ISSN-2231 0495

English

Giving Opportunities to Learners to Experience Excitement and Interest


Giving Opportunities to Learners to Experience Excitement and Interest 

Rakesh Kumar

Assistant Professor

MV COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

University of Delhi.

Abstract

Most of the science classrooms going on in the traditional learning environment forms are fully dependent upon the printed material available to the teachers. Use of the printed material has its own strengths and weaknesses in science learning. One of the weakness of the printed textual material is that it is often non-engaging and learners seem to be disinterested in it. A variety of teaching-learning materials can be used and developed so that learners can be engaged as participants in the teaching-learning process. These experiences from out of the class may also provide them the necessary social discourse for creating and solving problems together. Classroom interaction on these notions can help the learners in challenging these notions and developing the science concepts. It is often seen that the learners and the teachers both talk about these field trips and excursions long after it is over. This context of learning requires that we move away from the traditional type of teaching learning environments and become more flexible in our approach. This would need a different type of framework seeded in informal environments for planning of units and lessons in science classrooms. In the present study the teachers have planned their classroom proceedings in a framework that allows for strengths of informal environments to be used in formal classroom settings. The data collected from the study reveals that the range is 1.35 for which minimum value is .65 and maximum value is 2.00. It shows a very high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean is 1.3283 which means most of the teachers agree that they gave opportunity to learners to experience excitement and interest and some strongly agree with it and it can also be seen in the graph. Standard deviation is .36829 which indicates that most of the teachers scored between .96 and 1.69. Skewness is .197 which is slightly positively skewed i.e. the number of low scorers are less than the number of high scorers. We can also see in the graph that the right tail is longer than the left one which indicates positive Skewness. Kurtosis is -.463 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is Platykurtic. The challenge of engaging learners in science classrooms, so that they can experience excitement and interest is not an easy one. While there are a lot of constraints in which a teacher has to work, the creativity and imagination of a teacher may help her in transcending boundaries. The present study concludes that planning in the framework of informal settings had given the pre-service teachers an enabling perspective. This is probably the reason that most of the teachers perceive their classrooms full of opportunities of experiencing excitement and interest. As educational implication of this study it is recommended that frameworks of informal settings be given their due in planning of lessons and units for science classrooms.

Key Words: Culture of Science, Experience Excitement and Interest, learning strands, Science classrooms, Pre-service teacher education 

Introduction:

Most of the science classrooms going on in the traditional learning environment forms are fully dependent upon the printed material available to the teachers. Use of the printed material has its own strengths and weaknesses in science learning. One of the weakness of the printed textual material is that it is often non-engaging and learners seem to be disinterested in it. A variety of teaching-learning materials can be used and developed so that learners can be engaged as participants in the teaching-learning process. Use of community resources is one of the ways to introduce such variety in teaching learning material. The richness of resources of a locality can be tapped as an addition to the teaching-learning material resource of the teacher. It is the imagination and creativity of the teacher that makes it a success. In the words of (Confrey, 2000), we still need to focus on issues of learning, but place that focus in an interactional framework among learners and teachers. To do this, we must conduct more transformative teaching experiments. These should be longitudinal experiments where we subject our approaches to the everyday constraints of classroom teaching and are explicit and bold about how instruction can be reformed dramatically so that students' learning will improve. Research on efficacy and on motivating achievement demonstrates how essential it is to believe that children can learn. After recognizing the importance of this critical element of the equity agenda, teachers also need to master how to make good use of the learning opportunities created by children when they are engaged in interesting tasks. Classroom observations show that teachers frequently miss or obliterate these opportunities repeatedly because they concentrate on narrow conceptualizations of the task and their outcomes, seeking premature closure with the goals that they initially set. Consequently, children's "wonderful ideas" get overridden or ignored. This is the result of such problems as insufficient or, too often in the case of secondary and postsecondary teachers, inflexible knowledge of the subject matter, failure to engage students in motivating tasks, lack of belief in students' capacity, an overburdened curriculum, and/or an accountability in assessment systems that reward superficial behaviours.

