ISSN-2231 0495

Volume 4 || Issue 3 - May 2014

The Implementation of RTE Act, 2009 in the State Of Mizoram – Issues And Problems

The Implementation of RTE Act 2009 in the State Of Mizoram – Issues And Problems

Dr. Lalchharliani
Assistant Regional Director
IGNOU Regional Centre,
Shillong

Introduction

Education is a key factor which can elevate the status of the people and promote their socio-cultural identity and equip them to meet the challenges of the times. In order to reform the system of education in the state of Mizoram, the Government of Mizoram set up the Education Reforms Commission, comprising members of outstanding expertise in the field of education, to recommend ways and means to raise standards of education and improve its quality. The commission had submitted its Report on 8th May, 2009 which consists of 15 Chapters, including a consolidated summary of recommendations. The Commission’s terms of reference were wide ranging, covering all sectors of education, namely, pre-school, elementary, secondary, higher and professional education.

Mizoram with its own culture, language and diversity and its education System is a sub-system of the National System of Education. After independence of India, a number of efforts have been made to address various problems in the Indian Education System with the set up of different Commissions like the National Policy on Education(1986/1992) which provided significant directions to the nation’s educational development although the implementation of the recommendations of these commissions have varied level of success. Recently, the Indian Parliament enacted the Right to Free and Compulsory Education Act (RTE Act) 2009 for children in the age group 6-14 years which has come into force with effect from 1st April, 2010. The Education Reform Commission Mizoram has given due thought on the implications of implementing the provisions of the Act. The very fact that the government of Mizoram has set up a State-level Educational Reforms Commissions is a pointer to the expectations they have from the reformed system of education in the state. This is one state in the country, which can be legitimately credited with this pace setting vision.

Elementary Education:Like all other states schools in Mizoram are under the management of the Government or private bodies.

Government schools: Government schools are totally maintained by the State Government or the Central Government (e.g. Kendriya Vidyalayas, Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalayas) and Local Bodies.

Private Schools: Private Schools are of various types, such as:

  1. Deficit School: A school which receives Grant-in-Aid from the consolidated Fund under the Mizoram Aided School (Recurring and Non-recurring Grant-in-Aid) Rules, 1990. The employees in these schools enjoy the benefit of full pay and allowances.
  2. Ad-hoc Aided School: A school which receives Grant-in-Aid from the consolidated Fund under the Mizoram Aided School (Recurring and Non-Recurring Grant-in-Aid) Rules, 1997. The employees in these schools enjoy the benefit of full pay along with 50% allowances.
  3. Lump-sum Aided School: A School which receives lump sum grants from the Consolidated Fund under the Mizoram Education Grant-in-Aid for General Maintenance of Private Schools), Rules, 2006.
  4. Council Deficit and Council Aided: Private School receiving Grant-in-Aid from the Autonomous District Councils.
  5. Private Unaided Schools.

Structure of School Education till 2010:

  1. Primary                                          Class 1 – IV
  2. Upper Primary (Middle)               Classes V- VII
  3. Secondary (High School)              Classes VIII-X
  4. Higher Secondary                         Classes XI-XII

Structure of Elementary Stage:

Till 2010 Mizoram had followed the structure of elementary education comprising of 4 years of primary, 3 years of upper primary, that is 7 years (4+3) of elementary education. In conformity with the definition of the elementary education as contained in the RTE Act, 2009, the state is preparing to follow the reorganized structure of the followings:

  1. Elementary Stage                    I-VIII              6-14 years
  • Primary                        I-V
  • Upper primary             VI-VIII 
  2.Secondary Stage                     IX-XII                        15-18 years
  • Secondary                   IX-X
  • Higher Secondary       XI-XII
 

The addition of class VIII to the Upper primary stage has been implemented from the academic year 2011. However addition of class V to the primary stage is yet to be done subsequently.

