Agastya brings in a ‘Constructivist Approach’
to Science Teaching
The Infosys foundation and AGASTYA collaborated with teacher educators, curriculum experts and MSCERT (Maharashtra State Council of Educational Research & Training) to initiate a teacher training program on ‘constructivist approach’ in hands-on science teaching for teachers and teacher educators.
‘Constructivism’ was mandated by the National Curriculum Framework (NCF 2005, NCFTE 2009) and outlined by NCERT, and Department of Education - Government of India. The approach focuses on building knowledge through hands-on science activities, while actively engaging participants in the theory and practice of ‘constructivism.’ The program format primarily revolved around hands-on activities related to science followed by discussions and reflections. This program attempted to expose participants to new methods connected to the theory of teaching science.
Between the months of October (2014) and January (2015), 129 teachers and teacher educators underwent the training program. We at Agastya are planning to continue the program with a much larger number of beneficiaries in subsequent years.
Outline of Workshop
Initially, teachers are exposed to the theory of constructivism along with the actual demonstration with school students by the resource persons/experts. Later on teachers are engaged in lots of hands-on activities in context to their science syllabus.
After understanding the pedagogy of ‘constructivist approach’ in hands-on science teaching, teachers prepare lesson plans of science topics from their own syllabus according to the ‘constructivist approach’ and using 5-E(Engage, Explore, Express, Expand, Evaluate) model. They demonstrate this in the class room with students and receive feedback from the resource persons/experts.
The workshop culminates with teachers presenting a poster about what they have learnt and how they are going to utilize the methodology in their classrooms.
Follow-Up and Refresher Program
Agastya also planned and conducted the follow-up program to the workshops. The first initiative was at MSCERT campus, Pune and later it will be at the doorstep of the schools and DIET (District Institute of Education and Training) centers. Agastya’s Science Mobile lab plays a key role in the success of the follow-up program.
What the participants have to say:
Mr.Katariya Sunil Ashoklal,
Shri Tilok Jain Vidyalaya, Pathardi, Dist. Ahmednagar, Maharashtra
I am teaching in Shri Tilok Jain Vidyalaya, Pathardi for past 12 years. I teach science to 9th & 10th Standard students. I was following the traditional way of teaching, by explaining the topics present in the text books. But while teaching with traditional method I found the student’s don’t show interest in learning or knowing the topics/concepts. Even they were not able to focus on studies and their minds are always distracted. I went to Agastya’s Kuppam campus to attend 4 days ‘Teacher training program on ‘Constructivism’ in hands-on science teaching’. During this training program, which was focused on ‘Constructivism’ in hands-on science teaching my point of view and my approach to teaching got total changed.
How to teach and how to take students to understand concepts etc.? I learnt from the training at Agastya. One more thing I got from the training is to how to make the teaching hands-on or practical. So when I came back to my school with all the learning’s from the training, I decided to implement the same for sure. And I started bringing-in all the approaches of teaching I learnt to my day to day teaching, and I found the interest of the students towards learning has enhanced tremendously. Using all the approaches and methodologies I learnt at Agastya, I started preparing my lesson plans and started teaching that way. And with wonders children started understanding very fast and their interest went very high in the topics we taken-up. Those children who used to escape from learning’s after implementing the ‘constructivist approach’ in teaching, I found they also started showing up interest. The personal benefit I got through implementing 5E model [Engage, Explore, Express, Expand, Evaluate] is, it helped me to enhance my knowledge and to make my teaching more effective. My heart-full thanks to Agastya for whatever I have learnt from there.
Mr.Nilesh Vilas Homkar,
Chetan Dattaji Gaikwad Vidyalaya, Metgutad, Taluk Mahableshwar, Dist. Satara, Maharashtra
I am Nilesh from Chetan Dattaji Gaikwad Vidyalaya, Metgutad, Taluk Mahableshwar, Dist. Satara.
Earlier when I was teaching, I was only following the traditional method and by following that I was not able to create any learning’s and hands-on activity in my teaching. After visiting Agastya, I came to know about what is creativity? What is ‘5-E’ model [Engage, Explore, Express, Expand, Evaluate]? What is ‘Constructivism’?
After coming back I created so many models[science], even I made children to make models. And we could able to create around 30 science experiments based models. And I also created a box with some simple equipment’s andnamed it ‘light box’, using that box one can explain all the concepts related to topic ‘light’ from the text books of 5th to 12th Standard. I presented the same box in the science exhibitions and even it went up-to the district level of science exhibitions. And I also presented the same model to the 5th and 6th standard satara district ‘science teachers training program’, the feedback was so encouraging. The teachers were highly excited and were egger to know more about the experiment based models. After coming back from Agastya’s training I started activity based teaching in my day to day teaching. Now I won’t keep students in the class room, I take them out in garden for open classroom and discuss the science concepts there itself. The effect of this all is; now children are showing up interest in science. Now my children bring every week 2 to 3 new experiments in the classroom. Thank you…