Here we are trying to build up a context for the community resources as supplier of teaching learning opportunities so that learner excitement and interest can be built in classroom proceedings. Using community resources in the science classes is one of the key recommendations that teacher educators make while advocating use of a wide range of resources for teaching. The related experiences can be developed by either bringing the community resources inside the classroom or through the use of field trips and excursions. Many a times, however, these field trips and excursions or the use of community resources inside the classroom are thought of some reward for classroom instruction. We definitely need to change this notion about use of community resources. This will help in connecting the school lessons with the life outside the school. For example, an interactive museum of science can give learners direct experiences to help them construct meaning of the phenomena. These experiences from out of the class may also provide them the necessary social discourse for creating and solving problems together. The use of community resources can further help the teacher in bringing together the variety of preconceived notions of the learners together. Classroom interaction on these notions can help the learners in challenging these notions and developing the science concepts. It is often seen that the learners and the teachers both talk about these field trips and excursions long after it is over. This can thus become a common shared experience, that can be referred to time and again. What is learnt in many subsequent lessons can be reinforced using these experiences. The context of learning discussed so far, requires that we move away from the traditional type of teaching learning environments and become more flexible in our approach. This would need a different type of framework seeded in informal environments for planning of units and lessons in science classrooms.

(Bell, Lewenstein, Shouse, & Feder, 2009) proposed a “strands of science learning” framework that articulates science-specific capabilities supported by informal environments. It builds on the framework developed for K-8 science learning in Taking Science to School (Duschl, Schweingruber, & Shouse, 2007). “That four-strand framework aligns tightly with the Strands 2 through 5. They have added two additional strands—Strands 1 and 6—which are of special value in informal learning environments. The six strands illustrate how schools and informal environments can pursue complementary goals and serve as a conceptual tool for organizing and assessing science learning. The six interrelated aspects of science learning covered by the strands reflect the field’s commitment to participation—in fact, they describe what participants do cognitively, socially, developmentally, and emotionally in these settings. Learners in informal environments:

Strand 1: Experience excitement, interest, and motivation to learn about phenomena in the natural and physical world.

Strand 2: Come to generate, understand, remember, and use concepts, explanations, arguments, models, and facts related to science.

Strand 3: Manipulate, test, explore, predict, question, observe, and make sense of the natural and physical world.

Strand 4: Reflect on science as a way of knowing; on processes, concepts, and institutions of science; and on their own process of learning about phenomena.

Strand 5: Participate in scientific activities and learning practices with others, using scientific language and tools.

Strand 6: Think about themselves as science learners and develop an identity as someone who knows about, uses, and sometimes contributes to science (Bell et al., 2009)” .

Need and Significance:

Engaging learners in the excitement of science, helping them discover the value of evidence-based reasoning and higher-order cognitive skills, and teaching them to become creative problem solvers have long been goals of science education reformers. But the means to achieve these goals, especially methods to promote creative thinking in scientific problem solving, have not become widely known or used (DeHaan, 2009). This goal and nature of scientific activity is directed by the learning strands framework too. In contemporary understanding of design features of learning environments of science, we are increasingly accepting the role of informal environments and the learner’s attempt to find solutions to problems by themselves.

Contrary to conceptions of development held 30 or 40 years ago, young children can think both concretely and abstractly. As with most human characteristics, there is variation across children at a given age and even variation within an individual child. Development is not a kind of inevitable unfolding in which one simply waits until a child is cognitively “ready” for abstract or theory-based forms of content. Instead, parents and teachers can assist children’s learning, building on their early capacities. Adults play a central role in promoting children’s curiosity and persistence by directing their attention, structuring their experiences, supporting their learning attempts, and regulating the complexity and difficulty of levels of information for them. In the sciences, both teachers and peers can and must fill these critical roles (Duschl et al., 2007).

While we accept the role of a teacher as a facilitator and supporter of learning by authentic participation of learners, we are still struggling with the nature of teaching learning process that needs to be designed for the same. More so is the struggle with the pressure to deliver the content in time-bound manner with fixed set of goals. A teacher in the classroom settings is often seen temped to assume that the learning has taken place when a student is using the scientific terminology and is able to apply laws of science in daily life experiences. But is this the culture of science in which scientific knowledge is generated?

(Peters & Kitsantas, 2009) contends that the culture of science is passed down from generation to generation through science classes. If each generation receives the idea that science is a body of knowledge and has no access to the nature of science, knowledge about how science generates and verifies knowledge will no longer be part of the public’s understanding of science. Education has a responsibility to teach learners how to think like a scientist in order to continue to be progressive, critical thinkers in our technological future. The idea of being a critical thinker in the progressive future is not a utilitarian one, but is integrated with the development of the human being while culture of science is being practiced.