Table 1:  State Summary Number of schools under different management in the state of Mizoram are shown in tables below:
                 State: Mizoram                                    Management: All management     Year: 2009-2010
Schools

Enrolment

Teachers

District

 

Boys

Girls

Total

Male

Female

Total

Aizawl

706

39697

38024

77721

2397

2760

5157

Champhai

356

14480

13709

28189

1013

717

1730

Kolasib

227

12316

11756

24072

581

520

1101

Lawngtlai

399

13937

12922

26859

1595

616

2211

Lunglei

595

18826

17786

36612

1638

1061

2699

Mamit

273

14058

12873

26931

825

512

1337

Saiha

183

6982

6780

13762

877

432

1309

Serchhip

184

6783

6514

13297

584

413

997

All Districts

2923

127079

120364

247443

9510

7031

16541

Source: SSA Mission, Mizoram.

 

Table 2: No. of Schools by School Category – State Level
                                    State : Mizoram                                                                                               Year: 2009 - 2010

District

Primary only

Primary with upper primary

Primary with upp. Primary & Sec/H.Sec

Upper Primary only

Upper primary with Sec/H.Sec

All Schools

Aizawl

279

169

48

202

8

706

Champhai

168

62

0

126

0

356

Kolasib

119

17

0

91

0

227

Lawngtlai

241

27

0

131

0

399

Lunglei

375

0

0

220

0

595

Mamit

162

18

0

93

0

273

Saiha

89

34

5

55

0

183

Serchhip

95

20

0

69

0

184

All District

1528

347

53

987

8

2923

                                           Source: SSA Mission, Mizoram

Table 3: No. of Schools by School Management – State Level
                                   State: Mizoram                                                                                              Year: 2009-2010

Department of Education

Welfare & other Deptt.

Local Body

Aided

Private unaided

Others

All Schools

2225

6

67

51

435

139

2923

                                          Source: SSA Mission, Mizoram.

RTE Act And The Present Education Scenario In Mizoram:

Availability of neighbourhood schools: Regarding ensuring availability of neighbourhood schools as specified in Section 6 of the Act, the state government do not seems to put an extra effort on the implementation of this particular Act because the problem of access at the elementary stage (primary and upper primary (middle)) in Mizoram is almost non-existent as primary and upper primary schools are available even in small villages and habitations. The enrolment in class I is almost universal but a number of students drop out before completing the elementary stage of education. The dropout rate in Mizoram at the elementary stage in the year 2010-2011 is 4.94%. In spite of the availability of high and higher secondary schools, the participation rate at the secondary stage is not satisfactory. This may be due to the failures in the Middle School Examination. After implementation of the Act the enrolment in the secondary stage is expected to be increased substantially.

Drop out in Elementary Stage: Section 4 of the Act provides for admission to a child not enrolled or who has dropped out in  a class appropriate to his/her age. The dropout rate in Mizoram at the  elementary stage in the year 2010-2011 is 4.94%. In spite of the availability of high and higher secondary schools, the participation rate at the secondary stage is not satisfactory.

Contribution of Parents/guardians and communities: Parents in Mizoram are cooperative in sending their children/wards to attend elementary school who are already dropped out. The effort made on the part of the community and NGOs like YMA, MHIP, VC etc. made it possible to send children to attend elementary schools. Necessary arrangement like buying uniforms for children with BPL are being helped out by these organizations.

Under qualified teachers: In Mizoram, the proportion of academically under qualified teachers at the elementary level and of the professional untrained teachers is quite substantial.  According to the data given by SSA, Mizoram 2008, teachers who are under matriculates at elementary stage constituted 11.3 and matriculates 26.6 respectively. To address this problem the state government devised a scheme called A Special Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) with suitable incentives for teachers who are under qualified teachers. The scheme was made compulsory for the under matriculate teachers and made it optional for the teachers who are matriculates. Many of the under qualified teachers have already availed the scheme to meet the notified minimum qualification stated in section 23 (1) of the Act.

Infrastructure: Regarding the infrastructure, the state government  do not seem to prepare well for some of the already implemented Acts . At present most of the upper primary schools do not have separate classrooms for class VIII. Facilities like separate toilets for boys and girls, safe and adequate drinking water, playground etc are still lacking. All these are needed to be considered before implementing the Act.

Pupil Teacher Ratio: The Act mandates a Teacher:Pupil Ratio of 1:30 for primary classes and 1:35 for upper primary classes. The state will require a number of additional teachers to conform to the stipulations of the Act.

