8 Deakin Study APSCHE


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8. Deakin Evaluation “ A study of Best Practices of the Intel Teach Preservice Program in India –APSCHE

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8 Deakin Study APSCHE

  1. 1. A Study of the Best Practices of theIntel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India April 2008
  2. 2. A Study of the Best Practices of theIntel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India By DrM A Siddiqui Dean, Faculty of Education Jamia Millia Islamia New Delhi A Study of the Best Practices of the 3 Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  3. 3. Section 2 Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher EducationSection 2Andhra Pradesh StateCouncil of Higher Education(APSCHE)The present study has examined in-depth the process of implementation and impactof the Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in teacher education institutions in the stateof Andhra Pradesh, which ultimately impacts the quality of education imparted inschool and higher education and, in turn, imapcts the economic and socialdevelopment of the people in the state. During the last one decade or so, AndhraPradesh has emerged as one of the major players in the IT industry and has registereda very high rate of growth in this sector as compared to the rest of the country. Thestate, therefore, offers a congenial environment and technology friendly administrationwhich is open to all such proposals and plans that may directly or indirectly influencethe progress of the state and its economy in the field of technology.1. Development of Key Relationships:Realizing the technology needs of the schools and teachers of the state, the IntelTeach team in Andhra Pradesh developed healthy relationships with institutions in thestate that are involved with teacher education. Their first interaction was with theOsmania University in 2001. Prior to the MoU with APSCHE in 2004, the Intel teamhad signed a previous agreement with APSCHE in August 2002 to organize trainingprograms for teacher trainees and educators in six state governed universities tohelp them integrate technology in the teaching/learning process. This relationshipproved very useful and prepared the base for a larger relationship that culminatedwith the MOU signed with APSCHE in 2004.Intel’s sustained efforts helped in getting technology content, skills and resourcessuccessfully integrated into pre-service teacher education programs across the state.This was clear during the present study conducted in Andhra Pradesh. In the course ofthe study, several practices followed in implementing the Intel Teach curriculum inpre-service teacher education institutions came to ligh which are worthy of beingemulated by similar institutions in other places.The Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education (APSCHE), a statutory bodycreated by state legislation, grants recognition to all colleges and institutions ofhigher education and issues norms and guidelines for the organization of academicprograms and courses in them. APSCHE, therefore, also regulates and recognizesteacher training institutions in the state. It has powers to recommend curricula fordifferent programs offered in these institutions. There are eight universities in thestate, namely, A Study of the Best Practices of the 25 Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  4. 4. Section 2Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education • Osmania University • Kakatiya University • Andhra University • Sri Venkateswara University • Sri Padmavati Mahila University • Sri Krishnadevaraya University • Acharya Nagarjuna University • Dravidian University. Colleges in the state have to be affiliated with one of these universities. Universities formulate their own curricula through their Academic Councils within the ambit of guidelines or curricular framework recommended by APSCHE. So, in order to affect any modification in the curricula of any undergraduate or postgraduate program in the state, APSCHE is the apex body within the state that is responsible . 2. Integration of Intel Teach Curriculum: Three years ago, when APSCHE decided to integrate ICT curriculum into the pre- service teacher education curriculum in the state, Andhra Pradesh became the first state in the country to have made technology integration a mandatory component of the B. Ed. course. In 2004, APSCHE directed all the eight state universities to adopt and integrate the Intel Teach curriculum in the B. Ed. program in all their Education Departments and affiliated colleges of education. In order to reach out effectively to the student teachers whose medium of instruction is the local vernacular language Telugu, the Intel Teach curriculum was translated into the Telugu with the help of the Telugu Akademi. APSCHE has prescribed this book as a textbook for the B. Ed. course. This kind of state-wide policy initiative helped in the uniform implementation of the Intel Teach Pre Service curriculum simultaneously in the entire state. This initiative inspired the private colleges located in the mofussil areas, which were otherwise reluctant to change in their B. Ed. curriculum, to adopt the program. To make this policy decision effective, APSCHE immediately appointed a Curriculum Reform Committee to formulate a revised B. Ed. curriculum with the ICT component incorporated into it. The Committee in the course of its curriculum revision introduced a compulsory paper on computer education and adopted the Intel Teach Pre-Service curriculum without any changes. As a result, all the universities in the state and their affiliated colleges have integrated technology into their B. Ed. curriculum and have also accordingly strengthened their teaching / learning processes and resources. As per the direction given by APSCHE, all the universities in the State have introduced one compulsory paper of 100 marks on “Educational Technology and Computer Education” in their B. Ed. curriculum and two computer education projects to be completed in two phases during the course of the B. Ed. curriculum. Justifying26 A Study of the Best Practices of the Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  5. 