Summarizing the Educational Project “We are Researchers”

Author:

Armine Gyonjyan

The organization of education has been project based for already two years. Working on educational projects has become more effective and interesting for both the learners and me. It gives the learners the opportunity to get to know the surrounding world better, to study everything which surrounds them and what is interesting for them.

To work on a project means to think and be free, to study and be more informed. While choosing themes for projects the learners’ interest and choice are to be highlighted so that they take the themes more seriously and work on them with pleasure. Project work gives an opportunity to develop learners’ world outlook, ability to orientate, imagination, and the skills of fluent oral and written speech. Each project comprises research work. At the start of any project we begin to study materials connected with the theme of the project, read articles and presentations. And then we create our materials and presentations. Then we present and discuss them in class.

During one of these discussions we decided that each student should choose an issue which he/she has long been interested in and find the answer on the Internet and in different paper books and present it to his/her classmates. After having studied and discussed the material in class it is published in our class blog in the form of a presentation or a film.

The project was entitled “We are Researchers”. The title stimulated the learners’ sense of responsibility. They very quickly began surfing on the Internet and looking through different books. They also turned to people in the neighborhood for information, collected everything related to the given issue. The effectiveness of the project increased thanks to the parents who were also interested in the project and had their own contribution to it.

The questions were many and interesting. As the learners were free to choose they wanted to present their material as comprehensive and interesting as possible. The content of the project and the issues they were interested in even demanded that they watch scientific video films.

For example, Armen had to go to Teghut to get the answer to his question. He wrote down some notes and took photos there. In the result of his work he made an interesting Power Point presentation Teghut. He himself learned how to use the PPT program and when he left for Russia with his parents, he visited a very interesting exhibition about visual illusions there and then made a presentation “Visual Illusions”.  

  The aim of the project was to arouse learners’ interest in the surrounding world and encourage them to find the answers to their questions themselves. In addition to the main aim the following abilities are developed during the process of project realization: reading comprehension, narration, typing, editing, using the computer as a tool, using the Internet in the right way, searching for information on the Internet, adapting a text.         

Here are some presentations made by the learners:

·         Information about water colours

·         Names and their meanings

·         How are animated cartoons created?

·         Bubbles

·         Ants       

·         Snow

·         Easter

·         Penguins

·         Hedgehogs

This project isn’t completed yet. It will continue till the end of the school year. From time to time the learners bring new materials which they have found on the Internet and want these materials to be presented to their classmates.  

The project is encouraging and educational as there aren’t any restrictions, and the learners are free in their choice and time. The fact that there is not any compulsion helps the learners to be more objective. If any situation or educational trip evokes a question, the learners themselves find the answer to it and make a discussion. It is also nice to see that the learners have begun to show interest in classical music. They considered listening to classical music to be explorative as they listened to classical music on the Internet, chose the pieces they liked best and also learned something about the composers. I think this is also a good achievement. It was a nice thing to see he learners come up to me, turn on the music which they had chosen and speak about the composer. Project not only teaches, surprises, develops the learners, but me as well. I also had to search for information on the material beforehand in order to take part in the discussion with them.         

Here you can see the pieces of music chosen by the learners:  

This project can be carried out with learners of different age groups as everybody has questions they are interested in.

The next project was the creation of blogs. We adjusted the theme, picture, categories, and tags of the blog together. Then I gave them some information how to use the blog after which the learners themselves began to find out how to enter a material in their blogs, how to take a material from their classmates' blogs without violating the norms of copyright, how to invite partner bloggers.

Four learners in class already run their blogs.      

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