Table 4: Showing Teacher pupil ratio in Elementary Stage
Management: All management

<= 20

21 – 40

41 – 60

61 – 80

81 -100

More than 100

Total

2167

617

133

37

13

14

2981

                                                   Source: SSA, Mizoram

Pre-school Education: As stated in the Act, the appropriate government to provide for pre-school education. For a start, primary schools with adequate space for constructing pre schools are selected in each district headquarters as a pilot project. In schools with no adequate space, pre-schools will be established in a separate compound. The SSA in Mizoram has also started setting up new ECCE centres which are pre-primary sections, attached to the Primary Schools under SSA. There are 389 such sections with a total enrolment of 10,897 (report of ECCE 2008-09 as on 15th March, 2009). These centres are under the care of Education Volunteer (EV). The children covered belong to 3-5 years of age. The children in these ECCE centres are provided mid-day meal along with Primary school children. The ERC recommends that the present arrangement of ECCE as the exclusive responsibility of the Department of Social Welfare calls for a review.

Inclusion of children belonging to weaker section of the society:
The state government has been trying its best to admit children from weaker sections of society. The number of children from weaker sections who are enrolled in schools are presented in the table below:

Table 5: Showing enrolment by caste (Govt.)
State Total                                                 Management : Government  Year: 2009-10

SC

OBC

Minority

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

Boys

Girls

240

183

250

225

117

83

                                                             Source: SSA Mission, Mizoram.

Implementation of RTE Act.:

To implement the Act, the government of Mizoram set up the Committee of Experts which framed action plans to be taken up by the Department of Education for the implementation of the Act. Some of the Action points in the interim Report of group of experts which the government has been taking immediate action are given below:

For School Education Department:

  1. To continue having class IV (four) in the primary school for sometime, though ERCM had recommended for inclusion Class V (five) in the Primary School. Inclusion of Class V in the primary school would be done ultimately.
  2. To arrange inclusion of class VIII (eight) in the middle school within 2012 as it will involve preparation of ground work like provision of (i) class rooms, (ii) translation of English Text Books and its publications, and not in 2011.
  3. Teachers and teacher organizations: A Task Force for implementing Voluntary Retirement Scheme (VRS) should be constituted.
  4. Contract Teachers: The state Government should fill up the vacant posts of Teachers by lifting the ban on new recruitment. No contractual appointment be given except on exceptional cases as recommended.
  5. The resultant imbalance in the teacher-class ratio at (i) Primary, (ii) Upper Primary and (iii) Secondary stages should be checked and settled accordingly.
  6. Though ERCM had recommended for Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) to be taken care from school Education Department, it is felt that the recommendation calls for a review as ECCE is the exclusive responsibility of social Welfare Department.
  7. However, the 4+ years children (KG-I and KG II) may be attached as pre-school at Primary Schools whose programme shall be prepared by SCERT. Calls for a review. Pre-school Education (KG-I & KG-II) in a phased Manner, but such schools should not be an extension of the Primary School.
  8. For implementing ECCE, play and activity oriented ECCE should be prepared for which the following need to be considered:
  • To ensure that ECCE is simply not an extension of Primary Schools, Schools with more space should be selected which can provide for a separate building for the purpose.
  • Such a school should have sufficient adequate indoor and outdoor space for conducting play and activities, child-friendly furniture, indoor and outdoor play equipment and materials, trained teachers/workers. For this specifications by NCERT may be consulted.
  • Other requirements given by ICDS should also be considered.
  • The programme involves ICDS and hence Social Welfare Department needs to be involved.
  • This particular programme may be implemented only after proper school mapping.
  • For a start, primary schools with adequate space for constructing Pre-schools should be selected in each district headquarters as a Pilot Project, and the recruitment of teachers and workers and their capacity building may be completed before the end of 2012, so that the programme may be started as early as possible. After that, the rest should be implemented in a phased manner. In schools with no adequate space, pre-schools may be established in a separate compound.
  • SCERT should be designated as the nodal resource institution for ECCE.

  9.Implementing RTE: Creation of a separate Directorate for Elementary Education should be helpful in successful implementation of The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009.