5. Section 2 Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Educationthe decision of the Curriculum Reform Committee, the Chairman of APSCHE says,“Intel has already developed an ICT curriculum for pre-service teacher educators,which successfully synthesizes latest technological developments with educationalmethodologies. It is globally tried and tested by them and is in line with the globaltechnological trends. Therefore, while updating our teacher education curriculum wefound this curriculum to be the most suitable model to be adopted for our purposes,as it would help our trainee teachers and through them the school students can takefull advantage of the global technological experience and exposure provided by Intel.For us, and for any university, it was just not possible to devote the kind and degreeof resources, or gain exposure in technology, as has been incorpoated by Intel intothe Intel Teach Curriculum. The Intel Teach curriculum offers globally appropriateteaching methodology that is relevant, in tune with the changing times and helps inquality training of future teachers. Hence, its adoption is highly beneficial for ourteachers and students.”APSCHE is working in three crucial areas viz. (i) improving access, (ii) makingeducation relevant with changing times and (iii) imparting quality education. TheChairman feels that ICT makes teacher education relevant and improves the qualityof teaching and training. To improve access, ICT can be used in the distance learningmode. As part of this exercise, in May 2004, APSCHE signed an MOU with Intel, andto take full advantage of this partnership, and has recently renewed it .During interactions with teacher educators in the APMS College of Education, theyunanimously appreciated the state policy decision to integrate ICT in the B. Ed.curriculum as a compulsory component, which made them accept this change andcould therefore reap its benefits. Initially, the student teachers faced a languagebarrier, as their medium of instruction had been Telugu, and the language used incomputers and the Internet is English. To handle this issue, the college hasdeveloped an innovative practice. It has introduced an 80-hour English ProficiencyCourse that is imparted to all student teachers. This course helps student teacherslearn ICT effectively. The principal of the college feels that this course provides anedge to the student teachers over the rest and equips them for faster and betterself learning across subjects.The success of the policy decision of integrating ICT into the pre-service teachereducation curriculum by adopting the Intel Teach curriculum is amply reflected in theannual calendar of activities, almanac and weekly time table of the colleges ofeducation. Most of the colleges have raised the necessary resources and developedthe infrastructure. Also, teacher educators have been systematically trained totransact the Intel Teach pre-service curriculum.In Andhra Pradesh, each state university has prescribed at least three hours perweek for computer education in the time table, besides the additional time forpractical work or project work in Computer Education. The Educational Technologyand Computer Education compulsory papers are given 80 hours (40+40) in the timetable. Two Computer Education Projects in Phase I and Phase II are assigned 5 dayseach for practical work. The Osmania University issues the annual almanac – an A Study of the Best Practices of the 27 Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  6. 6. Section 2Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education annual calendar for B. Ed. that specifies the time and duration of Computer Education projects, besides other activities during the session. As per the latest Almanac for 2006-2007, five days would be devoted in June (26th -30th) and five in October (23rd-28th) to computer education projects. Adherence to this calendar is essential. Any deviation, as warned by the University, will lead to the disaffiliation of the College of Education. Besides allocating one hour for computer education and five days each for two phases of computer education projects, the last period in every day’s time table is assigned to computer lab activity and A V education, in a manner that during the first three days of the week, half the class works in computer lab and in last three days the other half works on computers in the laboratory. In addition, two hours outside of college time are provided for remedial teaching and guidance in computer education on all days of the week. All colleges compulsorily offer teaching in theory of computer education and conduct practical classes for a minimum of 80 hours during the academic session. The college calendar also provides for two computer education projects to be completed by every student teacher during the year. Some teacher educators feel that in some remote colleges of education, greater attention is being paid to the completion of computer education projects than on developing computer skills prescribed in their curriculum among the student teachers. This needs to be better monitored by a team from APSCHE for complete and effective integration of technology into the teacher education curriculum. The Chairman of APSCHE says that monitoring is on their agenda and they will start it from early next year (2009) with support from Intel. The professional development of teacher educators by training them in technology skills was another essential requirement for the successful launch of the ICT curriculum in colleges of education, which was taken care of by the Intel team. They provided intensive training to two teacher educators from each college as Master Trainers, who in turn trained the rest of the teacher educators in their respective colleges. All the teacher educators in these colleges were trained in using ICT skills in planning, teaching, research, note making, giving web based assignments, project work and evaluation, and in e-material writings. Teacher empowerment was not limited to computer instructors or subject masters; rather all the teacher educators eventually received this training and developed the relevant skills. The principal of AMS College of Education feels that ICT training of the teacher educators has improved the quality of their inputs and made them more curious and motivated. They take more interest in their day to day activities as well as in their long term goals. Their interpersonal skills have also been enhanced. Earlier they were all competing with each other, working in a closed and isolated manner. Now, their cooperative spirit has surfaced and they work in cooperation and consultation with each other and develop projects jointly. Their dependence on the office for their computer work has been replaced by total independence. They are now self dependent and self learners. A good practice followed in this college is the organization of a bi-monthly meet of all teacher educators in the college on the first and third wednesday of every month, in which two faculty members make a PowerPoint presentation on topics of educational interest. This has helped to keep teacher educators professionally28 A Study of the Best Practices of the Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  7. 