Creating a supportive climate has repeatedly been shown to increase participation, and it is strongly recommended that professors work to create such an environment in a variety of ways. Again, professors should engage in immediacy behaviors, especially eye contact and smiling, to show interest and support. Students should be given opportunities for success very early in the semester to increase their confidence. Allowing for preparation prior to speaking in class is also recommended. Students can be given assignments out of class to bring in and discuss, or broken into small groups, or even asked to journal their thoughts to allow for the confidence that comes with advanced preparation. Professors should increase their ‘‘wait time,’’ vary the types of questions asked, listen with respect, and refrain from making judgments. Younger students can be paired with older students, and both can be given experience in participating that seems to enhance their comfort level. Instructors should be aware of the possibility of sex differences both in the way students react and in the way they may interact with their students, but there is no real evidence to support treating males and females differently to increase their participation. Appropriate self-disclosure which shows students similarities between the professor and the students is recommended. Professors can do this during class as a part of the course material, but they can also engage in small talk with students during the first minute or two of the class period and jot down items to remember about individual students to continue those conversations (Rocca, 2010). (Kearney & Treagust, 2001) contended that the reinforcement of concepts, drill and practice or artificial development type of issues dominated, with the advent of alternatives to behaviourist paradigm such as cognitivism of constructivism different sorts of framework started to seep in.

This context of learning requires that we move away from the traditional type of teaching learning environments and become more flexible in our approach. This would need a different type of framework seeded in informal environments for planning of units and lessons in science classrooms. In the present study the teachers have planned their classroom proceedings in a framework that allows for strengths of informal environments to be used in formal classroom settings. 

Research Methodology

Research Questions and Objective

The following question is the focus:

How do science teachers perceive their natural dispositions towards giving opportunities to learners to experience excitement and interest as a part of the teaching-learning processes?

The study has focused on the following objective:

“Exploring teaching learning contexts in science classrooms, with special reference towards giving opportunities to learners to experience excitement and interest as a part of the teaching-learning processes”.

Methodology, sample and tools:

Methodology:

Reflections on his own experiences in the area of science education and review of related literature the researcher in developing some understanding in the area of developing teaching-learning processes in science. These also resulted in some questions that needed further probing. In order to probe those questions, the researcher developed a comprehensive tool to explore various issues concerned with the teaching-learning processes in the science classrooms. This tool was used for understanding the science classrooms of 38 pre-service science teachers. 8 of these science teachers did not respond and as a result, feedback was received from 30 pre-service science classrooms. Feedback responses from 592 lessons delivered by these 30 pre-service science teachers were analysed in this study. The study also contributed towards giving the science teachers. Some feedback on the interpretations and reflections done by the participants. Two days were dedicated for reflections and discussions, and the days were devoted for resolving any problems faced by the teachers in the process of analysis and reflection.

Sample

Total 38 Pre-Service Science teachers participated from two B.Ed. colleges each from University of Delhi and GGSIP University, Delhi. This ensured participation of total 18 schools in which above Pre-Service teachers had their School Life Experience Program. These teachers had diverse graduation and post-graduation subjects. First College had 8 participants and second college had 30 participant Teachers. Of these 38 participants twelve were males and 26 were females. From this group fourteen teachers were teaching class sixth, eleven were teaching class seventh, nine were teaching class eight and four were teaching class ninth. Out of total 38 Pre-Service teachers, code numbers 1.01 to code number 1.30 were given to 30 Pre-service teachers from Guru Ram Dass College of Education and 8 Pre-Service teachers from Maharishi Valmiki College of Education received code numbers 2.01 to code number 2.08. Clearly, the sample is not a random sample but a purposive one. Although no deliberate attempt was made for the sample to be homogeneous or representative, it got addressed in the process to some extent. The science teachers belonged to different socio-economic backgrounds. The science learners’ belonged to different sorts of school settings. These types of schools included all boys’ school, all girls’ schools, government, government aided and public schools. Therefore, we can say that different socio-economic backgrounds and diversity in teaching-learning settings has been represented largely in the sample.

Tools for data collection

In the present study questionnaire prepared by the researcher was used along with observations and unstructured interviews were used to enrich the data. The questionnaire was designed in the form of self- appraisal consisting of both open ended and close ended questions that can be analysed quantitatively and qualitatively both. The questionnaire design for the purpose was collected by school teachers, feel experts, and colleagues in the teacher education institutions. Some issues related to the vagueness of language formatting style, etc were resolved in the process. This increased the authenticity of the questionnaire.

