Thursday, 18 September 2014

Informal Learning Context

                         SCIENCE  EDUCATION - II

Submitted by,                                                                      Submitted to,
          Thankom T.K                                                                         Dr. Lavanya M.P
          Reg No: 13979037                                                              Lecturer in charge
          KUCTE Adoor.                                                                       KUCTE Adoor.   


Sl. No                             CONTENT                                    PAGE NO                                                         
1.                      Informal  Learning………………………..  3
2.                   Planetarium           ………………………...  5
3.                   Computerised  Planetaria  ………………... 7
4.                  Priyadarshini  Planitarium  ……………….  7
5.                  Play  Ground  ……………………………...  9
6.                  ANERT   …………………………………… 13
7.                   Biogas Programme  ……………………….. 14
8.                  Music Room  ……………………………… 16
9.                  Conclusion ………………………………..  21
10.                Reference …………………………………  21

        Informal Learning.
                                                 Informal learning is any learning that is not formal learning or non-formal learning. Informal learning is organized differently than formal and non-formal learning because it has no set objective in terms of learning outcomes and is never intentional from the learner’s standpoint. Often it is referred to as learning by experience or just as experience. For all learners this includes heuristic language building, socialization, inculturation, and play. Informal learning is a persistent and pervasive ongoing phenomenon of learning via participation or learning via knowledge creation, in contrast with the traditional view of teacher-centered learning via knowledge acquisition.
                                                    The term is often conflated, however, with non-formal learning, and self-directed learning. It is widely used in the context of corporate training and education in relation to return-on-investment (ROI), or return-on-learning (ROL). It is also widely used when referring to science education, in relation to citizen science, or informal science education. The conflated meaning of informal and non-formal learning explicates mechanisms of learning that organically occur outside the realm of traditional instructor-led programs, e.g., reading self-selected books, participating in self-study programs, Kitchen Table science, navigating performance support materials and systems, incidental skills practice, receptivity of coaching or mentoring, seeking advice from peers, or participation in communities of practice, to name a few. Informal learning occurs in community, where individuals have opportunities to observe and participate in social activities.


                       Informal learning can be characterized as follows:
  • It usually takes place outside educational establishments;
  • It does not follow a specified curriculum and is not often professionally organized but rather originates accidentally, sporadically, in association with certain occasions, from changing practical requirements;
  • It is not necessarily planned pedagogically, systematically according to fixed subjects, test and qualification-oriented, but rather, either unconsciously incidental or consciously intended intuition, holistically problem-related, and related to actual situations and fitness for life;
  • It is experienced directly in its "natural" function of everyday life.
  • It is often spontaneous and creative.


I.                      Planetarium
                                   Inside a planetarium projection hall.
                                            A planetarium is a theatre built primarily for
           presenting educational and entertaining shows about astronomy and         
           the night sky, or for training in celestial navigation.
A dominant feature of most planetaria is the large dome-shaped projection screen onto which scenes of stars, planets and other celestial objects can be made to appear and move realistically to simulate the complex 'motions of the heavens'. The celestial scenes can be created using a wide variety of technologies, for example precision-engineered 'star balls' that combine optical and electro-mechanical technology, slide projector, video and fulldome projector systems, and lasers. Typical systems can be set to display the sky at any point in time, past or present, and often to show the night sky as it would appear from any point of latitude on Earth.      
           Inside the same hall during projection.
                                               Planetaria range in size from the Hayden Planetarium's 21-meter dome seating 423 people, to three-meter inflatable portable domes where children sit on the floor. Such portable planetaria serve education programs outside of the permanent installations of museums and science centers.
                                               The term planetarium is sometimes used generically to describe other devices which illustrate the solar system, such as a computer simulation or an orrery. Planetarium software refers to a software application that renders a three-dimensional image of the sky onto a two-dimensional computer screen. The term planetarian is used to describe a member of the professional staff of a planetarium.

Computerized planetaria


                                      The newest generation of planetaria offers a fully digital projection system, using fulldome video technology. This gives the operator great flexibility in showing not only the modern night sky as visible from Earth, but any other image they wish (including the night sky as visible from points far distant in space and time).

