The concept of cone of experience was given by Edger Dale in 1946. The learning experiences are placed at hierarchical manner in the cone with reference to their relative position in the teaching-learning process. This is a visual model which is made of eleven stages starting from concrete experiences at the base of the cone and then it becomes more and more abstract as it reaches the peak. The arrangement in the cone is based on the principle of concretization to abstraction and on the number of senses involved. The more senses are involved in direct, purposeful experience, but it does not mean that concrete experience is the most effective way of getting knowledge. The experiences at each stage can be mixed and are interrelated in order to foster more meaningful learning.
I see and I forget.
I hear and I remember.
I do and I understand.
Pupils generally remember 10% of what they read, 20% of what they hear, 30% of what they see, 50% of what they see & hear, 70% of what they say & write and 90% of what they say and do.
Explanation of Learning Experiences with special reference to the Teaching of Geography: Geography is the study of the earth’s surface and it includes physical as well as cultural phenomena under its scope. The Dale’s cone of experience helps teachers to plan different kinds of learning experiences in order to create the most effective learning environment for the purpose of studying geographical contents.
- Direct, purposeful experience: The cone of experience is started with direct, purposeful experience at its base. Here, the knowledge is imparted through the senses that are direct and purposeful. The students learn something by doing something. At this level, students wholeheartedly participate so that active learning is occurred. Teachers can plan for some activities for the purpose of geographical learning.
- Take a glass of water and a card. Then put the card on the top of the glass. Put your palm on the card and gradually turn the glass towards the ground. Then give up your palm. The card will remain stuck to the glass. In this way, students learn about air pressure.
- There are an old newspaper, a used water bottle and a vermilion box. Students are provided with a scissor and a brush. Then they are instructed to do a needful action with these materials. Students can prepare a flower vase with the given materials. In this way, students learn about waste material management.
- Contrived experience: When the real thing cannot be perceived directly, imitation of the real object is preferred for better and easier understanding. At the time of imitation, the contrived object may differ from the original object, but the main idea is depicted through it. Teachers can imitate some geographical phenomena for the purpose of learning.
- An animated video can be prepared for portraying various kinds of plate movement and the formation of fold mountains.
- A simulated model can be planned to show the origin of monsoon.
- Dramatic Participation: Some real events can be presented through role playing. Students actively participate in this type of activities and they can improve their affective as well as psychomotor domains. It encourages creative production of learning and students joyfully participate in the learning process.
- A drama can be prepared on the basis of the theme protective measures at pre-cyclone period, during cyclone period and post-cyclone period.
- A pantomime can be arranged for depicting the cultural diversity of India in terms of language, religion and racial varieties.
- Demonstration: When teachers demonstrate, students receive knowledge through observation and interaction with teachers.
- Teachers can demonstrate rock and mineral samples for describing their properties and identification.
- Teachers can impart the concept of types of volcanoes with the help of various models.
- Teachers can demonstrate a dumpy level and prismatic compass instruments for surveying purposes.
- Field Trips: Field trips are the most inevitable learning experiences for geographical learning. It gives students a hands-on experience. Students can co-relate their classroom learning with real things. They can identify relief features, soil types, rock types, the type of vegetation etc. in the study area. They can analyze the man-environment relationship of the area. They can collect soil samples, water samples, rock samples from the study area. They can prepare a contour plan with the help of dumpy level and prismatic compass instruments. They can determine the long profile and cross profiles along a river with the help of surveying instruments. Students can also plan for market survey, school survey, household survey, hotel survey for assessing the socioeconomic status of the area.
- Exhibition: For the purpose of exhibition, students can prepare a number of things such as charts, models, posters, diorama, photo collage as well as they can demonstrate with different samples, experiments, videos etc. In this way, students can develop their psychomotor skills and communication abilities. Even they can accept the subject in a creative way.
- Students can prepare orographic rainfall model, the model of the interior of the earth, the model of fluvial landforms, glacial landforms, marine landforms etc.
- Students can also plan for some working models such as rain water harvesting, plate movement and associated landforms, solar energy project, formation of cyclones and so on.
- Movie: The movie is the audio-visual teaching aids by which students get iconic and echoic experiences. The motion picture can imitate reality in an effective way so that students’ learning gets concretized. Teachers can arrange some movie shows in school for the purpose of geographical learning. Few movies are:
- No Impact man (2009): Sustainability based movie.
- Ashes to Honey (2011): Nuclear power based movie.
- Polluting Paradise (2012): Waste management based movie.
- Under the Dome (2015): Air pollution based movie.
- Before the Flood (2016): Global climatic change based movie.
- Still Picture: Still pictures are used for the purpose of teaching-learning on the basis of our iconic experiences. The pictures can be projected clearly through projectors.
- Teachers can use still pictures of glacial, fluvial, aeolian, marine, periglacial landforms for the purpose of teaching.
- The clothing styles, hair styles, ornaments, house types, body image, face structure of various tribal groups of India can be presented through still pictures as teaching aids.
- Recording: Radio recording or tape recording can be used as teaching aids for the purpose of teaching-learning. It gives us echoic experience.
- The warning messages that were broadcast on the radio during cyclone in the past in an area can be played to teach students about the warning system of cyclone.
- Songs of different tribes and folk music can be played to teach students about the culture.
- Visual Symbol: Charts, maps, graphs, diagrams, cartoon can be used as visual symbols. These are used universally on account of their non-verbal characteristics. The symbols must be decoded properly by the teachers so that students can grasp any concept clearly.
- Topographical maps, Atlas maps, administrative maps, landuse maps, weather maps and the like are used popularly at the time learning geographical contents.
- Ombrothermic charts, Lorenz curve, histogram, polygon, cumulative frequency curves, choropleth etc. are used for imparting geographical contents.
- Verbal Symbol: It has taken place at the apex level of the cone on account of its most abstract nature. Here, the knowledge is imparted through verbal communication.
- Teachers plan for lecturing, explanation, illustration and deductive methods for imparting geographical knowledge to students.
- Students can be divided into groups with a topic of discussion. Students can put their own point of view, opinion, justification related to the topic. It is useful for teaching social geography, population geography, cultural geography, political geography, etc. In this way, a debate session can be arranged.
- Reading materials like articles, reference books, research papers, review papers, map books, encyclopedia, travel accounts, etc. can be provided to students for learning purposes.
Teachers can arrange different learning experiences according to the maturation and age levels of students. The abstract form of learning experience is arranged for mature students. The lower parts of the cone are preferred for junior classes, whereas higher parts are appropriate for higher classes for the purpose of geographical learning.
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