost never happens inside the sterile classroom walls, if you value your children more than your material possessions, if you give importance to creativity, imagination, values and relationships more than “academics”, then come visit us and get ready to be amazed!
As a parent at ELC, you must understand that the foundation of a child’s life is based on relationships, listening and trust. Parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and relatives are a child’s first teachers, their strongest allies and their most influential role models. Study after study has proved that for success, the factor that truly matters is family- the fact that you are reading through this material and taking interest in your child’s education already puts your child in the advantaged category. No one can make his way through life alone, and no one is in a better position to help a child than his parents. Without meaningful and involved parenting, the entire exercise in education may be futile- it has been shown time and again that except in extraordinary circumstances, even geniuses fail without the right support system. Against this backdrop, it is critical for children and parents to build strong relationships and reciprocal dialogue and interaction must be established and maintained throughout their schooling. To enable this, we have many avenues for you to be involved- you can schedule meetings with your child’s teachers, view your child’s work, read stories at our library, teach something you are passionate about, be a parent volunteer at field trips or help us celebrate festivals, events and birthdays. As a parent at ELC, what we require is for you to be educated, involved and interested in your child’s learning – for you to be motivated to bring out the best in your child.
Vision of Educators
A love for children and openness to change are the starting points. With these, anything is possible!
At ELC, we are aware of the profound importance of childhood. We realize that taking children into our care is no ordinary responsibility. Being a young team, we understand the complexities of being a parent and the difficulties in navigating through what we think is best for our children.
We strongly believe that quality learning requires quality learning environments. To achieve this, we provide a place where human beings who love and care about our children and who are interested in their learning watch over them and help them grow.
Our schedule is aimed at helping children to be capable, competent and creative. We are primarily concerned with the following learning outcomes:
Children have a strong sense of identity.
Children have a strong sense of well-being.
Children are confident, involved and interested learners; they follow their natural pursuits of knowledge.
Children are connected with and contribute to their world.
Children are effective communicators.
Children’s learning is real and is done is context- no superficial memorization and rote learning.
Children learn maths, science and literacy as well as athletics, music, dance, human relations, world affairs and various other subjects that they come across in their daily lives. Holistic and well-rounded education is our focus.
Children are good citizens and they learn values by observing strong role models around them.
Our vision is based on some of the following ideas-
“Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because, to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.” ~ John Holt
Play is the highest form of research ~ Einstein
“When you teach a child something you take away forever his chance of discovering it for himself.” ~ Jean Piaget
“There is no end to education. It is not that you read a book, pass an examination, and finish with education. The whole of life, from the moment you are born to the moment you die is a process of learning.” ~ J Krishnamurti
“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will spend its whole life believing that it is stupid.” ~ Einstien
Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” ~ Pablo Picasso
“Self-education is, I firmly believe, the only kind of education there is.” ~ Isaac Asimov
“Our task, regarding creativity, is to help children climb their own mountains, as high as possible.” ~ Loris Malaguzzi
“It had long since come to my attention that people of accomplishment rarely sat back and let things happen to them. They went out and happened to things.” ~ Leonardo da Vinci
“Children learn how to make good decisions by making decisions, not by following directions.” ~ Alfie Kohn
“Real wisdom is not the knowledge of everything, but the knowledge of which things in life are necessary, which are less necessary, and which are completely unnecessary to know.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
“We can think of ourselves not as teachers but as gardeners. A gardener does not grow flowers; he tries to give them what he thinks they need and they grow by themselves.” ~ John Holt
“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals.” ~ Martin Luther King.
“My hope and wish is that one day, formal education will pay attention to what I call “education of the heart.” Just as we take for granted the need to acquire proficiency in the basic academic subjects, I am hopeful that a time will come when we can take it for granted that children will learn, as part of the curriculum, the indispensability of inner values: love, compassion, justice, and forgiveness.” ~ Dalai Lama