                                   Planetarium domes range in size from 3 to 35 m in diameter, accommodating from 1 to 500 people. They can be permanent or portable, depending on the application.
  • Portable inflatable domes can be inflated in minutes. Such domes are often used for touring planetaria visiting, for example, schools and community centres.
  • Temporary structures using glass-reinforced plastic (GRP) segments bolted together and mounted on a frame are possible.
  • Negative-pressure inflated domes are suitable in some semi-permanent situations. They use a fan to extract air from behind the dome surface, allowing atmospheric pressure to push it into the correct shape.
  • Smaller permanent domes are frequently constructed from glass reinforced plastic. This is inexpensive but, as the projection surface reflects sound as well as light, the acoustics inside this type of dome can detract from its utility. Such a solid dome also presents issues connected with heating and ventilation in a large-audience planetarium, as air cannot pass through it.
  • Older planetarium domes were built using traditional construction materials and surfaced with plaster.
  • Most modern domes are built from thin aluminium sections with ribs providing a supporting structure behind. The use of aluminium makes it easy to perforate the dome with thousands of tiny holes. This reduces the reflectivity of sound back to the audience (providing better acoustic characteristics), lets a sound system project through the dome from behind (offering sound that seems to come from appropriate directions related to a show), and allows air circulation through the projection surface for climate control.
                                            The realism of the viewing experience in a planetarium depends significantly on the dynamic range of the image, i.e., the contrast between dark and light. This can be a challenge in any domed projection environment, because a bright image projected on one side of the dome will tend to reflect light across to the opposite side, "lifting" the black level there and so making the whole image look less realistic. Since traditional planetarium shows consisted mainly of small points of light (i.e., stars) on a black background, this was not a significant issue, but it became an issue as digital projection systems started to fill large portions of the dome with bright objects (e.g., large images of the sun in context). For this reason, modern planetarium domes are often not painted white but rather a mid grey colour, reducing reflection to perhaps 35-50%. This increases the perceived level of contrast.
                                         Traditionally, planetarium domes were mounted horizontally, matching the natural horizon of the real night sky. Planetaria needed many incandescent lamps around the cove of the dome to help audience entry and exit, to simulate sunrise and sunset, and to provide working light for dome cleaning. More recently, solid-state LED lighting has become available that significantly decreases power consumption and reduces the maintenance requirement as lamps no longer have to be changed on a regular basis.
II.      Play Ground
                                  A playground, playpark, or play area is a place with a specific design to allow children to play there. It may be indoors but is typically outdoors. While a playground is usually designed for children, some playgrounds are designed for other age groups. It is possible for a playground to exclude children if they are below the required age for entrance.
                                 Modern playgrounds often have recreational equipment such as the seesaw, merry-go-round, swingset, slide, jungle gym, chin-up bars, sandbox, spring rider, monkey bars, overhead ladder, trapeze rings, playhouses, and mazes, many of which help children develop physical coordination, strength, and flexibility, as well as providing recreation and enjoyment. Common in modern playgrounds are play structures that link many different pieces of equipment.
                                 Playgrounds often also have facilities for playing informal games of adult sports, such as a baseball diamond, a skating arena, a basketball court, or a tether ball.
                                 Public playground equipment refers to equipment intended for use in the play areas of parks, schools, child care facilities, institutions, multiple family dwellings, restaurants, resorts, and recreational developments, and other areas of public use.
A type of playground called a playscape is designed to provide a safe environment for play in a natural setting.


                                       Playground design is influenced by the intended purpose and audience. Separate play areas might be offered to accommodate very young children. Single, large, open parks tend to not to be used by older schoolgirls or less aggressive children, because there is little opportunity for them to escape more aggressive children. By contrast, a park that offers multiple play areas is used equally by boys and girls.

