Neuron Labs School: Learning by Doing

“Tell me, and I forget, teach me, and I may remember, involve me, and I learn.”

  • Benjamin Franklin

Holding true to this quote from a distinguished polymath, Neuron Labs School, realises and enacts teaching with a fresh perspective, and predominantly through its dynamic philosophy of ‘Learning by Doing’.

The Knowledge Review proudly shares the story of the school and its impeccable operations, as perceived through its visionary Co-Founder, Mrs. Lakshmi Santosh.

Passion and Inception of a Trailblazing School

Neuron Labs School began its ambitious journey in the year 2010 starting off as a sought after Preschool/Play School catering to children in the Nursery, Lower KG & Upper KG sections. Since then Neuron Labs School has grown step by step over the years to become one of the best and most popular CBSE affiliated schools in the vicinity. Currently it has branches in Tingre Nagar and Dhanori, areas which is in Pune, Maharashtra. Neuron Labs School was established with an outright motto of ‘Learning By Doing’. Mrs. Lakshmi Santosh explains the driving force of the institute as she points out, “When it comes to traditional education, a lot of focus is put on retention and repetition of information. This causes students to simply use rote-learning as a mechanism to pass exams and forget information as time goes by. In the pyramid of education, knowledge forms the base of the pyramid; hence there is a major emphasis given to it. However, above that, there is Comprehension and Application, which are rarely focused on. Neuron Labs School prioritises skill development along with the deep understanding of concepts.”

According to Mrs. Lakshmi, many of the concepts taught in traditional education do not have much practical application in the real world and are not implementable. Also, many of the skills required in the real world, like research, communication, and presentation, are missing in traditional education. Neuron Labs School acknowledges this niche and focuses on skill development, preparing students for the real world. The school assigns students various projects, making them do various presentations to improve their listening, communication, and presentation skills. Mrs. Lakshmi asserts, “We believe that when students use practical examples of concepts and are involved in projects themselves, they figure out the root of the concept and learn it forever.”

The school believes that the concept of The Learning Pyramid validates this fact which shows that the retention of students from just listening to a lecture is far lower than the practical involvement by the student using ‘Learning By Doing’. The school also believes in the co-integration of various subjects together, providing a holistic learning experience for the students.

Mrs. Lakshmi gives an example by mentioning a methodology initiated at the school, “For instance, we had asked students to survey members of their society to see a correlation of diet and weight, which was a subject taught to them in science class. They then plotted the data they had gathered and made it into a graph which was taught to them in math class. By asking the students to speak to other people, it helped them overcome any shyness or fear of talking to strangers and developed their communication skills.”

Driving Force of Neuron Labs

Co-Founder of Neuron Labs School, Mrs. Lakshi Santosh, is a seasoned educator with a burning passion for advancements in education. She has contributed to setting up IB (International Baccalaureate) schools and has interacted with many national and international students.

In her early years as an educator, Mrs. Lakshmi was influenced by the Montessori way of teaching younger children, which involved the use of physical objects to introduce math and counting concepts to younger children. She then began to develop a wholistic curriculum for students of all age groups, which inculcates the ‘Learning by Doing’ philosophy. She believes that co-curricular activities are an integral part of this philosophy and are also a part of the curriculum.

Learning by Doing

Neuron Labs School includes two mental and two physical activities, from which students can choose according to their preference. Robotics is one such activity that helps students develop engineering, programming, mathematical, mechanical, and science skills at a young age. While performing arts or dance is used as a medium of expression to create an impact on the audience. It also improves their mobility, flexibility, and body coordination and is a form of exercise. Apart from other such activities, the school also conducts Abacus and Speed Writing to sharpen students with mental math, speed, and hand-eye co-ordination. While the school also teaches Karate, which develops strength, flexibility, and mobility.

On Par With Changing Times

While speaking about how the school overcame challenges presented post COVID-19 pandemic, she asserts, “Schools all over the world have had to transition from a physical model of education to an online one, and this was met with a lot of scepticism and fear as no one was prepared for this change. Neuron Labs School was quick to adapt with excellent use of technology, providing good quality teaching through the online medium and making students, parents, and staff embrace this new era of education.”

The pandemic brought a lot of global economic problems, which impacted lots of people. The school proactively issued refunds to any parents who couldn’t/ didn’t want to continue and provided parents who continued with fee relief. Despite the enormous economic drain the school had to face, it went ahead with this decision, keeping in mind the pandemic’s financial crisis caused to various people. Neuron Labs School was one of the few schools to take such a decision and has been appreciated by all as a solid stance in the fight against covid.

Advanced Offerings and Methodology

As soon as the school understood that lockdowns would be imposed for long durations of time and that opening the physical school would be unlikely in the academic year, the focus shifted to providing the best platform for education online, which came in the form of the Office 365 platform. One of the features of the Office 365 platform is Microsoft Teams. With Microsoft Teams, students could join live online classes from their mobiles/laptops. Since the sessions were conducted live, students were able to interact with the teachers and could ask questions or get their doubts solved. Teachers were also able to share either pre-made ppts or videos during the live classes to engage the student’s attention and further increase the quality of the live classes. If any student missed any class or wanted to revise a course previously taken, they were easily able to do so with Microsoft Stream.

In addition to the live classes, teachers at the school made pre-recorded videos and ppts of the syllabus topics to provide additional information and strengthen the concepts taught in the live classes. These videos were uploaded to OneDrive to provide full access to the students.

Students could be tested on the various syllabus topics or given homework in the Assignments Section, gauging the student’s understanding of each and every topic, and providing them with practice when given as homework, or test them and push them to the next level in their educational journey. At Neuron Labs School, all FA and SA examinations for 2020-21 were conducted seamlessly with the Assignments feature.

With the Office 365 ID provided to students, they were also offered Office 365 Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. Students at the school were able to use these tools for various projects, assignments, and notes throughout the year, greatly increasing their computer literacy and making them comfortable using these software.

With online learning, the Neuron Labs School had an opportunity to do some unique activities which were difficult to execute in a physical medium. ‘Impressions and Interactions’ was one such initiative undertaken by the school. Various people from different professions came to talk to students about their jobs, their importance, and the challenges they face in them. This exposed students to varied industry experiences and inspired many of them to think of different career paths like art, dentistry, yoga, etc.

Heading to a Hopeful Future

While speaking about the school’s outlook for the future, Mrs. Lakshmi says, “We believe the future of this country lies in the hands of our children. With the ‘Learning by Doing’ philosophy, we will continue to strive for advancements in teaching. By providing the student’s a good education, making them develop skills, creating good human beings and great leaders of the future. The sky is the limit for our future Neuronites!”

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