March 2011Volume 5, Issue 3 Inspiring Teachers Driving educational change through excellence in teaching TheProfessor.in – launched It’s a pleasure to announce feedback on the site and have been mentioned as that the services related to services. part of a discussion between colleges have been launched The newsletter has an article Ohio State University andThis month: under the new name and and book review by new India.When teachers website – TheProfessor.in - contributors –Binay Pattanayak We sincerely hope morepromote activepedagogy – to bring focus to this from UNICEF and Sushma authors will be motivated toBinay segment. New features like Bhalkikar from GMR send articles.Pattanayak..….2 ask the expert, faculty of the Varalakshmi Foundation. Our regular fare of links andBook Review- month are added. Two more books on active humour continues. So haveSushma Bhalkikar…………….. ..3 We are eagerly looking for pedagogy in STEM disciplines a good read!Book Group on Reflecting on the first quarter Careers with TheProfessor.inScientificTeaching…….6 1. Experienced faculty in • 10000 Women Entrepreneurs is aInteresting links …4 certificate program sponsored by Goldman professional colleges as trainers Sachs and delivered in India by ISB. A for our programs. Should be well three-month course that concluded on Jan versed with subject, internet and 11th, was attended by Dr Uma. The concept MS Office. and business plan of Teacher’s Academy 2. Marketing professionals won the best plan award too. experienced in education domain • Office space has been taken in Somajiguda, for business development. Hyderabad and there are career 3. Internet savvy with good language opportunities (see box). skills for Executive Assistant. Will • Addressed first year students and faculty at be responsible for administration Aditya Institute of Technology and and documentation. Management, Tekkali, 28th Feb Interested may read the website and • Addressed students at SVGroup of send profile along with 200 words on Institutions, at Chevella – 19th Feb why they want to join TheProfessor. To firstname.lastname@example.org
Inspiring Teachers Page 2 of 6 When teachers promote active pedagogy The Right of Children to learn and advocates connection, we do not have teaching learning processes many examples where Free and Compulsory that are based on the child’s teachers have taken a lead to Education Act emphasises on previous learning design appropriate strategies the importance of child experiences, learning for their children. Here is an friendly and child centred interests, learning styles example that clearly indicates processes in and around and learning processes. The how concerned teachers have schools to make RTE a reality concerned teacher/s has an attempted to put their ideas of every child. In this context important role to and learning into practice to it refers to the understand these and address the needs of every recommendations of National design appropriate child they work with. Curriculum Framework, strategies for every child in 2005 which recognises every the school. In this child’s unique potential to Binay Pattanayak - Education Specialist, UNICEF, New DelhiBinay has been working bring change in their own learning-centred approach.for 23 years for children, In this context, the story oftheir basic rights, schools and materials, and to They realized that children the development of ActiveQuality in school themselves create and show a generally learn much moreeducation through child- Schools in Latur district offriendly schools & better model that could through ‘activities’, and began Maharashtra stands out as asystems, Right to convince their authorities. to design learning experiencesEducation Act, Multi rare and inspiring exampleLingual Education, They began to experiment with which allowed children to of bottom-up change inCommunity based different ways of approaching actively participate in andSchool Management, education. This was not aand Teacher Education the existing curriculum, enjoy the learning process, programme designed byPrior to UNICEF, he textbooks, pedagogy and based on their dailyworked for the Sarva experts at the top andShiksha Abhiyan as learning assessment system. experiences and interests. obediently executed byChief Consultant They began to discuss and They began to adapt and(Pedagogy) on behalf teachers. This model arosethe Technical Support conceptualize a new system of enrich the existing state organically, when in 1998 aGroup (SSA - MHRD) at pedagogy for their schools in materials as per their needsnational level. He small team of interestedprovided technical the form of a pilot project that and dreams, and went several teachers from Latur got asupport to Ministry and centred on improving the steps ahead by designingStates, for nearly a chance to visit variousdecade, in the area of teaching learning processes. more systematically graded innovative educationalquality improvement in self-learning cards, learningSSA & DPEP, Teacher experiments in different Gradually, through theirEducation, RTE, MLE guides, learning assessment parts of India. Inspired by sustained efforts and growingand Child friendly papers and other guide booksSchools. He was the innovative learner- confidence, these teachers for better classroomactively involved in the centred classrooms that they were able to bring about a shiftlarge scale Learning transaction. saw, these teachers started from the traditional teacher-EnhancementProgrammes in States. dreaming how they could centred classrooms to a Continued on page 4