Problems Relating To The Implementation Of RTE Act :

After interacting with teachers of secondary schools, Teachers’ Associations, middle (upper primary) school teachers, primary school teachers, the media persons, NGOs and the public, it has been found that  most of them are skeptical about how the government is taking the Act to the next level. Their attitude is like “Let’s watch and see”. As we see the above point no. 2, inclusion of Class VIII will not be in 2011, but it is already include in the current year, 2011. Some of the problems related with the implementation of the Act are highlighted below:

Followings are some of the problems areas in relation to the implementation of the RTE Act:

Lack of preparation at ground level: For the implementation of the Act, preparation at the ground level is very much necessary like making the classrooms for class VIII, making the general aware of the act which includes their role in implementing the act, giving training on CCE etc. None of these are seems to be considered before taking the steps. Majority of the schools are not having facilities which are mentioned in the Act like playground, separate toilet for boys and girls, library etc. Inclusion of Class VIII in the upper primary stage also implemented without making separate classrooms. In some schools they are put in a makeshift room without proper infrastructure.
Structure of School Education: The structure of the school education in Mizoram before the implementation of the Act was divided into the following stages:
  • Primary                                    Class 1 – IV
  • Upper Primary (Middle)         Classes V- VII
  • Secondary (High School)        Classes VIII-X
  • Higher Secondary                   Classes XI-XII

From the academic year 2011, class VIII has been included in the elementary education. The addition of Class V in the primary schools will be done subsequently. The restructuring of the pattern of elementary education do not go down well with the secondary school teachers as they think it would pull down the quality of education at class VIII level. They said that teachers of upper primary schools do not have enough qualified teachers especially science graduates. They further said that class VIII can be included in the elementary education as the nature itself is elementary but without restructuring the overall educational structure. But, this may not be appropriate because the students of class VIII will have to get their mid day meal in the schools where students of class XI and X are there who do not get it.

 Problems on CCE training: CCE training has been going on for the resource persons for each of the districts. These resource persons will again give training to elementary teachers in their respective districts. This training is about to take place in due course but meanwhile the Education department had already issued an order to use the CCE evaluation system for the first entry. The school academic session is already started from the month of January. It is obvious that CCE will not be used for the 1st entry which covers the period between January to April.
 Shortage of Teachers: Most of the teachers in the upper primary schools are not well equipped to teach class VIII level especially in the subjects like science and mathematics. Most of them are graduate condoned. The SSA has been appointing new teachers- one for one elementary school designated as “Class VIII teachers” on contract basis. The implication of pushing down class V to primary and bringing down class VIII to upper primary means reallocation of teachers from their present deployment in a higher stage of school education immediately one stage lower. The government seems to ignore to look into this matter with concern.
Under qualified Teachers: The minimum qualification for the primary teachers is higher secondary pass with two years’ Diploma in Teacher Education (D.T.Ed.), for the upper primary school teachers, the prescribed qualification is graduation with B.Ed or D.T.Ed. As per the District Information System for Education (DISE) data (2006-07) brought out by the National University of Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA), 15.54% of elementary teachers have below secondary level of education, that is, they are under-matriculates or middle pass. Another 28.86% teachers are matriculates. Thus, 44.4% teachers working in primary and upper primary schools are not higher secondary (+2) pass, which is now a minimum academic qualification prescribed for the position, and therefore, they are not eligible to join the D.T.Ed. course in the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs).
  Problems on Appointment of Teachers: The big question at the moment is who is going to teach Class VIII students. The teachers of elementary schools are expecting the new appointed teacher to teach but it is not possible for one teacher to teach one class especially in schools where there are more than one sections. Moreover appointing new teachers only for Class VIII would require increase in financial expenditure which at the moment is not yet possible. The appointments are made on the basis of the recommendations by the VEC (Village Education Committee) headed by the concerned VCP who belongs to a particular political party. The other members of the VEC comprised of t members of VC, Teachers and representatives from NGOs. In practice the VCP is all in all, and he has the power to appoint or dismiss any SSA teacher. Therefore, more often than not, selections are done on the basis of the political affiliation of the candidates. Although trained teachers are to be given preferences over untrained, but this also seems to be ignored while recruiting new teachers.  
Shortage of Science and Mathematics Teachers: In Mizoram, there is an acute shortage of qualified science and mathematics teachers at the upper primary school stage. At primary stage a sizeable number of teachers are matriculates or under matriculates. Even amongst the higher secondary (+2) pass teachers, a majority are from the Arts stream, who has studied science and mathematics upto class X only. Even the upper primary (Middle) school teachers, who are graduates in arts, might have studied science and mathematics upto class X only, and, therefore, they find it difficult to teach these subjects in class VI and VII. With the present condition it is difficult to maintain quality education with the shortage of science and mathematics teachers.  
Lack of Trained Teachers: In the case of primary and upper primary (middle) school teachers, the prescribed teacher education qualification is D.T. Ed. Of 2 year duration. In the case of upper primary school teachers, the professional qualification could either be D.T. Ed. Or B.Ed. In Mizoram a substantial number of teachers are not yet trained which needs to be addressed seriously. The table below highlights the present position on teachers training.

