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High School Science Teachers Training Program

At

Talent Development Centre Indian Institute of Science, Kudapura Challakere, Chitradurga District, Karnataka- 577536

1. Background

Indian Institute of Science- Bangalore has been conducting High School Science Teachers Training

Program (HTTP) in one District of Karnataka in a year for the last 35 years. Over 100 teachers in each district

from Govt. / wholly Govt. aided schools have been given intensive teaching/training in Science for 10 days each

year. This was too small an effort to make an impact on the teaching in High Schools. There was no permanent place

in the Institute for this program. With enough land available to IISc at its new campus at Kudapura, Chellakere,

Chitradurga (577536), the Institute conceived the idea of starting a Talent Development Centre (TDC, IISc) in

its second campus. High School Science Teachers Program is the first academic program initiated at TDC, IISc by

the Institute in Kudapura.

2. Talent Development Centre

The Institute conceived the idea of starting a Talent Development Centre mainly to impart training to

science teachers at all level, to conduct discussion meetings, seminars, winter and summer schools, provide

academic and research facilities for the young high school, college, and University students. High School Science

Teachers Training Program is considered a priority because it is in the high schools the students are introduced to

science. Science education is crucial for the development of our Nation. It is the experience of the Institute that if

the teachers are trained, vast number of students gets benefitted for a long period of time. Therefore at IISc at

Kudapura high school science training program is developed under the Talent Development Centre.

3. Excitement in Science

Excitement in Science and Engineering is primarily generated from the experience of doing experiments. Teachers excite the students. This can happen only if the teachers are excited. This excitement is possible only when the teachers themselves conduct the experiments and are able to experience the ideas of Science. Such an experimental training at present is singularly lacking in any of the training programs especially for high school teachers. It is a well understood concept that the teachers should have correct knowledge to impart it to the students. This would be a reality only when teachers have the opportunity to correct themselves, learn and gain confidence through discussions from those who practice Science. To motivate students to learn, teachers should be motivated first. Upgrading the level of knowledge of the teachers time to time will raise the level of learning by the students. The unanimous opinion of the IISc faculty who participated in the high school teachers program is that teachers training program greatly helps the teachers to enhance the level of their knowledge and ability to teach and induce the students to take up science as their career.

4. Why High School (higher Secondary School) Teachers need training?

a. It is in the high school, the students get introduced to science.

b. Inducing students to take up basic science is essential for the Nation for its overall progress.

c. High schools teachers are the catalysts for the students to pursue science studies.

d. Teachers themselves need motivation to teach science.

e. Teachers should be sure of basic concepts in physics, chemistry, mathematics, biology.

f. Teacher’s knowledge need to be upgraded to cope with the advancement of knowledge.

g. Teachers need to have experience to conduct simple experiments in their schools.

h. Government will have more and more resources to support better education with time.

i. Teachers should be capable to absorb forward looking education policies of the Govt.

j. Overall discipline and honesty of purpose should be ingrained in the teachers.

k. Teachers should be exposed to scientists from Institutions of higher learning.

l. Fear of meeting learned professors of IISc and universities should be removed.

m. That teaching requires continuous learning is to be brought home to teachers.

n. Teaching science from experiments must be introduced to the students.

o. Teachers must have knowledge that science leads to technology and develop of society.

p. Spirit of enquiry is essential to make progress and the teachers should imbibe this.

q. Habit of reading science articles and books needs to be inculcated in the teachers first.

r. Teachers should be able trained to do science from the materials in their surroundings.

s. Teachers should able to see that there is plenty of resources around them to teach science.

t. Science behind home appliance- a resource the teachers/students can recognize.

5. High School Science Teachers Training Program at TDC-IISc

While some of the older high schools have science laboratory in their schools, teaching science through experiments is largely missing in most schools. Even where the laboratory is available, they are not upgraded. Ability to conduct experiments and demonstrate the concepts of science is to be enhanced among the teachers to cope with the advancement of knowledge. Experiments start mostly at +2 level. This needs to be introduced at 8, 9, 10 classes so that more students take up science.

Even though large sum of money is spent on school education by the Central and State Governments, method of imparting quality education to all is still a dream in India. A well thought out program to enhance scientific knowledge is lacking. Experimental approach to study science is singularly lacking in our curriculum. One way to impart quality science education to school children is to educate the teachers. Therefore Talent Development Centre , IISc at Kudapura has designed a 10 days in-house training program.

Unique features of the high school science teachers training at TDC, IISc

It is an in-house/residential program for 10 days. Hihg school teachers (Trainees) and Professors from IISc and

Universities ( Teachers) stay in the new campus for 10 days to facilitate academic interaction.

