Science and Mathematics teachers across the state of Maharashtra, develop their own innovative methods of teaching in the classrooms. They develop experiments, models, tables, charts and pictures. With the advancement of technology, they also develop websites, form groups like whatsapp and use social media like Facebook, Twitter etc. However, it is observed that despite all this, they hardly make use of these social media to share their innovations in teaching methods with their fellow teachers, with the result, their innovative methods of teaching do not get exchanged with the other teachers.
Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, a knowledge institution (ज्ञान संस्था) and science propagating organization of 52 years standing felt that such innovative teachers across the state be brought together and they may be given an opportunity to present their methods before a large group of teachers. Accordingly two State Level Science and Mathematics Teachers` Congresses were held in November, 2016 and December 2017 at Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune and around 70 and 65 teachers participated in these Congresses respectively. The main themes of these Congresses were ‘LEARNING SCIENCE BY DOING’ in the year 2016 and ‘EVALUATION’ in the year 2017. The participants were required to prepare the Research paper on the theme of the Congress and make its presentation in these Congresses.
Parallel sessions were held in more than one classroom wherein each participant was allocated 08 minutes time to present his/her Research Paper through Power Point Presentation or simple presentation without PPT, which was followed by question answers among the presenter and the evaluators and the other participants of the group for 02 minutes. In the end two teachers from each classroom were adjudged as the best teachers of the group and were awarded the Certificate of Merit. Further the best performer of each classroom was offered the internship for a period of 5 to 6 weeks in IISER, the entire cost of which was borne by IISER. Besides drawing the satisfaction of presenting their own innovative methods of teaching and evaluation, before such a large cross-section of teachers, the participants were immensely benefited by witnessing the teaching methods and of evaluation of other teachers. Considering the benefit drawn by all the participants and with a view to extend such benefit to more teachers, Marathi Vidnyan Parishad had decided to organize such a Congress for a total period of 5 years commencing from the year 2016. Accordingly, the Fourth State level Science and Mathematics Teachers` Congress will be held in November/ December, 2019 at IISER, Pune.
The main theme of the Fourth Congress will be My Project on developing and evaluating capacity of original thinking among students ( 7 sub themes under the main theme have been indicated at appropriate place on this website.)
Further, based on the review of the first second and third congresses, it has been decided to organize a day’s workshop at IISER, Pune on 10th May 2019 to enlighten the participants about the main theme and sub themes of the Congress, Research Methodology with regard to the above mentioned main theme and sub themes of the fourth Congress, use of Statistical techniques and use of Power Point in presenting Research Paper The details of this workshop are furnished below:
A) The Science educators / communicators and the teachers teaching Science subjects and/or Maths to the Class/es (standard) 6 to 12, of the State of Maharashtra and Goa, will be eligible to participate in any one of the workshops and the Congress.
B) The Co-ordinator for the workshops at Sr. No 1 & 3 is Shri Prakash Modak(email- firstname.lastname@example.org and Mobile Number 9920329984). The Co-ordinator for the workshops at Sr. No 2 is Dr.Sudhir Kumbhar (email email@example.com and Mobile Number – 9421214136 ). Accordingly the teachers desirous of participating in any of these three workshops may send an email to the respective Co-ordinator up to 10 days before the date of workshop, indicating the following personal details: 1) Name in full 2) Residential Address 3) Name of the School/College/ Institution, where the teacher has been teaching 4) E-mail address 5) Contact Number (Mobile and/or Phone number) 6) the Class/es (standard) to which the teacher has been teaching and 7) the subjects being taught.
C) There are no registration charges for any of the workshops. The tea and lunch will also be provided free of cost on the day of workshop at all the three places. The stay and the dinner arrangement at IISER (in respect of workshop at sr. no.3 above) on the earlier night for a limited number of the participants will also be made free of cost.
D) (i) No travel expenses will be reimbursed to the persons attending the workshop having their place of residence in Pune city, its suburbans and Pune district, for reaching the venue of the workshop.