Analysis of Data

The schedule of self-assessment response, actually contained 26 items, and also had the choice of answering in terms of disagree, agree, and strongly agree. These three categories of choices are further given the marks of zero, one and two respectively. These responses in the form of marks of zero, one and two were provided as the feedback to the science teachers from the analysis. Also these responses were then collected on the Microsoft Excel sheet for the duration of overall school time interaction program of all the participating pre-service science teachers. Thus the average score of one specific teacher was obtained. And the average scores of these 30 teachers were entered in separate Excel sheet for further analysis of their responses on the items in the questionnaire. Graphs in the form of histogram and probability curve were plotted and analysed for providing pictorial ideas of the feedbacks from the learners. The descriptive which been calculated are Max, Min, Mean, Std. Deviation, Range, Kurtosis and Skewness.

Findings

Table 1 shows the average scores of several teachers on the feedback schedule related to the Component “Gave opportunity to learners to Experience excitement and interest” of the teaching-learning environment in damage of Teachers' Self-Assessment. The evaluation, interpretation and appropriate graphical descriptions had been used in the following discussions using the information from the Table 1. Table 2 describes the properties of unclear variables in the above table.


Table 1 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item: Gave opportunity to learners to Experience excitement and interest

table_1

Table 2 - Properties of undefined variables in the Table 1

table2

 

Figure 3 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item ‘Gave opportunity to learners to Experience excitement and interest’

figure_1

Figure 4 - Grouped average score of different respondents on the item ‘Gave opportunity to learners to Experience excitement and interest’

figure_2

At a glance: 

 

Mean: 1.3283

Standard Deviation: .368

Range of 1 Standard Deviation: (.96 - 1.69)

Skewness: .197

Kurtosis: -.463

Analysis and Interpretation:

The range is 1.35 for which minimum value is .65 and maximum value is 2.00. It shows a very high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean is 1.3283 which means most of the teachers agree that they gave opportunity to learners to experience excitement and interest and some strongly agree with it and it can also be seen in the graph. Standard deviation is .36829 which indicates that most of the teachers scored between .96 and 1.69. Skewness is .197 which is slightly positively skewed i.e. the number of low scorers are less than the number of high scorers. We can also see in the graph that the right tail is longer than the left one which indicates positive Skewness. Kurtosis is -.463 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is Platykurtic.

Conclusion:

The challenge of engaging learners in science classrooms, so that they can experience excitement and interest is not an easy one. While there are a lot of constraints in which a teacher has to work, the creativity and imagination of a teacher may help her in transcending boundaries. The present study concludes that planning in the framework of informal settings had given the pre-service teachers an enabling perspective. This is probably the reason that most of the teachers perceive their classrooms full of opportunities of experiencing excitement and interest. As educational implication of this study it is recommended that frameworks of informal settings be given their due in planning of lessons and units for science classrooms.

References:

  • Bell, P., Lewenstein, B., Shouse, A. W., & Feder, M. A. (2009). Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits. Washington, D.C.: THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS.
  • Confrey, J. (2000). Improving Research and Systemic Reform Toward Equity and Quality. In Handbook of Research Design in Mathematics and Science Education (pp. 87–106). Mahwah, New Jersey, London: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
  • Duschl, R. A., Schweingruber, H. A., & Shouse, A. W. (2007). Taking Science to School: Learning and Teaching Science in Grades K-8. (H. A. Richard A. Duschl & E. Schweingruber, and Andrew W. Shouse, Eds.)Social Sciences. Washington, D.C.: THE NATIONAL ACADEMIES PRESS.
  • Kearney, M., & Treagust, D. F. (2001). Constructivism as a referent in the design and development of a computer program using interactive digital video to enhance learning in physics. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, 17(1), 64–79.
  • Rocca, K. A. (2010). Student Participation in the College Classroom: An Extended Multidisciplinary Literature Review. Communication Education, 59(2), 185–213.
 

MANAGERIAL ISSUES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARY DIGITIZATION: FOCUS ON DIGITIZATION PROJECT OF THE UNVIERSITY OF GHANA LIBRARY

MANAGERIAL ISSUES IN ACADEMIC LIBRARY DIGITIZATION: FOCUS ON DIGITIZATION PROJECT OF THE UNVIERSITY OF GHANA LIBRARY

 

OPOKU, DANIEL
Senior Librarian
Balme Library, University of Ghana
Acra

Abstract

The study aims at highlighting the managerial and operational issues associated with the University of Ghana Library digitization project.  The study adopted the survey questionnaire method in gathering relevant data.  The researcher also employed personal experience and observation in the course of the study.  The study revealed that the University of Ghana Library digitization project is confronted with a number of managerial and operational challenges including the absence of clear policy direction, and lack of managerial and supervisory commitment.

