The teaching principle used in Aflatoun’s program is called child-centered learning. Children are given space to express themselves, to act on their own, and to solve practical problems together. They act in these situations according to the Aflatoun motto: ’Explore, Think, Investigate and Act’. Methods of learning include storytelling, song, drama and dance, games, Aflatoun club formation (Children club).
All activities and books covered in the current Aflatoun programme address these issues through “Five Core Elements” that are balanced throughout the curriculum.
Self-Understanding and Personal Exploration
Aflatoun boost a child’s confidence and understanding by helping them explore their own identity from an early age. Children are strengthen to determine and assume about their place in the world as a child, a girl or a boy, a son or daughter, a student, and a citizen. Children are also familiarize with nationality, ethnicity and religion, which make children aware of and appreciate the different characteristics that make them unique individuals. Aflatoun programme material promotes compassion, respect for others, and stress the child’s position within a wider community.
Rights and Responsibilities
Aflatoun programme is grounded in the UN convention on the Rights of the Child. We look into four major rights i.e., Right to Survival, Right to Protection, Right to Development and Right to Participation. Children increase their understanding and knowledge of their rights as well as those of others. They are given an opportunity to initiate, plan and organize activities that may positively promote child rights. Rights does not exist alone it goes hand in hand along with responsibilities, children learn about their responsibilities towards themselves, their family, community and the environment.
Saving and Spending
Children as we all know are keen in collecting things that they think have value. The programme develops a broad and clear definition of savings. Children save money and learn how to spend responsibly. Even objects of personal value and natural resources are promoted as equally important as money (coins and bills). Aflatoun often use club and class approach to saving. Children set up Aflatoun club and elect a child leader who manages a group saving process under the supervision of trained teacher. It is place for democratic decisions and the club organize social and financial enterprises.
Planning and Budgeting
The concept of thinking ahead and planning is a skill, and is a key to individual development. Planning and budgeting let on children to set both personal and financial goals for the future. Children starts to think ahead by their experience and look at what their future may hold. They learn how to make a concrete steps towards a goal that they set for themselves.
Social and Financial Enterprise
In social and financial enterprise, children view themselves and act as active participants in their community. It is the rational extension of the different learning objectives and activities in Aflatoun programme. Social enterprise focuses on improving their own lives and the lives of the people around them through their collective activities and action, while in financial enterprise children make money through small business initiatives as a way to learn more about the market. The objectives of social and financial enterprise may seem very different however they are connected by the idea that children can play an active and solve a set of problem together. The money earned here is not important as much as their learning about the world and realizing that they are capable of accomplishing things together.
Based on these concepts, a well structured and balanced curriculum has been drafted which referable by children aging between 6-14yrs. The curriculum itself was refined over 18 years of action research in India, followed by 10 pilot projects around the world. It has been adapted to be appropriate for children in different regions and of different ages, and to be taught both in classrooms and out of school. Aflatoun partners have translated the curriculum and have contextualized it for over a 100 countries. MelJol conducts training, facilitate interactions with the children and teachers and help them understand and implement the program during these sessions.