In order that the high school teachers teach up to class 10, physics, chemistry, maths and biology is covered up to al

least 10 + 2 level. The classes starts at 8 AM after a morning tea and snacks. Two lectures in the morning (8-9 and 9-10 AM; 10 lectures in each subject) are meant to cover the syllabus up to +2 level. 10-30 AM to 1-30 AM (three hours) and 4-00 PM to 7-00 PM ( three hours) are devoted to laboratory and also tutorials, assignment writing and discussion. Physics and Maths (with BSc degree with PCM subjects) are grouped together and they will have intensive training for four days in each subject. They will also have one day equivalent of training on computers. Some of the teachers teach chemistry in their schools and they are taught chemistry also.

Those who teach Maths only will have additional training in Maths including applications of computers.

Physics teachers will do over 18 experiments during the five to six days. They need to write the lab manual which are corrected by the Professors and tutors. The PCM group will write three to assignments in Physics and 4 to 5 assignments in Maths. Chemistry and biology teachers (with BSc degree in BZC) have more difficulty because they need to teach physics

in

their schools to equitably share the work load.

It

must be noted that the BZC group have not studied Physics and maths beyond 10th class in their career. We need

to

see that the BZC teachers are equipped to teach physics and chemistry effectively. They need to be good in Maths

up to 10 + 2 level. Therefore training the BZC teachers is a challenge for us. To solve this issue, BZC teachers are given three days training in biology, three days training in maths and physics, and three days of chemistry in the same order. Remaining time they make use of learning computer internet browsing, finding information via internet. The BZC group therefore have to work a bit more during the program. BZC group carry out experiments in Biology, Physics and Chemistry three days each. Laboratory experiments are of two types: (a) covering the experiments in the syllabus for them to try in their schools and (b) experiments to illustrate scientific principles.

More than 18 experiments in chemistry, 18 experiments in Physics and 18 experiments in biology have been designed and the trainees complete all of them. The teachers do these experiments and enter their observations in the laboratory manual.

A special session is held by an experienced Professor to show how the experiments are helping them to explain the

science they teach in the classes. Most teachers do not relate the laboratory experiments to the science (principles behind the experiment) because of the way they are taught in their BSc degree classes. This is the innovation we have brought in the training program. List of experiments in each subject is compiled based on the subjects they teach in 8, 9, 10 classes taking into

consideration all the text books ( Karnataka State High Schools, ICSC, CBSC and others prevalent in India). There

is no syllabus in high schools. Text books are the guides and serve as syllabus.

The participant teachers (during the last several training programs) also gave their lists in all the subjects. Additional Experiments and demonstration experiments suggested by the high school teachers have been included in the list of experiments. Assignments are given in each subjects and books are provided to them to solve the assignments. Answers to the each of the assignments have to be written by the participants and they are corrected and given back to them. Problem/assignment solving session is arranged so that the mistakes they committed are corrected. Astronomical observations in the evenings with telescopes are arranged: this is possible since they all stay in the campus for 10 days. This will also cover their syllabus on the subject. Introducing creative teaching by way of taking up simple projects during the training period to enhance thinking process such as model building is attempted. Facilities for indoor games such as Carom, Chess is provided. Our observation is that the place being new, living in the new place itself is providing them a new life. Becides, many in the morning at 6 AM the participants enjoy walking in unpolluted open campus. Tests and question answer sessions are also held to assess the effectiveness of the training.

Written feedback is solicited from the trainees to continuously evolve a good and effective program. The program is still evolving and idea is to come up with best possible science teaching program to learn science through experiments at higher secondary level.

6. Language

Medium of instruction in Govt. and Govt. aided high schools 8, 9, and 10 in Karnatraka is Kannada. About 86 % of children in Karnataka study in these schools. The medium of instruction in BSc classes is in English. Therefore the teachers understand English and many speak English fluently. Further, they are well versed to translate an English terms into Kannada. Most of the technical words (terms) in English are spelt in Kannada as they are. Since we are an All India Institution, our program should cater the needs of Teachers from all parts of India. The Professors in IISc are from all over India. Since the subject science can be taught in simple English, there has been no real problem in training the teachers in English. In the World today, science is communicated in English. Scientific journals where discoveries are published are in English language. Scientific journals in Rassian, French, German, Japanese and such other languages are all vanishing because there are few readers. If an Indian is to be known as a great scientist, he needs to publish his research findings in English so that people in the world read them. British people ruled India for two hundred years and they have gifted us English Language. If our children have to become citizens of the world and scientists and engineers they have to learn science in English language. Most information from Internet are available in English. Therefore we have adopted English as the medium of instruction in the training program in the interest of students of Karnataka. It does not mean that local language is not used. Science knowledge is imparted in a way that the teachers understand the subject. That is the spirit.

7. Visions of High School teachers Training

The prime vision of this program is teaching and training teachers to teach students with passion. Motivation to higher level of intellectual activity is more important than just giving lectures to the participating teachers and cover “syllabus”. Hall mark of IISc academic program is in its rigor, honesty of purpose, simplicity, humility, sincerity, time consciousness, hard work and delivery. It is the research and the research attitude that drives the Institute. If an event is announced in IISc it takes place at the appointed time. Can we inculcate in these teachers the Indian Institute of Science culture of learning?