Introduction

The University of Ghana central library (Balme Library) has made tremendous strides in undertaking and implementing a number of computerized projects.  It has automated its cataloguing system through the Online Public Access Catalogue (OPAC), while it has an efficient computer laboratory with over a hundred computers that provide Internet and database search services to the university community.  The library now has a 24-hour open reading room with Internet wireless connectivity.  The Library’s preparation is far advanced to inaugurate its state of the art Research and Learning Common to support learning, teaching and research.

Much as the library continues to perform the roles of organizing, cataloguing, and storing information in ways that faculty and students can readily access and use, the changes that are occurring in technology, in research, teaching and learning are creating a new context for the mission of the library.  Diverse and unmet needs are now  arising within the academic environment which requires academic librarians reposition themselves to serve those evolving needs.  The academic library is being challenged to become more transparent in providing faculty and students with open access to all scholarly resources which hitherto highly considered as rare, protected and restricted in use.  In other words, the culture of the academic library is being challenged to proceed beyond a mindset primarily of ownership and control to one that seeks to provide service and guidance in more useful ways, helping users find and use information that may be available through a range of providers in electronic format.

To be an all-round academic library that can effectively support its parent university mission of becoming a world class university, the Balme Library has yet again embarked on a digitization of its rare and restricted collection (Folio, theses and dissertations).  There are a few challenges, though, facing the digitization project, especially regarding staff training, power outage, inadequate bandwith, and copyright issues.

Concept of Digitization

Digitization is the conversion of any type of original, be it paper, photographic prints or slides, three dimensional objects or moving images into a digital form (Astle and Muir, 2002).  The digitization process normally involves the use of either a digital camera or scanner, resulting in the creation of “digital object”.  A digital library is a managed collection of digital objects.  The digital objects are created or collected according to principles of collection development.  The digital objects are made available in a cohesive manner, supported by services necessary to allow users to retrieve and exploit the resources just as they would any other library materials.

The primary purpose of most academic library digitization projects is to improve access to library materials.  In the case of University of Ghana Library System (UGLS), this would improve access to its rare, fragile and restricted collections.  Multiple users would then be able to access these materials simultaneously from various locations.  Digitization would afford the library the opportunity to place its original materials in appropriate archival and secure storage areas, to which access could be justifiably restricted given the existence of a digital surrogate.  This would drastically reduce the risk of damage from unnecessary handling, exposure to light and theft (Astle and Muir, 2002).

Digitization makes the invisible to be visible (Fabunmi, et. al., 2002).  It improves access to library resources.  By digitizing library collections, information will be accessible to all instead of a group of researchers.  Digital projects allows users to search for collections rapidly and comprehensively from anywhere at any time.  Several users can access the same material the same time without hindrance.  It also removes the problem of distance, as users do not have to travel to libraries that possess the hard copies of library materials before they can access and use such materials.

One of the most important qualities of information in digital form is that by its very nature it is not fixed in the way that texts printed on paper are (Smith, 1999).  Digital texts are neither final nor finite, and are fixed neither in essence nor in form except when a hard copy is printed out, for they can be changed easily and without trace of erasures or emendations (Smith, 1999).  Digital files can provide extraordinary access to information.  They can make the remote accessible and the hard to see visible.  Digital surrogates can bring together research materials that are widely scattered about the globe, allowing viewers to conflate collections and compare items that can be examined side by side solely by virtue of digital representation (Smith, 2002).

Review of Literature

The impact of the Internet on library services and information usage since the advent of the World Wide Web (WWW) have been significant, changing patron expectations for libraries, the ways in which libraries can reach patrons, the amount of information available, the job requirements of librarians, and the roles that libraries can play in their communities in terms of need (Jaeger, et. al., 2012).  The provision of library services has expanded from primarily patron visits and checking out materials to provision of computer and Internet access.  This has led to important changes in how library services are measured.  Simply looking at the number of people who physically visit the library to check out materials’ would be insufficient.  Many library services are now provided through databases to library patrons over the Internet, as well as electronic services at the libraries themselves.

The manual system of searching for information and materials in the traditional library does not permit multiple use of some material by different library users unlike the online library services.  It is inefficient and time consuming, hence the need to exploit the advantages of the digital library which enables provision of online library services.

Fabunmi, et. al. (2006) observe that, the search mechanisms for information in the traditional library set-up are very slow and inefficient.   Libraries in the third world countries are dispersed and uncoordinated.  This makes accessing materials in these libraries to necessitate physical contact by users.  If these libraries become digitized, such library resources can be accessed online without stress.  It will also enable users to use materials that are not available in the local library.

