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Phenomenon based learning curriculum planning and development

Phenomenon Based Learning (PhenoBL) in India

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Traditional system of education believes in overloading children with a lot of information about subjects and there are many of them. The content is downloaded to children by teachers in classrooms in a dull and boring manner. Very often, topics are very abstract with the teachers unable to make them interesting enough. The result is children lose interest, are not able to assimilate and consequently come out as poor students who struggle in the real world. They are forced to learn by rote or memorize just for the sake of reproducing content on the exam day and after that can hardly remember what they have learnt or studied.

The Phenomenon Based Learning system or PhBL in sharp contrast is a breath of fresh air in more ways than one. For starters, the accent in on topical learning only and that can be about a geographical feature, a legal case, a medical condition, about a person or a historical event. Here the children are exposed to content from various sources related to the topic they are studying. The result is better understanding of the topic and assimilation over the long term by children.
Finland shows the way through Phenomenon Based Learning.

It is Finland who introduced this system in 2016-17 and made it mandatory in their schools. The success of this has emboldened other countries to follow suit. The topical learning method has helped students connect broad concepts linked to the particular topic. They are then able to develop their skills, insights to help in future learning and that in turn helps them succeed even at the work place.

PhBL is very learner centric; here the learners themselves are the creators of what they wish to learn. They are able to set their own interests and look at problems within that sphere as starting initiatives for further learning. The theory that they study are borne out of practical situations. The tools used are authentic and so are the sources.

Phenomenon Based Learning encourages setting goals, teamwork

Today in the modern corporate world, a lot of importance is given to innovation, team work and creativity. Unless children are encouraged to think along those lines from the beginning, they will be unable to measure up to modern life challenges. PhBl as a system encourages the project based learning or inquiry learning process. It believes in collaborative efforts and children are thus able to build their communication and team building skills on the way.

Learning is holistic, contextual and there are many small tasks associated with the learning that children have to fulfill. This gives them the confidence to keep learning and not lose interest. This is in sharp contrast to traditional learning where children do not know how to connect and apply the learning to real life situations and remain bookish in their approach.
To sum up, the advantages of phenomenon based learning are being understood by many countries and they are also making moves to make it a compulsory system of learning in their schools.

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