The Thematic Learning Scheme is focussed on the conversion of curriculum and pedagogy from the passive mode to the active mode. The ultimate purpose of education and training consists of the development of (1) one’s talent and skill (2) one’s general ability for learning and figuring things out throughout life and (3) one’s leadership capabilities in whatever station of life one finds oneself.
It is this three-pronged development which enables one to become a functional and responsible member of the society and the work team. But, perhaps, the greatest of the three is the ability for learning and figuring out things throughout life. And, it is best achieved through the conceptualization and integration of the topics of any subject into a theme that the students can identify with, in an apprenticeship or action-learning format, with some individualized attention. This is the Thematic Learning Scheme. When the curriculum is administered thematically, learning becomes less academic, more practical, better internalized, painless and life-changing. Students become more successful in both internal and external examinations and in their subsequent careers.
For example, under the thematic learning scheme, the subject of economics has to be conceptualized as having to do with the continuous determination of actions to be taken to maximize the benefit of limited resources available to you, as an individual or as a society. This can be brought home by a project on crude oil revenues, with exportation as crude on the one hand and with significant local processing (with all the benefit of higher income and employment generation, along with lower fuel price, lower transport fares and lower manufacturing cost) on the other hand, before taking the topics in the syllabus for amplification. Here, the concept of optimization will be internalized. Contrast this scheme with the practice of proceeding to the individual topics by the traditional ‘telling and absorption’ setting between the facilitator (teacher) and the students, in which linkage to the essence of optimization is minimized and whatever is memorized, sooner than later, becomes obsolete – if not entirely forgotten.