Most libraries are digitizing materials which might be lost in the future, such as old manuscripts, research projects, photo images, analogue maps, non-live musical recordings, government official gazettes and several other historical records.  Making high-quality digital images available electronically will reduce wear and tear of fragile items.  However, digital copy should not be seen as a replacement for  the original piece, therefore original document should be cared for even after digitization.  Preservation therefore remains a secondary benefit of digital project (Fabunmi, et. al., 2006).

Academic libraries all over the world are getting involved in digitization.  The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) 2001 survey observed that one third of academic libraries and a quarter of public libraries were involved in digitization of library resources (Liu, Liu (2004), collaborated with better funded agencies, such as national libraries and museums.  This was essential as most of these projects were larger than what the subvention of these public libraries could cope with.

According to Masakzi (2009), digitization is the creation of multimedia databases enhanced by digital information and thus offering easy access to cultural and scientific heritage for large population of the users.  Digitization therefore, involves the conversion of non-digital materials to digital formats.  Tsebe (2005) has identified materials that can be digitized as follows:  maps, manuscripts, moving objects, audio materials and in addition institutional repository and other heritage materials.  Digitization project, according to Maskazi (2009) is capital intensive requiring extensive resources in terms of software and hardware technology, highly skilled personnel and other necessary infrastructure such as adequate power supply which many African countries lack.

Results of Findings

Managerial and Operation Challenges

Like most African university libraries, the digitization project at the University of Ghana is faced with a serious developmental issues that require urgent attention.  With a current student population of close to 32,000, the University of Ghana has been ranked 16th as African best university.  Yet there are many and varied barriers and challenges to its digitization project.

Absence of Policy Document

As at the time of the study, the library had not yet put in place any clear policy document with regards to its digitization project.  A policy is a guiding statement.  Managers of the library should have a clear policy on its digitization project.  Such a policy will serve as a reference point and guide for implementing the project.  The policy should contain and indicate specific goals and objectives of the digitization project particularly on the categories of users that will access the collection, the type of material they may be interested in, how they will use it, how many people are envisaged to sue it, the planned procedure for its advertisement, and the benefit of the material to users and institutions.

The eventual success of any digitization project depends on its initial planning and implementation, since many of the decisions made at this time will determine the future sustainability and usefulness of the resources created.  It is desirable to set up a planning committee that will draw the plan and budget for the digitization exercise.  Budgets for digitization projects should include the following categories: (a) staff training; (b) equipment and supplies; (c) overhead and indirect costs (including office and workspace).  The committee or whoever is coordinating the project should be exposed to project management skills which are important in the success of any digital library project.

Selection of Material

Selection of material to be digitized should be guided by specific library or collection development plans and range of factors such as: potential cost of digitization; the value of material (in terms of uniqueness, intellectual or historical value); comprehensiveness and range; its condition and ease of digitization; how complementary it is to other local, regional, or national collections (particularly for collaborative programmes); its potential audience; and legal issues in its digitization.  Unfortunately, at the time of the study, the library had not come out clear on any policy on selection of material to be digitized.  Selection of material was done on ad-hoc basis at the convenience of operation staff responsible for digitization (scanning of material).  The library was yet to assign a senior professional librarian to coordinate the selection and scanning of material.

Problem with Capturing Process

The materials currently being selected for capturing at the University of Ghana Library include: Furley Collection (British colonial collection of notes on Ghana’s pre-colonial history); Folio, Theses (MA, M.Phil. and Ph.D), and Newspapers (Daily Graphic and the Ghanaian Times).

The capturing process typically entails the scanning of paper documents and thee recording of sound and video.  To ensure the best quality of the digital copy, the operational staff must properly prepare the originals.  The most basic maneuver for nearly all formats of analog materials in clearing the item.  Dirty paper documents and photographs can result in burry reproductions.  The presence of dust, mold, or fungus can negatively impact the playback of audio discs, audiotapes and videotapes, and all types of film (CLIR, 2006).  Beyond cleaning, there are other practice that will improve the quality of digital copies.  Example, large-format paper documents like maps should be flattened to remove noticeable creases.

Scanning items can generate intense light and heat so special care must be taken when digitizing aged books and similar materials (Dean, 2003).  The temperature and humidity in the scanning area should be monitored, and rare material should spend as little time out of its storage areas as possible.  Books should be opened directly to avoid damage to binding (Dean, 2003).