7. Section 2 Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Educationgrowing and thus becoming more effective in implementing their technology skills inteaching and training their student teachers.This policy of compulsory integration of technology in teacher education curriculumwas widely welcomed by the vice chancellors of all the universities in the state, whofelt it was a necessity. Introducing technology through a state policy was a good move,feels a senior principal of a college of education. Despite this being a policy decision,faculty in colleges, especially in remote areas, initially resisted this change, which,perhaps, is most often the case when any progressive change is introduced. Thechairman of APSCHE says that through the universities, their deans and other universityauthorities, they have tried to convince the college teachers that this is the need of thetime and they should accept it. The senior faculty in the universities, he says, is fullyconvinced that this policy, as well as the MoU with Intel, is good for teacher education.Another issue to be addressed relates to the management bodies of the privatecolleges. Working with eight departments or faculties of education in universities isnot enough. If APSCHE wants to succeed in this program, all the 500 plus colleges ofeducation affiliated to these universities have to be persuaded. If the ICT policy doesnot get positioned properly in these institutions, APSCHE will not be able tocontribute significantly towards the improvement of teacher education. The fastexpansion of teacher education in the state also poses another challenge for qualityof teacher education. There is a serious dearth of qualified faculty for these privatecolleges, particularly those possessing ICT based curriculum transaction skills. Thechairman of APSCHE feels that it will take 3 to 4 years to overcome this issuecompletely when the total impact of the policy change will be manifested in collegesof education all over the state.Some senior teacher educators in the universities, however, feel that the ICTcurriculum recommended by APSCHE now needs revision for a better theoretical andconceptual orientation of student teachers. They feel that the Intel curriculummanual needs no change as it relates to the practical aspect of technology curriculumand is quite comprehensive and complete for this purpose.University departments and more progressive colleges of teacher education in thestate are convinced that the technology integration curriculum proposed by Intel isquite comprehensive to develop the desired ICT skills in student teachers. Accordingto them, it leads to increased curiosity and interest of teacher educators and studentteachers; develops their interpersonal skills and cooperative spirit; develops themprofessionally; and makes them more independent and better self learners and co -learners. As a result of the effective use of this curriculum, student teachers havedeveloped a better understanding of planning for teaching, enquiry and heuristicapproaches, and project based learning. Many of them have even entered into newareas like digital content writing. Some of them are now writing “enquiry basedmaterial” for Class 8 and above. As an incidental effect of technology integration inteacher education, student teachers’ interest in learning english language hasincreased. APSCHE has therefore also revised the english language curriculum for allthe undergraduate programs. Some autonomous colleges of education in the state,like APM Samiti College, have also introduced an English Language Proficiency Course A Study of the Best Practices of the 29 Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  8. 8. Section 2Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Education of 80 hours in the B. Ed. course which substantially helps in learning ICT skills. The placement of student teachers has improved after the policy driven technology integration in their training. Earlier B. Ed. students would only appear in the DSE exams to become teachers in government schools, but now they compete for employment in corporate/private schools which prefer teachers who are equipped with ICT skills. Student teachers in many colleges said that they were satisfied with the Intel Teach curriculum manual. They say that it is quite handy and is a unique learning material. They can learn computer skills easily with its help as it provides step by step instructions, is self explanatory and a good source of self learning. 3. Relationship with Telugu Akademi: In most of the colleges of education affiliated to universities in AP, a large number of student teachers have a vernacular background though they have learnt english language at the school level. To enable them to take full advantage of the technology curriculum and develop technology skills, Intel decided to get the Intel Teach curriculum translated into Telugu with the help of the Telugu Akademi. Consequently, the Intel Teach curriculum manual was translated by the Telugu Akademi with the help of experts drawn from Osmania University. Again, as a matter of policy it was decided that while translating this curriculum, an attempt will be made to communicate the essence and spirit of the material and mere transliteration of the material will be avoided. Also, in the process of its translation, the curriculum would be localized to make it more learner friendly. The Telugu translation of the ICT curriculum has retained important technical terms in english, for example terms like mouse, key board, save, edit, folder, etc. have not been transliterated into Telugu. The senior professor of education and expert Telugu translator who was involved in the translation work defended this policy by saying that in the real world our student teachers and, in turn, their students will be using computer technology on a wider scale beyond the confines of their local area where everyone will be using these technical terms. So to help them become fully conversant with these universally accepted English terms, their regional language equivalents have been avoided. Endorsing this view, the chairman of APSCHE said “For our student teachers and school students to be globally relevant and successful in the race, it is necessary that they are fully conversant with ICT terminology in English. Translation is just to help them understand the processes and concepts better.” 