Table 6: Teachers Profile by professional qualification
(Management : All Management                                          Year: 2010-2011)

District

Male

Female

Total of trained Teachers

Total of untrained Teacher

 

Trained

Untrained

Trained

Untrained

Aizawl

1273

999

1265

1358

2538

2357

Champhai

562

422

269

391

831

813

Kolasib

317

306

226

321

543

627

Saiha

544

375

198

252

742

627

Lawngtlai

1094

462

481

129

1575

591

Lunglei

862

816

511

588

1373

1404

Mamit

229

645

116

430

345

1075

Serchhip

372

188

209

174

581

362

 

 

 

 

TOTAL

8528

7856

Source:SSAMission,Mizoram.

From the table above it can be seen that 47.95% of teachers are not trained. That means almost half of the teachers are yet to undergo teachers training.

Problems on the attitude of teachers: Teachers of secondary schools are not very happy about detaching class VIII from secondary stage. This may be because of the fact that the government did not do enough to make them aware of the Act. At the same time the Middle School teachers are also complaining about the lack of preparation on the part of the Education department. They are expecting separate teachers to be appointed to teach Class VIII. They feel that they are helping the teacher (Class VIII teacher) for the time being in schools where there is one. When the Secondary Teachers Association was approached to help out in teaching class VIII in particular for the time being. They came to a consensus that they cannot help them in any way.

 Interpretation of some of the section of the Act: Section 16 which prohibits ‘expulsion of a child’ from school and section17 for ban of corporal punishment are interpreted simply by the general public as “one cannot fail” and “children should not be punished”. These sections of the Act. seems to have a negative impact on the students as well as the general public. This is the general perception about the RTE Act. With regard to the appointing of teachers, the interpretations of the government and the teachers’ association are also differs.

 Zero workload for Hindi Teachers in Secondary Schools: Since the detaching class VIII and added it to upper primary school, teachers of Hindi subject are left with zero workload. The fate of these teachers are not yet decided till writing this piece.

 Text books for class VIII are not yet translated in mother tongue: As recommended by the Act the elementary education should be in mother tongue. Even though it is mentioned in the interim report of Group of Experts that text books of class VIII would be translated in Mizo before it is included in the upper primary and more so not in 2011. But it is made to include in the upper primary without translating it into the mother tongue (Mizo). It will be difficult for the teachers who have been teaching all their lives in their mother tongue to teach in English. Moreover as mentioned earlier most of the teachers are not well equipped to teach in language other than their mother tongue. There is also a shortage of science graduates to teach science and mathematics subject. How they are going to handle it is a big question and the quality of education seems to suffer at this level.

Private tuition: The Act mentioned about the prohibition on private tuition given by the teachers. Considering the differences in the individuality of children, it appears to be not practicable. Subjects like science and mathematics are found to be the weak points for most of the students. If they cannot follow the methods of teaching inside the classroom, they will have to seek help from outside the classrooms. This has been an on-going practice in everywhere and students are benefitting from it tremendously.  There are cases when students cannot attend classes regularly due to many reasons, in that case they will have to get private tuition from teachers to get them through to the next class. All the teachers I spoke to during writing this piece believe that this particular act cannot be implemented anyhow.  

Capitation fee: According to the Act “Capitation fee” means any kind of donation or contribution or payment other than the fee notified by the school. But in the real school situation, the school fees are the minimum expenditure that parents have to bear. There are other things which the parents have to spend a lot of money like uniforms, school bags etc. In Mizoram, the biggest NGO which is YMA (Young Mizo Association) are helping some of the students who could not afford to buy their uniforms. But here the question is how long the association will be able to help them especially in rural areas. The funds for these expenditures are not yet received. Providing mid-day meal in the schools is helping a great deal in saving money for the parents. This is one of the most successful schemes that have been implemented for universalisation of education in the country. 

