Creation of persona and scenario thereafter is essential to understand the project’s target group. It will help me understand how the target group utilizes my design, and the type of information they need most from my deliverable.
I had initially prepared a few scenarios and approached my guide. However the scenarios appeared incomplete. I was asked to understand my project with more clarity and there upon base my parameters for scenario building. I was also asked to look up the various intelligences an individual possesses and how it is utilized. Various questions had to be anwered such as— Who are children? What is their actual purpose? What do they want from education?
“Absorbent Mind” by Maria Montessori came to my aide. It made me realize that each child is a constructor of man he is to be. I got several insights on the psychic behind many behavior patterns of children. “You’re smarter than you think”-by Dr. Thomas Armstrong and “Children: How to manage them now that you’ve got them” were useful as they tried to explain children and their behavior in simple language.
Based on the above readings I reframed the scenarios. From amidst the various interviews I have had of parents, I observed that few incidents were repeating in many families. So I have taken up four problems which I found predominantly in my interviews.
Scenario One: Hearing impairment being a cause of worry for parents.
Nikhil is a five year old boy who suffers from hearing impairment and is assisted by hearing aid. His world revolves around abacus. He enjoys playing games on the computer. He loves his activity and puzzle books. Whenever his mother takes him to the children’s park near his house, he carefully observes everyone around. He also enjoys solving picture puzzles. Sometimes he juggles up the puzzle pieces and begins to solve them over and over again. Everyday his father drops him to school and his mother picks him. Occasionally when he meets his grandparents, he prefers to stay close to his mother. He is quite reserved and is mostly occupied with the things he is fond of.
The environment around him:
He lives with his parents in a rented apartment. His grandparents stay in another city. The family belongs to middle income group. His father is afinancial analyst in a bank. He leaves for work at around 8.30 and returns home by 9 at night. Mother is homemaker. She used to work as an interior designer but had to quit as she discovered Nikhil’s illness. They feel their child needs special attention and therefore they try to be very patient with him. They aspire that Nikhil grows up like a normal being and lead a healthy life. At times his mother’s friend who lives next door pays them a visit. But that is seldom. Twice a year they take Nikhil to visit his grandparents. There is not much of neighbor intrusion. Usually in the evening mother takes Nikhil for a walk and plays with him in the Children’s park.
In the month of April, when the news arrived from Kendriya Vidyalaya that Nikhil has got admission- his mother became extremely nervous. She was happy but at the same time worried. She was worried as to how would he be able to manage so many hours without her. Would teachers help him, would they understand his situation and give her son the attention he needs. Often she used to cry to herself about her son’s condition on leaving him all by himself in school.
Scenario Two: Child takes time to realize.
Meher is a four year old girl, who is very talkative and energetic. She loves to sing songs by herself and often requests her father to play her favourite music. She is stubborn to an extent and at times dictates. When a guest is at home, she starts singing and dancing and often has to be dragged to the corner to stop. She does not like it when she finds her mother frowning at her and often goes and sits in her balcony alone. Her father usually drops her to school and her mother picks her up.
The environment around her:
Meher lives with her parents. Her grandparents stay in another village near by. Her father is a sound engineer and works for All India Radio Mumbai. He usually leaves by 9 and returns home by 7-7:30. Her mother is a homemaker. Meher is slightly scared of her mother and enjoys her father’s company. Meher’s mom feels that it is essential for the child to love what it is doing and so she does not force her to color or solve puzzles. She lets her do things by her own will. She believes that gradually Meher will understand and learn by herself. Since she is the only grandchild-she is very much pampered by her paternal grandparents whom she meets once in two months. They love to splurge on her with toys and dresses.
Meher had been fine for the first week of her school but later when she realised that she had to stay in school for quite some time she began to object to it. For four days she was fine but on Friday morning she had to be dragged for brushing- she started crying that she did not wish to go to school. She clung to the door. Her mother felt that Meher was acting very stubborn and shouted at her. This made her cry even more and so both the parents decided to let her stay back. However both parents remained baffled as to why all of a sudden she did not want to go to school.
Scenario Three: Scared of school route
Malay is a five year old boy. He loves to play with his father’s mobile because he finds the apps very interesting. He also enjoys playing games on computer. Moreover he is fond of watching birds and often asks about them. He is not only friendly with the neighborhood kids but also loves to play with the dogs and cats in his compound. He is keen of visiting zoo and aquarium. He loves to help his mother when she is pruning plants and watering pots in the balcony. Often after coming back from school he likes to decide the clothes by himself and also looks forward to wearing good contrast of colors. At times he fights with his elder brother. He loves to wear his elder brother’s t-shirts and caps.
The environment around him:
He stays with his parents and an elder brother who is nine years old. Father is a graphic designer at an advertising agency whereas mother has been freelancing as illustrator. Father leaves home by eight and comes home by 10-11. Father has a very stressful life. He only gets off on Sunday. Malay’s mother does not put much restriction on him and lets him explore his environment by himself. She encourages him to spend time outdoors and also asks his elder brother to play with him. Since they stay in a colony, many children come to play in the evenings. While his mom goes to meet her friends from the neighborhood, Malay joins his brother along with his friends. He does not talk much but is a good listener. He often accompanies his grandparents to the temple on Saturdays. He enjoys their company.
Since Malay’s school was nearby, his mom used to walk with him and drop him to school as well as pick him up. After three days of beginning his school- Malay refused to walk further. He began to wail out and cry loudly begging his mom to take him back. Again, the next day when his grandmother was taking him to a shop which lies on the same route, he began to cry asking his grandma to take him back. She tried explaining him that they are not going to school, yet he continued to cry till she had to return back.
Scenario Four: Difficulty in interacting with peers
Shayar is five year old. He is an aggressive child. He loves to play indoor games such as snake and ladders and carom, etc. He enjoys watching television and playing Angry Birds on his mother’s phone. He loves to hear his mom read him stories but feels too lazy to do it himself. He throws a lot of tantrums if his grandparents or parents leave him and go.
The environment around him:
He lives with his parents and grandparents. Father owns a business while mother is a teacher in the junior section of a reputed school. Father leaves home by 10 o’clock in the morning and returns by 7 whereas mother leaves home by 8:30 and returns by 1. Since he is the only child of his parents and the only grandchild he is very much pampered at home. Both parents feel that Shayar should open up and start talking to others. Whenever guests come home and he sees his mother talking to them and not paying him sufficient attention, he gets annoyed and runs about throwing things. Shayar’s family rarely interact with the neighbors.
Shayar was looking forward to attend his new school and learn more. However after a few days the teacher noticed that he refused to share his things with others. He would also end up quarrelling with other children many a times and often came back home crying. At home he would not share what happened in school , leaving his parents uncertain of his behavior and well being in school.