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Role play is important for experiential learning

Temjenkaba

Role play is an activity presenting a small spontaneous play which describes possible real life situations. In this activity participants imitate someone else's characters involved. Role play allows students to enact situations before they meet those in real life. It also gives them an opportunity practice in the application of life skills that are important for themselves to protect them from risky situations. As an educational activity it provides opportunities to students for a truly experiential learning.
       
School education aims at all-round development of the learners. It enables the students to acquire knowledge, develop concepts and inculcate attitudes, values and skills conducive to their intellectual development and also to their physical, psychological and social development. The achievement of these aims depends largely on the way the curriculum is transacted. And moreover adoption of appropriate instructional approaches for providing comprehensive learning experiences to pupils is required. The instructional approaches for curriculum transaction are generally categorized as curricular and co-curricular. The curricular approach which is popularly used by teachers in schools, is mainly cognitive and helps learners acquire knowledge, and at best, devise their own methods of learning, organizing and applying the knowledge which they gather or discover..

These objectives may be achieved more effectively with the application of instructional strategies that provide opportunities to learners for going beyond the process of passive listening and receiving information to that of thinking, reasoning, feeling and doing. In fact, "doing and discovering has been the natural and normal course through which the humankind has been able to gather, gradually to this
day, the vast fund of knowledge about, and control over, various facts and events. By following the same process as the teaching learning strategy it would be possible to make learning more absorbing, meaningful, experiential and stable.

Co-curricular activities belong to a category of transactional strategies that has abundant potential to influence the non-cognitive learning. These activities strengthen and clarify the content transacted through the curricular approach and provide a variety of learning experiences that help learners enrich themselves by not only acquiring knowledge but also developing better understanding, positive
attitude and the life skills.

Co-curricular approach may prove effective especially in an innovative area like adolescence education. Since adolescence education is a new curricular area and has culturally very sensitive, integration in the school syllabi and textbooks will take a rather long time. But in view of the urgent needs, it is felt that the teaching of this curricular concern may not be postponed further. In order to initiate the teaching in this curricular concern forthwith, therefore, co-curricular activities can prove very handy. Moreover, even though the desired integration of adolescence education is actualized, all its concerns may not be covered through textbooks of the subjects presently being taught at the school stage. Co-curricular activities will facilitate the coverage of entire content of adolescence
education.

Co-curricular approach has a special significance for this curricular area. One of the main aims of adolescence education is the development of life skills relating to adolescent reproductive and sexual health concerns among learners, besides making them aware of and developing in them positive attitudes towards these concerns. Co-curricular activities may be used as an effective pedagogical method to realize the objective of development of life skills among the learners.

Appropriately designed co-curricular activities aimed at skill development may provide opportunities to learners to participate in learning experiences on an individual basis or in groups. Since these activities lay special emphasis on experiential learning, learners will be engaged in a dynamic teaching-learning process, which will lead them to an active acquisition, processing and structuring of
experiences.

Under National Population Education Project, many co-curricular activities are being organized. Out of all co-curricular activities National Role Play Competition is an important one. It is found that all States/UTs, teachers, parents and students have a great interest towards this activity at every level. Interactive participation of student provides them opportunities for experiential learning for life skills development and also validating the strategies of the role play for development of ability to apply life skills in peer group situations. It also helps to create enabling environment for effective transaction of Adolescence Education in Schools.

This activity will be organized at five levels i.e. Schools, Block, Districts, States, Regional Level and National Level. However the number of levels from schools to district may be decided by the concerned implementing agency, keeping the expenditure into consideration. In States and UTs where the number of schools are limited, it can be organized less than five levels. For every level, only one team will be selected for sending to the next level.
Temjenkaba is working at the government information office in Kohima, Nagaland.