Playgrounds can be
  • Built by collaborative support of corporate and community resources to achieve an immediate and visible "win" for their neighborhood.
  • Public, free of charge, like at most rural elementary schools
  • Connected to a business, for customers only,
  • For-Profit business with an entrance fee, like those at the Discovery Zone, Zoom Zoom's Indoor Playground in Ancaster, Ontario, Jungle Jam Indoor Playground, and Kidtastic Indoor Playground.
  • Non-Profit organizations for edutainment as Children's Museums and Science Centers, some charge admission, some are free.


1.     Inclusive Playgrounds

                                Universally designed playgrounds are created to be accessible to all children. There are three primary components to a higher level of inclusive play:
  • physical accessibility;
  • age and developmental appropriateness; and
  • sensory-stimulating activity.
                                Some children with disabilities or developmental differences do not interact with playgrounds in the same way as typical children. A playground designed without considering these children's needs may not be accessible or interesting to them.
                                Most efforts at inclusive playgrounds have been aimed at accommodating wheelchair users. For example, rubber paths and ramps replace sand pits and steps, and some features are placed at ground level. Efforts to accommodate children on the autism spectrum, who may find playgrounds overstimulating or who may have difficulty interacting with other children, have been less common.

2.     Natural playgrounds

                                "Natural playgrounds" are play environments that blend natural materials, features, and indigenous vegetation with creative landforms to create purposely complex interplays of natural, environmental objects in ways that challenge and fascinate children and teach them about the wonders and intricacies of the natural world while they play within it.
                                 Play components may include earth shapes (sculptures), environmental art, indigenous vegetation (trees, shrubs, grasses, flowers, lichens, mosses), boulders or other rock structures, dirt and sand, natural fences (stone, willow, wooden), textured pathways, and natural water features.
III. Agency for   Non-     Conventional Energy and Rural Technology (ANERT)
                     ANERT is an autonomous organization established during 1986 under Societies Act by the Government of Kerala, now functioning under power dept; with its Head Quarters at Thiruvananthapuram.
                                              The objective of the Agency is to gather and disseminate useful knowledge in various fields of Non-Conventional Energy, Energy Conservation and Rural Technology; conduct studies, demonstrate, implement and support implementations of schemes and project in these fields and thereby deal with the problems arising out of the rapid depletion of conventional energy sources; update the technologies used in rural areas as well as introduce appropriate new technologies with an aim to reduce drudgery, increase production and improve quality of life.
                                               ANERT is guided by an Executive Committee chaired by the Chairman, Secretary Power dept; and a Governing Body chaired by the Minister of Electricity, Govt. of Kerala to provide guidelines for ANERT's activities in various energy related areas. ANERT is headed by a Director appointed by the Government.
Programs implemented by ANERT
                                            The major programs being implemented by ANERT are the following
1.                Solar Photo voltaic program.
2.                Solar Thermal energy program.
3.                Wind Energy program.
4.                Bio Energy program.
5.                Micro Hydel program.
6.                National program on improved chulha.
7.                Integrated Rural Energy program.
8.                Rural Technology program.
9.                Energy Education Park.
10.                       Biogas programme
                                  This program is aimed to recover energy from waste; scientific disposal of waste; and conversion of waste into fertilizer after energy extraction; to improve sanitation; to protect environment; and also to generate employment opportunities. 

                            Biogas programmes are implemented by ANERT with financial assistance from MNRE and with active participation of beneficiaries.  ANERT has installed 102 large size biogas plants since its inception with central financial support. An average of 10 lakh m3 bio gas is being generated every year.  These plants are installed at medical colleges, district medical hospitsls, private and charitable institutions with 15 to 70 m3 capacity for thermal applications and electricity generation.

f the 102 plants, 73 use night soil, 24 use canteen wastes and 5 use animal waste as feed material.  5 plants generate electricity, each using a 10 kW dual-fuel engine.  Other plants use biogas for heating applications.

