In a recent trip to India I had the opportunity to visit schools in Tamil Nadu and observe the application of a new teaching approach in government schools. The Activity Based Learning (ABL) approach is a teaching technique in which learning is accomplished through activities, rather than through the traditional rote teaching we often observe in many schools across the developing world.
These government schools are serving mostly disadvantaged children. In the schools we visited, a majority of students are classified as scheduled casts/scheduled tribes. The infrastructure is basic -in one school children were working in the dark because the electricity was out - a regular occurrence in many schools in Tamil Nadu. Yet, there was significant learning going on.