 

Financial problems: For implementing any Act or recommendations, it is necessary to be backed up by adequate financial resources. This is the area where the state is going to face problems. The act mentioned that the financial responsibility would be shared by both the central and the state in 75:25. In the interim reports of group of experts, it is suggested that the financial assistance which is supposed to be borne by the state would be drawn from the following sources like increase in professional tax, electricity bill etc. But here the question is how the government employees are going to take it as they think that the professional tax they are giving is already with the norms of the state government order. Will the people keep quiet when the government tries to implement it? Only time will tell.

Suggestions

Preparation at ground level should be made before implementing the act. This refers to the preparation of classrooms, toilets for boys and girls, playground, library etc.

Recruitment of teachers: Recruitment of teachers should be based on the qualifications of a person not on the political affiliation of the candidates. Trained teachers should be given preference over untrained persons.

Training on CCE: Any reform in education is intimately related with the reforms in the area of examination and evaluation. No public examination up to the elementary state, that is Class I to class VIII should be conducted in view of the provisions contained in section 29 of the RTE Act, 2009. This implies much greater accountability on the part of the school and the teachers to pay serious attention to continuous and comprehensive evaluation spread over the total instructional time. All the teachers in the elementary stage should be given a proper training on evaluation system before the commencement of the academic session.

Infrastructure: The infrastructure like class rooms, text books, toilets, library etc. should be made ready before implementing the Act. Some Acts like including class V in the primary section would require to consider  these infrastructure. The Government should look into all these before taking further steps.

Financial allocation: The financial responsibility of the state for the implementing the Act should be released on time. The state government should also make provision for giving funds from its own sources to the implementing agencies in advance in anticipation of the receipt of funds from the central agencies.

Inclusion of NGOs: SSA Mission, Mizoram have been making a great effort in working with different NGOs like YMA, MHIP (Women Association) and churches organizations. These organizations are one of the biggest in the state and it makes a great sense in working with them. It is also very essential in making all these associations in order to make elementary education universalized. However, SSA can still reach out to the minority associations especially in the south of Mizoram like Bru, Chakma, Lakher etc. These sections of society are often made complaints about the exclusion from the main stream.

Imparting awareness of the Act.: It has been observed from the reaction of different associations that the government is taking step in a hurry. Imparting awareness of the act is required in order to make the public and associations understand the Act properly since it states about the involvement of the community and parents.

Creation of a separate directorate for Elementary Education. As suggested by the interim report of group of experts it is necessary to create a separate directorate for elementary education. The Middle School Teachers’ Association and Education Officers dealing with elementary education have demanded a separate Directorate of Elementary Education by bifurcating the present Directorate of School Education into two separate Directorates of Elementary and Secondary Education. But it is argued that it will put unnecessary burden on the state exchequer. However, Education Reforms Commission recommended that a separate Wing in the Directorate of School Education to deal with matters relating to elementary education could be established under the leadership of an officer of the level of Joint Director.

Conclusion

It is apparent that after interviewing many High School and Middle school teachers, members of NGOs, the Government of Mizoram has been implementing some of the Acts in a hurry without proper preparation at ground level. Many of the High School teachers are not happy about the implementation especially detaching Class VIII from high schools. They said that the quality of education in the state would suffer a great deal as they think that middle school teachers are not equipped enough to teach class VIII. Meanwhile teachers of middle schools and the government are keeping quiet on the issues relating to the many problems occurred due to the implementation of the Act. This may be because of the fact that the inclusion of class VIII in middle schools will be resulting in increasing enrolment of students and also their status. However, in all the middle schools, class V is still attached which is to be detached and included in the lower primary schools as recommended by the Act.

The government has recently issued an order to use CCE from the first entry which is about to be over. The training on using CCE has not started in most of the districts. The SCERT has just finished in giving training to resource persons about how to use the CCE which again these resource persons have to impart training to all the teachers within their respective districts. This training is about to start most likely from the end of March.