(ii) A bus may be arranged for the participants having their place of residence in Mumbai upto Dahisar, Thane City and Navi Mumbai upto Panvel for to and fro journey from the office of Marathi Vidnyan Parishad, Vidnyan Bhavan, V. N. Purav Marg, Sion-Chunabhatti, Mumbai 400022 to IISER, Pune. The bus will depart from the office of MVP at around 4.00 P. M. on the earlier day of the workshop (9th May 2019) and return to Dadar T. T. on the day of workshop by 10.30 P. M. after conclusion of the workshop on 10th May 2019.The travel arrangement as above , the stay arrangement on the earlier evening in IISER campus and the food arrangement during the stay in IISER will be free of cost for these participants.
(iii) The participants eligible for the travel facility as indicated in D (ii) above but not availing the same will have to make their own travel arrangements for attending the workshop and will not be eligible for the reimbursement for travel expenses for attending the workshop.
E) Eligibility for travel expenses reimbursement
The participants not falling in the categories mentioned in D(i) and D(ii) above, will be reimbursed the travel expenses for attending the workshop on the following basis:
Second Class Ordinary/Sleeper Railway fare (i.e. Non A/C) or Ordinary (i.e. Non A/C) S. T. bus fare from the Railway station /S. T. bus stop nearest to the place of their residence to the Railway station /S. T. bus stop nearest to the venue of workshop (IISER, Pune) and back will be reimbursed on submitting the original or copy of the ticket/receipt of at least one way journey.
If the journey is performed by own vehicle/higher class, the amount of travel reimbursement will be restricted to the amount as indicated above.
No travel reimbursement will be made in respect of the journey performed by Taxi/Auto Riksha at the place of residence/ Mumbai/Pune for reaching the Railway Station/Bus stop /Venue of the workshop.
(F) If the number of persons having their place of residence indicated in D (ii) (Mumbai and nearby) above exceeds around 35, a separate workshop may be arranged for them in the office of Marathi Vidnyan Parishad at its above address on a day between May 02 and may 08 2019.In such an eventuality these persons will not be eligible for attending the workshop in IISER, Pune. Further they will not be eligible for reimbursement of the travelling expenses for attending the workshop in MVP, Mumbai. However, the organization of such workshop will be solely at the discretion of MVP.
(G) The attendance certificates will be issued to the persons attending the workshop and the reimbursement of Conveyance Charges will be made only after the conclusion of the programme.
Main Theme and Sub Themes in respect of Fourth State Level Science and Math Teachers’ Congress
Main Theme - My Project on developing and evaluating capacity of original thinking among students
Persons who think originally show the following four traits:
1. They one very productive in generating ideas. They are tremendously imaginative. Sometimes they sit over an idea, brood over it, for a long time and then at a ‘eureka’ moment they burst with their idea.
2. They are very curious and keep asking questions after questions. They see things not in black and white, but in shades of grey. They do not mind contradictions in what they see or even argue. Their thinking is divergent; it is usually different from our conventional ideas.
3. They are strongly self-motivated, and are often competitive, sometimes aggressively so and sometimes not so aggressively.
4. They are confident about their ideas. They may not be the best communicators, but are very sure about their ideas. They often display leadership, but may sometimes be loners.
It may be noted that activities that require original thinking are of two types – 1.Problem solving and 2.Creating type. When teachers take up a project on developing and evaluating capacity of original thinking among their students, they should take into account the above four traits in the context of these two types.
The seven subthemes under the main theme can be grouped under these two types: Subthemes 1, 2, 6 and 7 are of the Problem Solving (including design) type. Subthemes 3, 4 and 5 belong to the Creating type (involving art forms like writing, drawing and acting). We provide below some suggestions-cum-guidelines about how we may proceed to carry out a project under each of the subthemes. In no way it is compulsory for you to follow the suggestions. You may have your own different way of proceeding with the project.
1. Conducting an outdoor activity
Here we should ensure students’ participation right from selecting the outdoor location for the visit. The choice the students make may show their capacity for thinking. Your observations regarding - who shows greater interest in the visit, who is more curious, who asks more questions, whose observation skill is better, who is able to connect what is seen with other things, especially with those learnt previously, who is more imaginative, whether the inferences drawn by the students are relevant, accurate and unusual, whose thinking is more mature and different from the rest - will enable you to evaluate a student’s ability to think originally. Similarly you may have good words to the students who show various abilities described above and motivate others to move in the right direction.
