Learning is a process
18th May 2020

Learning – Outcome or process ? What making a mask made us realise

By Jinal Gada

Learning is an outcome or process? Making a Mask made us realise what it is. Read on to know.

This is not a post where I share how to make a spider man mask. It’s on how the process went. From deciding to doing and then reflecting. The three steps I learnt while doing self direct learning at home by @aarohi_life_education . 

Planning for the next day: Planning is a part of learning

The first thing I learnt at the SDL programme was let the child decide and planning is the best way to let him decide. So since then we have been planning our days every night for the next day.

Yesterday night like everyday we planned for the next day. One of the things Khevaansh (my 3.5 year old son) decided was to make a spider man mask. We said ok. 

Next day:

The next day begins and we finished our chores as usual. In the afternoon, I got a little free and reminded/asked him if he wants to make the spider man mask. He excitedly said yes. 

Learning is a process

Deciding on How to make the spider man mask: Deciding is one of the important part of learning

If it was otherwise I would have tried looking on YouTube or Pinterest on how to make a spider man mask – normal right? But with this new learning – I asked Khevaansh how will we make the mask? He replied the same question to me. I replied AAhh let me think. He also said let me think. Then I tried giving him options and asked will u make it with a paper, cardboard or cloth? He excitedly said cloth.

Doing – Making the Spiderman Mask: Doing helps in learning

Finding the cloth:

I looked for a piece of cloth at hme, he said it should be red. Spiderman is red in colour. I found one. After taking the measurement, I cut the piece of cloth in to the mask shape. Two cuttings were made and I told him – you make one and I will make one. I gave him thread and needle and guided him how to stitch the borders. Then asked him – if he would continue on his own or should I help him. He said you help me. 

Sewing the borders:

We continued with making only one mask. He patiently did the borders. All the time he kept saying – I want to fly like spider man after I wear this mask. He wanted the hair too be covered too. I said – aah how do we do that? He said – mmmmm I will wear the spider man helmet. We enjoyed the process completely. He kept patience and excitement both at the same time. We had a very good time together. Daddy clicked a video and left for work. Dadi was around us just enjoying what we were doing. 

What about the web?

After making the borders, I asked him how will we make the web? He said I don’t want web because  his favourite “Vlad and Nikita” had no web in the spider man mask. (I’m unsure of this) I kept saying how will spider man look without web, he kept saying no I don’t want web. We agreed on to no web. 

Making the Spiderman eyes:

I was checking for the eyes and the cloth was falling down from his face. He was worried and asked me if this keeps falling how will I fly. I replied aah we can tie something. I started making  the eye holes thinking it’s not easy for him to do this, but relaxed and asked him if he would like to try, he said no u only do It. The border of the eyes were sewed by me, he was tired. I asked him would u like to continue tomorrow? He said you do it please. I continued. Completed the eyes. Then took measurements for the elastic, and he came to sew it when I asked him again if he would like to. Aah, the needle pricked him but he was fine and happy. 

Wearing the mask:

The mask was ready we tried wearing it but it was too tight, he just wanted to remove it. It made me sad but I wanted to correct it( instead of focusing on how he was feeling or how he and I can together work on it) I just went on to fixing it. I fixed it and now it was little loose. But he managed to wear till he could show dadi and our neighbours. 

And then aah he removed it, I kept telling him – Please wear, please wear I want to see you. But he didn’t. I was sad and expressed my sadness to him. He asked me to not feel sad – saying ‘usme gadbad hogaya hai’ meaning there is something wrong with the mask. 

Reflection on Making the Spider Man Mask: learning happens when you reflect.

I kept feeling bad until I reflected on the whole process. I realised that I was so happy when we were co-creating the mask. We were having such a good time. Why have I to be sad on the end result. I should be happy and feel good about whatever happened. I should be happy about how beautifully the whole process went. It’s an opportunity to make a better mask next time. It’s an opportunity to spend some more time together. It’s an opportunity to co-create something new. Thank God for this reflection- otherwise I would have never gone for an activity like this which would take hours and then result in nothing. Thank God for the awareness that the process was beautiful.

If I’m feeling so sad. What about the child? How was he feeling? I asked him did you like making the mask? He said: ‘Arey that toh got spoiled.’ with a little sad face. I told him we can try making another. 

Also another twist is the flying sadness, he was so sad that he wasn’t able to fly. He said spider man flies why can’t I? I told him, that’s just a video. He said Yes in television he flies. I asked: have you seen a spider man flying in real on roads? He replied: but in television he flies. I said: television isn’t real. It’s made for our entertainment and engagement. I’m not sure what he picked from this. But I’m sure it has left him thinking. 

Conclusion: 

Isn’t this education? Is the outcome so important? Isn’t a child learning in the process of deciding, doing and reflecting itself? 

I am not even writing here what Khevaansh learnt while deciding, doing and reflecting. It is beyond anybodies imagination. A child learns a lot in the smallest of things. He is learning when he is doing nothing too. 

Khevaansh’s latest interest is using a pencil and an eraser. I am excited to know his story behind it.

Until next time, keep reflecting and keep nourishing your child’s cell and soul.

You may also like to read Free Play and its importance?