It is worthwhile to mention the efforts made by SSA Mission, Mizoram. The SSA in Mizoram has been joining hands with the two biggest Churches Viz. Mizoram Presbyterian Church and Mizoram Baptist Church, and also with the biggest two NGOs Viz. YMA (Young Mizo Association) and MHIP (Mizo Women Association) in educating children aged between 6-14 years in the state. They signed an MoU which was in forced from 28th September 2007 till 31st March 2012.

References:

  1. Towards an Enlightened and Inclusive Mizo Society- Report of the Education Reforms Commission, Mizoram 2009-2010. Education Reforms Commission, Mizoram. July 2010.
  2. Statistical Hand Book, Mizoram 2008. Government of Mizoram, Directorate of Economics & Statistics, 2008.
  3. Model Rules under The Right of Children to Free and Compulsory Education Act, 2009. Government of India.
  4. The Gazette of India. New Delhi, August 27, 2009.
  5. Implementation of the Interim Report of Group of Experts. Government of Mizoram.
 

IMPACT OF SAAKSHAR BHARAT PROGRAMME ON FEMALE LITERACY

 

IMPACT OF SAAKSHAR BHARAT PROGRAMME ON FEMALE LITERACY

SHARMILA THINGBAIJAM
Research Scholar,
Department of Adult Continuing Education and Extension,
Manipur University, Canchipur,
Pin-795003

 

Introduction

In India, large scale illiteracy was still prevailing unabated even after fifty years of its independence. Realizing the imperative need of adult education towards the attainment of universal or mass literacy the Government of India have been working in this direction through different five plans. Several schemes and projects from ‘Social Education’ to ‘Saakshar Bharat Mission’ were implemented to promote adult education in the country. Attempts were made through different committees and commissions to sort out the problems in different such programmes and find out necessary remedies for improvement of the same from time to time. During the successive Five Year Plans a large amount of money was allocated for Adult Education by the Central, State and Union Territory Governments. For Manipur, Adult Education Programme was enhanced from February 1980 with the establishment of the full fledged Directorate of Adult Education. Since then, Central Government has been financing the programme implemented under NAEP and NLM by the Government of Manipur. Many Voluntary Organizations are also working with the financial assistance from the central and international funding agencies. Now, it is necessary to evaluate the programme to ascertain whether the adult learners could react and derive from the programme and also to know physical progress of the adult education programmes so far conducted in the state specially Thoubal District where the Saakshar Bharat Programme was implemented.

The present study was done about the adult education programmes conducted in Thoubal District of Manipur (the one and only valley district where the SBP is implementing) which would help in studying and analyzing the progress and achievement of the adult education programmes and also to analyze the opinion of the adult learners regarding the teaching learning materials and the adult education programme so far conducted in the state. Since, it is necessary to impart proper functional skill and social awareness to the people, particularly in the productive age group of 15-35 years and above and the result of the study are important to take remedial measures.

Objectives of the Study

The main objective of the present study is to highlight the effectiveness of education programme in Thoubal district. To fulfill the main objective, the study aims at identifying the following objectives.

  1. To explore the objectives of joining the adult education programmes.
  2. To study the perceptions of the learners and the volunteer teachers in respect of method of teaching, learning materials and evaluation system of the adult education programmes.
  3. To find out the problems of adult learners and the volunteer teachers in participating the adult education programmes

Hypotheses

The present study is undertaken with the object of testing the following hypotheses drawn on the basis of preliminary studies:

  1. There is no variation in the number of learners who have been attending the adult education classes regularly by difference in the types of the family.

Method and Samples of the Study

For this present study, the normative survey method was adopted in which the relevant facts and information as it exists at present were collected through the appropriate tools developed for the purpose.            Altogether, 600 learners and 200 volunteer teachers from 64 Adult Education Centres were selected through the stratified disproportionate sampling.

Tools

For the present study, self developed questionnaire and interview schedule had been used to collect the required data from the volunteer teachers and adult learners.

Result and Discussion

In the present study, an attempt had been made to analyze and interpret the data collected by means of using questionnaire and interview method. The data were collected from the adult learners and Volunteer Teachers only. The statistical tools like descriptive statistics such as percentage, frequency, standard deviation, and chi-square, etc., were used to interpret the results. Here, the data are analyzed and interpreted objective wise.

