Somaiya Vidyavihar has launched The Somaiya Center for Experiential Learning (SCEL). This initiative embodies Somaiya Vidyavihar’s commitment to the holistic growth of individuals and giving back to the community.
The Somaiya Center for Experiential Learning will provide immersive learning experiences in the areas of Environment sustainability and Cultural heritage of India for students, teachers, corporates and the community.
SCEL aims tofacilitate quality experiential learning programs that enhance learning, integrate theory and practice, and promote active citizenship. The center will create site-based programs that will enable participants to be curious, creative, think critically and feel empowered to participate in issues that affect the community and the world around them.
Key components of the approach include:
- Learning through exploration
- Learning that engages the senses
- Learning through experiences that touch the heart and ignite minds
- Learning that empowers to make a difference
Says Samir Somaiya, President, Somaiya Vidyavihar “ The initiative is aimed at engaging, inspiring, increasing the awareness, and fostering pro-conservation behavior towards environment and cultural heritage of India amongst students and the community.”
Says Prashant Mahajan, Director, The Somaiya Center for Experiential Learning says, “Teaching about heritage or sustainability can be challenging. It is much easier to understand when demonstrated with real world experiences. The idea is to go beyond the classroom and use the approach of field experience, self-discovery, and exploration to create awareness of environmental conservation and cultural conservation. Experiential learning includes a variety of activities with one common goal—to immerse oneself in hands-on learning outside the classroom where experience is at the heart of the learning process.
He adds “ The sites of historical and cultural importance can be, for example, selected for programs that complement lessons from History, Language, Literature and Geography, while sites such as Borivili National Park (Sanjay Gandhi National Park), Maharashtra Nature Park, BNHS Conservation Education Centre, Tadoba Tiger Reserve, Bhimashankar, Tansa Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhigawan Bird Sanctuary, can offer good learning opportunity on study of natural heritage.”
The Somaiya Centre for Experiential Learning, will also support citizen projects that will meaningfully involves members of the public in data collection, that will, contribute new knowledge to scientific priorities and inform plans or policies to improve management and stewardship of biodiversity, ecosystems of the area.
SCEL will collaborate with institutions that have a strong interest in science and culture to facilitate interactions and outcomes beyond academia.