XSEED also caters to different learning styles. For example, take a Maths lesson on place value. This is taught to students using bundles of ice cream sticks that they have to group and count. Students who are not as good at abstract concepts can actually benefit from the hands-on approach, counting the ice-cream sticks in their hands. While those who are quicker on the uptake, are given the freedom to directly solve the problem on paper. And all the while students are encouraged to discuss and question. Under the XSEED method, each lesson is broken down into fragments that are simple to understand and associated with some hands-on activity. And every lesson also has a number of learning outcomes – what the student should understand and know at the end of each section. Teachers walk the children through the different learning outcomes, moving to the next one only when the previous one has been successfully completed. Each learning outcome has an assessment at the end to test the student’s understanding of the topic.
The XSEED curriculum integrates well into the ICSE system. What it advocates and supports is essentially just a change in the approach to the teaching methods. In fact, iDiscoveri has mapped the XSEED curriculum to the ICSE syllabus, and follows similar lesson flows and difficulty levels. However the difference lies in the fact that this information is disseminated not through lectures and textbooks, but through practical experimentation, lesson plans, content books and workbooks.
Which brings us to the role of the teacher.
At the end of the day, XSEED is but a tool and can be truly effective only in the hands of a motivated teacher. Ayyapath talks about the amount of effort that the teachers at Pawar Public School invest in teaching – “XSEED does make teaching and learning more interesting, child-friendly and complete, but we, as teachers, need to put in a whole lot of effort as well. We have background research to complete; we must plan our lessons carefully and anticipate every kind of question that the students may throw at us. We need to allow children to explore and truly be a part of the learning experience, even as we control the direction that the lesson takes. Assessment has to be continuous and cannot be postponed if we are to ensure that all students are at the same level of learning before moving on to the next one. A lot of teaching aids have to be prepared, resources have to be shared. But the effort is all worth it at the end because the outcome of the process is so gratifying.”