Fauji Foundation Education System has been proactively supporting the ICT integrated learning in their school systems. The professional development of the teachers has a very critical role to play as such opportunities enrich their professional capacity.
Project based learning was introduced in 2006 in New Lalazar Campus of Fauji Foundation. Tajwar Shakir and Tasveer-un-Nisa were trained as Participant Teachers who realized the importance of and implemented student centered, hands-on learning in the classrooms. Their hard work was rewarded in the Intel Education Awards 2007-2008 by winning the grand winner award.
The school is located in one of the most densely populated localities of Rawalpindi. In response to the students’ interest in their surroundings the teachers designed a project to address some of the issues plaguing the area. The project aimed at creating awareness of disposal of polythene bags and their impact on the environment is one of them.
The students were divided in two groups to study the impact of paper and polythene bags on environment. They conducted experiments to study the rate of decomposition of both materials in soil. The results were recorded in experiment logs.
The students created presentations and wrote articles to present their findings. The students also launched an awareness campaign explaining the hazards of polythene bags amongst the inhabitants of locality.
Teachers of the school also organized a paper bag day where students recycled used news papers and gifts wrappers to create paper bags. Both teachers think that by engaging students in hands-on learning, they not only develop 21st century skills but also develop a strong sense of civic responsibility.
Tajwar and Tasveer add “project based- inquiry approach, has given us an insight into how we can engage student interest and ignite their curiosity, question framing technique really proved helpful, series of questions helped us develop critical thinking skills.”
Assessment strategies used for evaluating the project and student understanding was a new experience for them. The teachers think that planned embedded assessment gives them an opportunity to set their goals and objectives realistically aligning them with standards and learning objectives.
Tajwar and Tasveer’s and recognition at the Intel Education Awards platform as grand winners for innovative use of technology in class, more and more of teachers of the schools feel confident in adopting and implementing ICT integrated learning.