Quality Control

The importance of quality control in a digitization project cannot be overemphasised.   Unfortunately, the library had not yet appointed a Quality Control officer responsible for ensuring quality control in the digitization exercise.  The essence of quality control is to ensure that, after capturing the material the resulting digital file needs to be checked for distortions, omissions, and other errors.  For example, an image would need to be checked to ensure that it is complete, that no section is skewed, that it is clear as it should be for its resolution, and that all of its colours are accurate (Moss and Currel, 2009).

Reliable Technology

The development of open access library facility would require a fast and reliable Internet connectivity.  The high cost of Internet bandwidth in Ghana would make it difficult to afford adequate bandwidth to host digital material.  Such low bandwidth would hamper the visibility of the digitized material to both the university community and the global audience.  Already there is a serious challenge for students and faculty at the University of Ghana to access the Internet on a regular basis due to frequent power outages on the university campus.  Operational staff responsible for digitization project reported that power cuts had impacted on the digitization project immensely as, at times the East Wing of the library hosting the project could for several hours experience power outage.

Training for Digital Project

One of the challenges facing the library’s digitization project is the readiness of the library in terms of digitization skills and knowledge to scan images, convert into PDF, control and transfer the material onto the University of Ghana (UG space) repository.  Because digitization is a complex process good staff training at an early stage pays substantial dividends (Beagrie, 2001).  The areas that training for the digital project should focus on: awareness of the digital project, the tools and resources for building the digital collection, collection development and management and the marketing of the digital resources.  This challenge corroborates Resenberg’s (2006) observation that skills in e-resources management, e-services development, full text digitization and teaching skills are lacking in African university libraries.  The library on its own does not have adequate resources to meet the training requirements for the digital project.

Currently, the University of Ghana digitization project is being funded by two international institutions: The KIT-Royal Tropical Institute of the Netherlands, and the Carnegie Corporation in New York.  While the former provide funding in the area of electronic equipment, the latter provided support in the area sponsored training workshops for the library operational digitization staff, some of whom have been sponsored for digitization workshops and conferences in South Africa.

The requirement for training to design, implement and manage digital projects and electronic library services in universities are varied (Bawden, et. al., 2004).  They must cover nearly of aspects from understanding the current state of affairs in the library, to the skills and techniques required for creating and implementing the digital collections to making digital collections accessible to the academic and research communities.  Specifically the training should focus on understanding the global trends in digital library projects, the current state and prospects of digital libraries in the African university libraries, and elsewhere.  The trainees should be familiar with major digital projects in Africa like the Database for African Theses and Dissertations (DATAD), the Digital Imaging Project of South Africa (DISA).


Conclusion

Establishing a digital library within the University of Ghana Library System (UGLS) involves analysing the library resources both human, financial and material, and services, drafting a strategic digital plan and establishing an evaluation programme to enable library mangers to assess the extent to which their goals have been achieved.  As a result of limited funding, University of Ghana find itself financially constrained in the provision of free access to global stores of information.  This might explain the slow take-of of digitization projects in Ghana universities, which has resulted I the University of Ghana being the only university in Ghana to embark on digitization project.

Digitization has to be treated as an emergency situation in libraries that are just starting the conversion of their library resources to digital form.  Huge allocations of fund, time and personnel have to be devoted to the exercise, as it is very expansive, tedious and time consuming.  Special policies and plans have to be formulated to guide the exercise.

It is important for all in the library to be involved and educated in the relevance and benefit of the digitization project.  The study revealed that majority of staff interviewed did not seem aware of the benefit of the project.  It is important also for staff, especially those involved in the scanning g exercise to have the skills, knowledge, and abilities required for the development and management of the project.

References

Astle, P. J. and Muir, A. (2002).  Digitization and preservation of public libraries and archives.  Journal of Librarianship and Information Sciences, (34): 67. (Available at: www.lib.sagepub.com: Accessed on 23rd February, 2012).

Bawden, D., Vilar, P. and Zabukovec, V. (2005).  Education and training for digital librarians: a Slovenia/UK comparison.  Aslib Proceedings, 57(1): 85-98.

Beagrie, N. (2001).  Going digital: issues in digitization for public libraries.  (Available at: www.dlib.org Accessed on 23rd February, 2012).

Chiware, E.R.T. (2007).  Training librarians for the digital age in African university libraries.  Pre-IFLA Satelite Meeting, Durban, August, 2007:pp. 1-3.

CLIR (2006).  Capturing analog sound for digital preservation.  Report of a round table discussion of best practices for transferring analog discs and tapes. – Washington, DC.  (Available at: www.clir.org Accessed on 2nd August, 2012).

