Pillars of Meu Labs Pedagogy
On our journey to bring a positive change to education, we rely on these three pillars to lay the foundation to our modern approach and curriculum.
Project Based Learning
Project based learning is a modern pedagogy that emerged in the 1960s and got popular over the recent years within STEAM education for its efficiency and its future-forward model that allows educators to prepare a generation of pragmatic and innovative learners.
To put it simply, Project Based Learning is where we learn by doing.
This method promotes experiential learning where students acquire knowledge while they directly and purposefully engage in ‘meaningful projects’. Most of these projects are based on real-life problems. For example, a project could be to ‘Develop an app to launch your new business’ or to ‘Strategize for a post-pandemic recovery’. Students are expected to break these projects into smaller problems and tackle them as sub-projects, solving them one after another to complete the project.
Each of these projects and sub-projects contains specific learning outcomes, the skills and educational goals that often go together in a real-life context. For example, when your child is learning Programming as they solve one problem, they will learn Electronics, AI, IoT, Robotics from the other parts of the project.
The students are put in the shoes of real-life Doctors, Engineers, Writers, Creative Artists, Social workers in order to complete these tasks.
PBL provides a meaningful link bridging theory to reality; a link we all missed during school that left us thinking ‘why am I learning what I am learning’. We were taught things in bits and pieces and we rarely ‘experienced’ how to apply them in real-life. We were lost until we took an internship to realize that we do not know enough to do things in the real-world or that we have partial knowledge about a subject and wish we knew more.
Not only do they get to ‘experience’ a trial of what lies ahead of them in reality, this approach familiarizes them with the right attitudes and mentality to face real-life problems.
If you are interested in learning more about PBL check out this link where we discuss all about PBL!
T-shaped learning is yet another method that contributes to the making of a holistic person, a problem-solving individual. A T-shaped individual is metaphorically built in the shape of the ‘T’. They possess knowledge and proficiency across multiple-disciplines and a manifold of subjects as the width of the horizontal bar of the ‘T’ and shows expertise and specialisation in a specific subject area, just like the vertical bar of the ‘T’.
‘Being a jack-of-all trades makes you a master of none’. You do not know enough of anything. On the other hand, being an ‘I’ shaped specialist frames you within a narrow scope of limited knowledge and opportunities.
Becoming a T-shaped person gives you the best of both worlds. The level of exposure to relevant subject areas surrounding your interest / specialization will come in handy on many occasions. For instance, cross competency expertise adds value to one’s ability to excel in their career.
We groom our students to be Programmers who know their arts and aesthetics to creatively develop an eye-appealing application and Engineers who know their Ecology to build a dam more environment-friendly.
You may notice how most international level degrees and prestigious universities follow T-shaped learning as an underlying principle of their curriculums. For instance, The International Baccalaureate® (IB) offers mandatory subject groups for students to complete, such as: Studies in Language and Literature, Language acquisition, Individuals and Societies, Sciences, Mathematics, The Arts.
Even Liberal Arts Degrees in prestigious international universities like Harvard and Brown are developed in a way that students can learn their cores alongside other relevant and essential subjects to give students a wide exposure to different academic fields.
The other levels of higher education like Masters and PHDs narrows down your interest and equips you with specific tools.
On average, a student stays in an education system like this until their late 20s. Why couldn’t we have that exposure and realize our passions way before we go to college?
We included T-shaped learning in our core to replicate this process of self-discovery at a much earlier age.
Mind, Hand, Heart approach
‘’Kids prosper best with a broad curriculum that celebrates their various talents, not just a small [handful] of them’’ -Sir Ken Robinson
Educationalist Sir Ken Robinson stresses how the pronounced subjects of the conventional school-education like ‘Science’, ‘Mathematics’, and ‘History’ are ‘necessary’ to be taught but they are ‘not sufficient’ to complete one’s education. He adds that a ‘real education’ must give equal weight to subject areas such as Arts, Humanities, Physical Education, etc.
Agreeing with Sir Ken Robinson, we understand the need for a holistic curriculum that offers broad and balanced coverage of subjects and modules that engage three core elements within students; the Mind, the Hand and the Heart.
The Mind element covers thinking and calculating areas like Analytics, Mathematics, Science, Decision-Making and Research. Sessions like practical, Hands-on-making, learning application of theory, IoT projects are for the Hand component. For the Heart,we look at modules like creative thinking, Writing, Speaking, Drama, and Cinematography.
Let’s first understand the perceptible interconnection between the mind and hand. ‘Mens et Manus’ which translates to ‘Mind and Heart’ is the infamous motto of MIT which reflects their approach where technical education meets practicality.
What is the point of knowing how to solve Navier–Stokes equations but not design air foils that are more efficient? This is why theory and application should go hand in hand.
There’s so much that textbooks and chunky notes can teach you but what you don’t know, you will never know unless you try them out.
For instance, you can have a circuit drawing in your textbook labelling the bulb, the cells, the switch and explaining the direction of the current flow.
Unless you make that circuit, yourself you will never know what happens if the cells were loose or what difference it makes in connecting a switch to ‘live vs ground’. It is unchallenged how practical experience is a better teacher than a textbook.
The change we want to bring into education may not be realized if the Heart component is not addressed along with the Mind and Hand. Feeding Knowledge into children like they are machines when they are capable of more than that is just a shame.
An education should give their learners a space to feel, think and grow human skills. Writing, Speaking or Creative thinking skills are often overlooked or deemed less important compared to other subject areas when they are just as important. Unless a curriculum provides a chance for these skills to blossom, the ‘human side’ of students will remain untouched and unpolished.
We have ensured that all our projects are designed to foster a learning experience that enfolds a student’s interest and allows them to absorb multiple competencies that are important to their mind, their hands and their heart which ultimately creates a whole being who is knowledgeable, thinking, calculating and practical.