2. Designing an experiment
You may start asking the students to take up a subject which has not yet been a part of their studies and suggest an experiment on it. For example, students of Std VI or VII may be asked to suggest an experiment to check whether light travels in a straight line. You may form students’ small groups, say of 3 to 4 per group, and give each group a subject for suggesting an experiment on and actually carrying out the experiment. From this, you will be able to test various traits which indicate students’ originality, namely, resourcefulness, ability to think logically, power of observation, ability to work with hands and practicality, capability of monitoring one’s own work and correcting mistakes, persistence, ability to work as a team, and leadership. You may encourage those who show promise with respect to and motivate the others to develop these traits.
3. Promoting a Role play
Make the students to think of and choose the role they wish to play. This will show their imagination and thinking power. Their presentation will allow you to examine their understanding of the theme of the role play and what is really the central issue, the quality of their resourcefulness, expression and acting, novelty and distinction of the presentation. You need to have encouraging comments for those who are trying and emphasize the above qualities of a good role play to the others.
4.4. Assigning the task of writing an essay on a given theme to a group of students (each consisting three to four students). The theme for each group will be different. For example, (i) If there was no friction, (ii) If we did not have the sense-organ for smell, and (iii) If there was no oxygen on the earth.
It is obvious from the subjects of the essays what is to be done. The unusualness of the subjects will trigger the students’ imagination and studiousness. You must however check the correctness of what they write. You should ensure not only with this sub-theme but with all other sub-themes that the students do not just download information from the internet and use it in a ‘copy-paste’ mode.
5. Drawing cartoons to express scientific and Mathematical ideas
Here the subject the students choose for a cartoon and the way they represent it through the cartoon indicate their creativity. The student’s drawing skill, feel for what is a cartoon and understanding of the central scientific idea are crucial. Do not forget to appreciate students who show promise and encourage others.
6. Using the domestic waste material to make low cost toys based on scientific / mathematical principles.
Again here it would be useful if one leaves to the students the choice of subjects of the toys they have to make. The choice will indicate the level of their understanding of the science behind the toy and their resourcefulness. You may, as in the case of Sub-theme 2, ask the students to work in small groups and take the project to completion. Following Sub-theme 2, here, too, you may judge and/or encourage the students’ original thinking.
7. Developing novel teaching aids / methods for students with special abilities.
This sub-theme will indeed be a challenge to the imagination and resourcefulness of the students. First of all, they will have to understand the difficulties faced by the persons with special abilities, in a way to enter their ‘bodies’. Only then they will be able to design and develop a method or an instrument for the specially abled. The evaluation part will be the same as in the case of Sub-themes 2 and 6. Evaluation of the project: Evaluation of the project is necessary to know how effective the project has been. We may use pre- and post-tests for this purpose. The pre-test is for checking where the students are with respect to the ability to think originally before the project begins. After the pre-test the project is carried out with the students you select on any one of the seven sub-themes. On completion of the project you administer to the students the post-test. The post-test has to be similar to the pre-test, but not identical with it. The difference in the students’ scores between the pre- and post-tests measures the effectiveness of your project. Designing the tests is your skill. You may also observe the students as the project is proceeding. You may prepare a scoring key keeping in mind the traits of original thinking. Each student doing the project may be given a score on various traits once before the project begins, once or twice while the project is going on and once after the project is over. When you monitor the students’ progress through the observation schedule this way, you will be able to judge the effectiveness of the project. If a project is effective the students will show steady progress as the project moves on. You may use for evaluation either the pre- and post-test method or the observation method or both methods. Evaluation by you may be supplemented by students’ self-evaluation. The observation schedule you prepare for monitoring the students’ progress may be shared with the students who would score themselves on it. This will help them realize their own shortcomings and make up for them. Such techniques involving thinking about one’s own thinking are critical to the development of one’s ability to learn how to learn.
Marathi Vidnyan Parishad
Vidnyan Bhavan,V.N.Purav Marg,
Sion - Chunabhatti, Mumbai 400 022,
Phone : 022-24054714, 24057268
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
Web : www.mavipamumbai.org / www.scienceteacherscongress.org