Page 3 of 6 Inspiring TeachersBook Review – Sushma Bhalkikar, GMR Varalakshmi FoundationI have a friend whose 24/7 competition among children a good career. But childrenmission is to see that her 11 in practically any sphere of need time to play and indulgeyear old son gets cent life tends to be intense”, says themselves in activities wherepercent marks in all Dr Raghunathan. So, they can purely have fun, whichsubjects, plays all sports considering that life is a race, don’t necessarily have to beviz., football, volleyball, is it realistic that humans can played in a competitive spirit tocricket, get accolades for run it at the speed of a win or lose. They need time toparticipating in dramatics, sprint? Shouldn’t we explore the world and discoverdebating, elocution etc. prepare our children to run a themselves as there is more toShe has been thinking of Caption describing picture marathon than a sprint? life than getting a good rank, or graphic.putting him into coaching Should we not try to winning a medal, havingclasses for cricket and chess optimize life rather than excellent career et al.in addition to his tuitions. I maximize on ‘speed’? While It is in this scenario that This is a good read forgifted her copy of “Don’t we channel all energy in DrRaghunathan’s book “Don’t all because of its simpleSprint the Marathon” by Dr developing their academic style of writing yet the Sprint the Marathon” comes asV Raghunathan. And now performance and depth of addressing an enlightening experience, for critical aspects in termsshe’s re-thinking!‘I took the performance in formal sports parents, for teachers and those of learning, instillingstatement “Athletes forcing and hobbies, how many interested in education! It values, parenting,their pace unnaturally parents are thinking of schooling etc. In the makes for easy reading and isthrough long runs are making their children race of life, personal or absolutely apt in the current professional, it isknown to have cardiac holistic, well balanced, well context as it talks about important to understandarrests mid course. It’s the socialized and good human parenting and instilling good and realize thesame with kids who are beings and citizens? importance of long term values in children rather thandriven to run a sprint goals and look at the It’s true that most of us want putting them through so much larger picture than workunder acute pressure from our children to excel in pressure to perform at for short term gainsparents for performance”, studies and are willing to unrealistically high standards. which may not beseriously’, she says. sustainable. It is send them to the best “Competing with self isIs life a race? “Well, it imperative and crucial to schools, put them through a synonymous with striving for prepare our children toneedn’t be. Ideally , it number of tutorials etc. In excellence”, says Dr run the race of life as ashouldn’t be and isn’t. But the process, consciously or Raghunathan. “Marathon” also marathon rather than athen to treat life not as a subconsciously, we are talks about developing the sprint. And if you wouldrace but a wonderful day like to know how to do pushing them without really ability of an individual to handle that, just go to a nearbyout on an adventure trek, trying to assess their failures and to learn from them. bookstore and buy athough idealistically capabilities and interests. Everyone likes to be successful, copy of “Don’t Sprintcompelling, is unlikely to The intention is definitely but as parents, we seldom teach the Marathon”!cut ice with most parents, not to undermine the our children to handle failures.particularly in India where importance of education and Continued on page 5
Inspiring Teachers Page 4 of 6 When teachers promote active pedagogy – Cont’d A look at the daily becomes a facilitator, Improved learning activities in the school clarifying doubts, helping performances of students reveals a very inspiring with the hard spots and of Active Schools learning environment. providing direct and convinced educational Right from cleaning the indirect inputs. Children authorities to apply the campus, keeping the develop scrap books from pedagogical principles of Picture Caption Contest garden green and locally available material, these schools in other organizing the classroom engage in self-learning schools. After a year of to attending a very eclectic and learn also from toys, experimenting in theseSend a funny but morning assembly that their environment and initial 15 schools, theintelligent caption forthe above picture before includes prayer and from books other than project was expanded to a th15 March to pledge, songs and stories their school books. There total of 117 schools acrossinfo@inspiring- and also the day’s news, are games – educational Latur district. Ten yearsteachers.com children in Active Schools and also for pure fun, later, the project has are never short of joyous question-answer sessions, grown so well and its activity. There are boards feedback and suggestion success has spread so to be updated, self- time… and the day ends much that the State attendance sheets to be with another assembly, government of filled, weekly exhibitions with introspection and Maharashtra is now to be held and self- retrospection. gearing up to scale up this grooming to attend to! This new approach to model and to carry overIs your brain aging? Card-based activity teaching has