4. Localization of Intel Curriculum The english version of the Intel Teach Pre-Service curriculum manual is the standard version which is used in teacher education institutions across the country. The manual contains several examples that have been incorporated to enable users understand the text clearly. The examples have been localized with Indian examples being used. Senior teacher educators from universities in the state feel that there does not seem to be any need to localize these examples further in the state context as they are easily understood by graduate students. The same argument was used30 A Study of the Best Practices of the Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  9. 9. Section 2 Andhra Pradesh State Council of Higher Educationwhile translating this material. Therefore, in the translation these examples have notbeen changed. In translation, replacement of technical words by their Teluguequivalents has been discouraged as this would have made the translated versionmore difficult for students to understand and would not have been acceptable ingeneral. In the feedback received on the translation, most people have appreciated itsquality and approach. Teacher educators have found that it facilitates learning andtherefore the present translation serves its purpose very well. However, someeducators do feel that rubrics need to be localized, with a few institutions makingattempts in this direction. They also feel that changing names and the terminologyinto the local language, without changing the basic structure, will make the materialmore comfortable for students and teacher educators.5. Taking Forward the Relationship with APSCHEIntel has a good relationship with APSCHE, with the authorities in APSCHE fullyconvinced of Intel’s objective of aiding teachers and teacher educators to be up todate with current global trends in ICT, which is also reflected at the local level. Senioroffice bearers at APSCHE acknowledge that they have entered into an MoU with Intelfor integrating technology curriculum into the pre-service teacher education programin the state because they are genuinely assisting teachers acquire technology basedteaching and learning methodologies which are the outcome of their global exposureand experience, and which have been successfully implemented in many parts of theworld. They also reiterate that Intel is helping their teachers acquire quality trainingand achieve improved teaching competencies.APSCHE is keen to take this healthy and fruitful relationship forward. The chairman ofAPSCHE wants to organise a series of joint workshops for teacher educators bycombining two or three universities, where trainers will be trained on the latest ICTteaching methodologies. APSCHE has also launched a new one year program called‘21st Century Gurukulum’ which is different from teacher education. This is an ITeducation program which aims at training rural youth for employment in the IT sector.APSCHE seeks Intel’s support in this initiative as well. Some former deans have alsosuggested that technology integration should also be considered at a higher level i.e.in Master of Education (M. Ed.) programs. There is also a need to monitor thefunctioning of the colleges of education and evaluate the extent and level to whichICT is being integrated in their institutions.6. Intel’s Role in State Advisory CommitteeAPSCHE has formed an Advisory Committee in which deans of all education faculties inthe state universities and their heads of the departments of education are members.To date, this committee has met only once. Intel is not a member of this committeebut was invited as a special invitee at the previous Advisory Committee meeting. Thecommittee plans to take the responsibility of getting feedback from the colleges ofeducation on the implementation of the MoU, and then take appropriate action. Thecommittee feels that it would be beneficial if Intel is involved in this process as well. A Study of the Best Practices of the 31 Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India
  10. 10. cONCLUSION Conclusion The present in-depth study has revealed that the Intel Teach Pre-Service curriculum has very effectively been integrated into the pre-service teacher education courses offered in India, as illustrated by the Navrachna College of Education. Teacher training institutions are following several best practices in the integration of technology by emulating others. Technology has, in fact, completely transformed these institutions in all aspects of their working including teaching, learning, training, research, extension, community development, finance and administration despite the many challenges they face. Professional development of teacher educators as a result of technology integration has brought a refreshing convergence between pre-service and in-service teacher education. Students passing outs of institutions that have integrated the Intel teach curriculum are now considered as Teacher Plus, and are quickly absorbed by schools for their ability to create distinctively better learning environments and enhance student learning. The dynamic and interactive college website has enhanced their connectivity with the outer world as well as with their own fraternity quite fruitfully. In the entire process of technology driven development of institutions, equality of access to technology to all student teachers has been consciously addressed and ensured. APSCHE’s decision and its renewed commitment to integrate the Intel Teach curriculum in pre-service teacher education in the entire state, owing to the fruitful partnership with Intel, emerges as a very encouraging and bold policy initiative. It carries its impact across the state steadily. State authorities, universities, colleges of education and teacher educators have generally expressed the wish to take technology integration forward to other levels of teacher education in close cooperation with the Intel Teach Pre-Sevice program to achieve a significant improvement in the quality of school and higher education on a much larger scale.32 A Study of the Best Practices of the Intel® Teach Pre-Service Program in India