  IV.   Music Room
                                                  The Music Room provides a nurturing environment for children and adults to engage in the finest performing arts education. Art and music stimulate a very different part of student's intellect and imagination. Young boys and girls spend much of their free time in art and music rooms that are housed separately. The child opts for a ‘hobby’ on joining the school depending on his / her choice.The school wants every child to excel in some hobby by dedicating more time towards it. It takes certain time for a child to explore his / her talent and thus we have made it mandatory to learn a hobby at least for one term.

Music and Its Affect on Children 
                                   Children who are fortunate enough to be exposed to weekly music lessons, choir rehearsals, creative movement, or general music classes reap many benefits.  We all love watching little children dance around the room with little or no inhibition, singing along with their favorite songs in a voice that’s clear and strong, though maybe a little out of tune. Music is an obvious outlet for self-expression and creativity. ” Participation in music ensembles also promotes responsibility.
                                   Scientists have also discovered that learning to read music or play a musical instrument develops higher thinking skills. The child whois skilled at music excels at problem-solving, evaluation, and analysis. Music reading uses the same portion of the brain that’s used in mathematical thinking. That’s why so many adept musicians are also quite good in math.  

                                  For those who don’t excel academically, however, music can serve to build self-esteem. For some children, music is their one chance to shine in the middle of a day that’s filled with academic subjects that fry their brain. Singing the solo at the annual holiday concert may provide one particular child with the only kudos they receive all year long. That’s why school music programs are so important. 
                                  Studies also show that “music kids” are less likely to become involved with inappropriate habits, like drinking or drug use. A child that spends his after school time in the band room with others who enjoy similar interests rarely gets entangled in destructive habits.
Four Important Reasons for Including Music in the Classroom
1.     Mental capacity and intellect. There is a connection between music and the development of mathematical thinking. Mathematical concepts are developed as children sing counting songs.
2.     Mastery of the physical self. Children develop coordination, which aids muscular development. They begin to understand what they can do with their bodies as they run, balance, stretch, crawl, and skip.
3.     Development of the affective aspect. Through music and movement, children learn acceptable outlets to express feelings and relieve tension. Music may also convey a specific mood through which children reveal their feelings and emotions.
4.     Development of creativity. Music can create an imaginary world that stimulates a child’s creativity. A box can become a drum, a stick can be transformed into a horn, or a broom can become a dance partner. Children make up songs or give new words to old songs for pure enjoyment.
Music is a natural resource that children bring        with them to the classroom and one that encourages the development of musical processes that are foundational to future thinking and perceptual organization.                                                                                                                    
                                             A good classroom is geared to music. A sensitive teacher celebrates the clumsy and often awkward beginnings children make in their attempts to move rhythmically. Caring about the whole child means honoring all aspects of their musical expression. An awareness of the values of musical encounters provides the wise teacher with many choices and worthwhile possibilities for immersing children in a rich variety of songs, fingerplays, and other musical experiences.
                                             A child’s awareness of music begins very early. Infants can be comforted by quiet singing, music boxes, and musical toys. As they make cooing sounds and begin babbling, infants experiment with different tones and rhythmic patterns. Typical toddlers can frequently be observed clapping, dancing, or parading around the room, trying out different ways of moving to musical beats and rhythmic patterns. Young children are sensitive to musical sound and respond freely and joyfully to different tempos and beats. At the same time, they discover new and different ways to use their bodies and voices.
                                             One important by-product of exploration of music and movement is language development. Communication for the very young child is largely nonverbal, and music and movement can enhance and expand the child’s repertoire of communication skills and abilities.                                          
                                          We further believe that, as teachers, we must be well versed in not only how to bring musical experiences to children, but also why music is so essential to the young child’s overall development.

                                                Informal learning is the unofficial, unscheduled, impromptu way most people learn to do their jobs. Informal learning is like riding a bicycle: the rider chooses the destination and the route. Informal learning contexts occur in settings such as the home or workplace where learning activities may take place but learning is not necessarily a primary activity. However, much informal learning occurs in educational settings, both within and more particularly outside formal classes, and some learning practices within the home and workplace are formal, such as when learners complete assignments or undertake formal training.
2. Science Education – Dr.K. Sivarajan & Prof. A. Fazilddin



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