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Hole‐in‐the‐Wall learning stations and academic performance among rural children in India

Hole‐in‐the‐Wall learning stations and academic performance among rural children in India Purpose – Earlier research on “Hole‐in‐the‐Wall (HiWEL)” conclusively indicated groups of children pick up computer literacy on their own and are adept at performing basic functions such as cut, copy, paste, surf the internet to answer high‐end questions. Research also indicates that children self‐organize themselves to figure out things which they find difficult and thus learning is a continuous process for them. The studies have also indicated that HiWEL pedagogy is child centric and is at the discretion of the child. Children organize themselves and become self‐regulated learners. However, so far no study has been undertaken to determine whether children accessing Hole‐in‐the‐Wall learning stations (HiWEL LSs) can improve in mathematics and English. The intent of the present study is to examine whether groups of children are able to pick up mathematics and English on their own using the learning station. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – In order to study the impact of HiWEL LS on mathematics and English, the authors took two groups; experimental group and control group from six states. Experimental group – 31 children from each site (except for two sites, where experimental group consisted of 30 children) were randomly selected to be a part of the study. 16 children from class 6th and 15 children from class 7th were identified. For this study, the experimental group consisted of a total of 277 children from nine locations. Mathematics and English tests were administered at two time points, pre and post within a gap of six months of installing the learning station. Control group – children that formed the control group were selected from nearby villages with similar socioeconomic background as the experimental group. A total of 135 children (15 children per location) were selected for this study. This group did not have access to HiWEL LS or to any other computers. These children were also tested on the same two tests at two time points, pre and post within a gap of six months. Findings – Children exposed and using HiWEL LSs pick up academic English and mathematics on their own for grade 6th and 7th. These are government school going children. Qualitatively, the teachers and parents feel that they too have seen the benefits in the academic achievement of these children. Research limitations/implications – The study was done for a six‐month period across seven sites. This study should be replicated over across entire India and a bigger sample should be taken for results to be conclusive. Practical implications – The actual quantity of schooling that underprivileged children experience and the quality of teaching they receive are extremely insufficient. This seems to be true of both the educationally more advanced states and the educationally backward states. These findings suggest a new pedagogy for enabling children to improve their academic performance which in turn leads to improvement in school performance. Thus, for the current educational system, it is important to have alternatives. Originality/value – So far, no study has been undertaken to determine whether children accessing HiWEL LSs can improve in mathematics and English. The intent of the present study is to examine whether groups of children are able to pick up mathematics and English on their own using the learning station. And, the findings have been positive. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for Multicultural Education Emerald Publishing

Hole‐in‐the‐Wall learning stations and academic performance among rural children in India

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2014 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
2053-535X
DOI
10.1108/JME-03-2013-0006
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – Earlier research on “Hole‐in‐the‐Wall (HiWEL)” conclusively indicated groups of children pick up computer literacy on their own and are adept at performing basic functions such as cut, copy, paste, surf the internet to answer high‐end questions. Research also indicates that children self‐organize themselves to figure out things which they find difficult and thus learning is a continuous process for them. The studies have also indicated that HiWEL pedagogy is child centric and is at the discretion of the child. Children organize themselves and become self‐regulated learners. However, so far no study has been undertaken to determine whether children accessing Hole‐in‐the‐Wall learning stations (HiWEL LSs) can improve in mathematics and English. The intent of the present study is to examine whether groups of children are able to pick up mathematics and English on their own using the learning station. The paper aims to discuss these issues. Design/methodology/approach – In order to study the impact of HiWEL LS on mathematics and English, the authors took two groups; experimental group and control group from six states. Experimental group – 31 children from each site (except for two sites, where experimental group consisted of 30 children) were randomly selected to be a part of the study. 16 children from class 6th and 15 children from class 7th were identified. For this study, the experimental group consisted of a total of 277 children from nine locations. Mathematics and English tests were administered at two time points, pre and post within a gap of six months of installing the learning station. Control group – children that formed the control group were selected from nearby villages with similar socioeconomic background as the experimental group. A total of 135 children (15 children per location) were selected for this study. This group did not have access to HiWEL LS or to any other computers. These children were also tested on the same two tests at two time points, pre and post within a gap of six months. Findings – Children exposed and using HiWEL LSs pick up academic English and mathematics on their own for grade 6th and 7th. These are government school going children. Qualitatively, the teachers and parents feel that they too have seen the benefits in the academic achievement of these children. Research limitations/implications – The study was done for a six‐month period across seven sites. This study should be replicated over across entire India and a bigger sample should be taken for results to be conclusive. Practical implications – The actual quantity of schooling that underprivileged children experience and the quality of teaching they receive are extremely insufficient. This seems to be true of both the educationally more advanced states and the educationally backward states. These findings suggest a new pedagogy for enabling children to improve their academic performance which in turn leads to improvement in school performance. Thus, for the current educational system, it is important to have alternatives. Originality/value – So far, no study has been undertaken to determine whether children accessing HiWEL LSs can improve in mathematics and English. The intent of the present study is to examine whether groups of children are able to pick up mathematics and English on their own using the learning station. And, the findings have been positive.

Journal

Journal for Multicultural EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 8, 2014

Keywords: Self‐regulated learners; Curiosity; Self‐organized learners; Minimally invasive education; Innovative pedagogy

References