proved much the spirit of Active SchoolsSay silk five times. happens in small groups more effective than the across all the primaryNow spell silk. What do where each child gets a traditional methods of government schools in thecows drink? chance for creative classroom transaction. state.What do you put in a expression. The teachertoaster? Interesting LinksIf a red house is made • Bill Gates writes about importance of identifying good teachers and transferring their skillsfrom red bricks and ablue house is made and also of need for measurement.http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-from blue dyn/content/article/2011/02/27/AR2011022702876.html?Hpid=news-col-blogbricks and a pink house • A site for people looking for conferences: http://www.conferencealerts.com/is made from pink bricksand a black house is • Jack’s page on basic physics and optics www.kw.igs.netmade • Lovely resource for writing - www.phrases.org.ukfrom black bricks, whatis a green house made • The need for measurements and systems: Http://www.thestreet.com/story/11007678/1/a-from? charter-schools-successful-system-innovators.htmlAnswers on next page • Preparing students for post secondary careers -www.newarkadvocate.com
Page 5 of 6 Inspiring Teachers…Marathon (Continued from page 3)Probably that’s the reason that examinations are a is therefore on a lowerwe come across heart- part and parcel of every priority. Also manywrenching news every child’s life (and a scientists are not aware ofnow and then about some nightmare!). While we modern pedagogicchild committing suicide cannot do away with findings and are notfor not getting through a exams, as parents and trained in the use ofcertain exam or facing teachers, the best we effective methods torejection. As Dr could do is to stop generate deeper learningRaghunathan rightly puts ‘evaluating’ a child based in students.it, that “while a child’s on the results. This book is an effort toself-esteem develops with The author gives us improve undergraduateearly successes, can it examples of so many education in STEMreally be developed ordinary people who have disciplines– with specificwithout also teaching a done extraordinary things examples in life sciences.child to cope with real or in life. Most of them have The title also suggests that Jo Handelsman, Sarah Miller and Christine Pfundperceived failures?” not gone to the best of teaching is also scientificChildren spend the best schools, are not rank like the research thepart of their day at school. holders or excel in any professors conduct andSo the teacher plays way academically, but that the same rigor andsignificant role in shaping did not stop them from discipline must bethe personality of achieving accolades and applied. See note onchildren. Guru coming out as true next pagedevobhava, teacher is winners in the race of life!equal to God! How very Read about Raghunathan Answers to brain at teasers on previoustrue. But “Most of our http://www.linkedin.com/in page.schools are ineffective /raghunathanbecause they usually Water. Bread.attempt to teach, while Scientific Teaching Glass.they should be helping If you said milk, toastchildren to learn,”says Dr We expect undergraduate and green bricks, yourRaghunathan. Its crucial students to get excited in brain must be aging!for teachers to make the subject and also havechildren curious for competencies for rigorousknowledge, encourage study. However, in most This was another bookthem to ask questions and universities teaching is referred in the discussionmotivate them to achieve not rewarded along the between OSU and Indiaexcellence. It’s a sad truth same lines as research and Science Education Group.
OSU –India Discussion Group: Scientific Teaching – Jo HandelsmanTeacher’s Academy et al on the book Scientific Judith Ridgeway Assistant A bunch of professors and Teaching. While issues Director, Center for Life research students from like syllabus and Sciences Education and Anil Hyderabad Ohio State University and assessment in affiliated Kumar Challa were the Vivekananda Degree and colleges in India are initiators of this book group. PHONE: PG College and Shadan 97011 41118 different from those in Jonathan Hall, Zenap Institute of P.G.Studies OSU, reluctance of Benderlioglu,Ran Furman, E-MAIL: got together on five students to work for Wei Liu,Conor Flynn,email@example.com Wednesdays over a video deeper learning echoed on Alexandra Permar from OSU, conference facility at both sides. Avanti Rao, Aparna,Vidya Osmania University to Using Mindmaps, Jonnalagadda, Vanitha, discuss and debate about handling diversity in Pratap Rudra,Uma Garimella, active learning methods in classrooms and Usha, Anju from Hyderabad a biology class. The assessment were some of and Ramakrishnan Sitaraman discussions were centered the key topics. from Delhi participated. About Teacher’s Academy… Started more than three raiser for faculty and TA- faculty to be featured years ago, already 1500 ship training for students every month. Share teacher members on-line, going overseas are some of articles, useful links, See us at: 40 colleges and many the new offerings. teaching resources andwww.inspiring-teachers.com schools touched by the Continuous support and tips for effective teaching training. multiple initiatives will be with a growing Student awareness included for holistic and community of our teacher sessions on active learning sustainable change. mailing list. for employability, curtain Now you can suggest Uma Garimella