Dean, J. F. (2003).  Digital imaging and conservation: model guidelines.  Library Trends, (52): 133-137.

Fabunmi, B. A., Paris, M. and Fabunmi, M. (2006).  Digitization of library resources: challenges and implications for policy and planning.  International Journal of African and American Studies, 5(2): 23-36.


Jaeger, P. T., Thomas, K. M. and Lazar, J. (2012).  The Internet and the evolution of library research: the perspective of one longitudinal study.  The Library Quarterly, 82(1): 75-86.

Johnson, R. K. (2002).  Institutional repositories: partnering with faculty to enhance scholarly communication. – D-Library Magazine, Nov., 2001.  (Available at: www.dlib.org Accessed on 25th June, 2011).

Liu, Y. Q. (2004).  Best practices standards and techniques for digitizing library materials: a snapshot of library digitization practices in the U.S.A.  Online Information Review, (28): 338-345.

Masakazi, N. (2009).  What is the value of digitizing South African arts, culture  and heritage to its citizens?  E-Mzazi Information Society.  (Available at: www.pnc.gov Accessed on 14th May, 2012).

Moss, M. and Curral, J. (2004).  Digitization: taking stock.  Journal of the Society Archivists, (25): 123-137.

Smith, A. (1999).  Why digitize? A report of Council on Library and Information  Resources.  (Available at: www.clir.org Accessed on 20th February, 2012).

Tsbeb, J. (2005).  Networking cultural heritage: Africa Paper presented at the World Library and Information Congress. – 71st IFLA General Conference and Council, Oslo, Norway, 14-18th August.

 

MANAGEMENT AND STRUCTURE OF SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN PROGRAMME IN ASSAM

MANAGEMENT AND STRUCTURE OF SARVA SHIKSHA ABHIYAN PROGRAMME IN ASSAM

 

Md Delowar Hussain
Research Scholar
Dept of Education, NEHU Shillong

 

 

Introduction

The Sarva Shiksha Abhiyanis also known as the Education for All movement or 'Each One Teach One'. It was introduced in 2000-2001 as the flagship programme run by the Government ofIndia. This scheme is framed to provide useful and relevant elementary education for all children in the age group of six to fourteen by 2010. 

Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan is a valuable endeavour of the Government of India, in the universalization of elementary education, which strives to help citizens to realize the importance of elementary education. Social justice and equity are by themselves a strong argument for providing basic education for all. Provision of basic education also improves the standard of living, especially with regard to life expectancy, infant mortality and nutritional status of children.

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SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION

SOCIO-PSYCHOLOGICAL CORRELATES OF GENDER DISCRIMINATION

Dr. Latika Sharma,
Associate Professor,
Department of Education,
Panjab UniversityChandigarh
Dr.Harvinder K.Dogra,
Assistant Professor,
SBHSM Khalsa College of Education
Hoshiarpur

 

Abstract

The present study was designed with the purpose to find out the relationship of socio-psychological correlates i.e. approval motive, self-concept and attitude towards females. Data was collected from a sample of male and female teacher trainees who were doing B.Ed from various colleges in Punjab. It was found that there was a significant correlation between attitude towards females and self-concept, attitude towards females and approval motive. The study revealed that higher approval motive leads to negative attitude towards females and higher self-concept leads to positive attitude towards females.

Key Words: Attitude towards Females, Gender Discrimination, Approval Motive, Self-Concept.

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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND PROFESSIONAL BURNOUT: A STUDY AMONG SPECIAL EDUCATORS OF MENTALLY CHALLENGED CHILDREN IN KERALA

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND PROFESSIONAL BURNOUT: A STUDY AMONG SPECIAL EDUCATORS OF MENTALLY CHALLENGED CHILDREN IN KERALA

ReeshaKarally
Senior Research Fellow,
Department of Education, University of Calicut
Dr. P. Usha
Associate Professor,
Department of Education, University of Calicut.

Abstract

The present study is an attempt to estimate the relationship between Emotional Intimacy and Professional Burnout among special educators of mentally challenged children. Significant difference in Professional Burnout and Emotional Intimacy among special educators based on their Length of Service was also done. The study reveals that there exists a significant relationship between Emotional Intimacy and Professional Burnout. Professional Burnout goes on increasing by increase in the length of service whereas Emotional Intimacy is goes on decreasing by increase in length of service of special educators. The study concluded that enhancing emotional intimacy towards children will help to prevent Professional Burnout of special educators.

Key words: Emotional Intimacy, Professional Burnout and Special Educators.

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