Objectives Of Joining The Adult Education Programme

In order to understand learners’ motives of joining the literacy programmes the responses were extracted from the learners as shown in the following table.

Table No.1: Opinion Of The Learners And Volunteers Regarding The Adult Education Programme

Opinion Of The Learners

Frequency

Percent

Never late to learn

Yes

599

99.8

No

1

0.2

Illiterate person is like a blind

Yes

600

100

Adult education programme is helpful

Yes

600

100

Literacy will bring about a big change in your life

Yes

600

100

Reason about the changes in their life

NR(No response)

50

8.3

Bring lot of changes

51

8.5

Advantages of 3R’s

467

77.8

Want to be fully literate

28

4.7

Want to learn more

4

0.7

Total

600

100


As described in the above table, 99.8% of the learners were satisfied with the term “never late to learn”, while only 0.2% was not. Further, most of the adult learners (100%) felt that illiterate person is like a blind. All the learners stated that literacy will bring about a big change in their life. The reasons behind this were given by 77.8 percent (Advantages of 3R’s), while 8.5 percent (Lot of changes), 4.7 percent (want to be fully literate) and 0.7 percent (want to learn more).

Table NO. 2: Main Objectives For Joining The AEP

Main Objectives For Joining The Adult Education Programme

No. of

learners

Percent

Reading, writing and arithmetic


426

71.0

Opportunities for discussion among the members of their locality


155

25.8

Advancement in your profession


11

1.8

Job facilities


3

0.5

Other vocational activities


5

0.8

Total


600

100.0

 

Sharmila_Manipur_

Figure No.1: Main Objectives of Joining the AEP

The data indicated that the basic objective of joining the literacy classes by 71 percent respondents was to acquire the knowledge and skills of 3R’s followed by opportunities for discussion among the member of their locality (25.8%), advancement in profession (1.8%), job facilities (0.5%), and vocational activities (0.8%).

From the above result it may be concluded that the adult education programme seems to be focused on the literacy. Other activities like development of vocational skills are almost at zero level. In this context, organization of vocational skills development programme and creating motivation among learners about it, is felt to be the need of the hour. The attention of JSS, DLSS, NGO, etc., is highly called for this regard.

Views of the adult learners on the functioning of the adult education programmes

The responses from the learners regarding the location of the centre and functioning of the adult education programme were analysed as shown in the table given below

TableNo.3: Functions Of The Adult Education Programme

Functions Of The Adult Education Programme

No. of learners

Percent

Location of Centre


School/Club building

71

11.8

Community hall/Mandoop

102

17.0

Residence of volunteer teacher

426

71.0

Distance of the centre

Very near

600

100.0

Place is suitable

Yes

13

2.2

No

587

97.8

If yes, what are the facilities

Proper sitting arrangement

6

1.0

Proper arrangement of light(at night)

4

0.7

Proper toilet facilities

3

0.5

Regular class

Yes

334

55.7

No

266

44.3

Timing of the classes

Morning

43

7.2

Afternoon

111

18.5

Night

398

66.3

During free time

48

8.0

Duration of class per day

Half an hour

1

0.2

One hour

69

11.5

More than one hour

530

88.3

Attend the class regularly

Regularly

372

62.0

Irregularly

228

38.0

Vocational activities

Making agarbati, handicraft item, pickle and Mat making, and tailoring

93

15.5

No training

507

84.5

Satisfy the whole adult education programme

Yes

599

99.8

No

1

0.2

 

It is observed from the above table that in most cases the literacy classes were conducted in the houses of volunteer teachers (71%) followed by community hall (17 %) and school/ club building (11.8%). There was no problem of distance between the centre and the residence of the learners, as 100 percent learners reported that the literacy centres were within their easy reach. The places where the classes conducted were not a suitable one as reported by 97.8 percent learners, while only 2.2 percent said suitable. When seeking the reasons for suitability of the centre from 2.2 percent respondents, 1 percent of them replied that it was due to proper sitting arrangement, 0.7 percent lighting facilities, and 0.5 percent proper toilet facilities.

Regular classes took place in the case of 55.7 percent learners, while the rest did not do so. Most of the classes were met at night time (66.3%), afternoon (18.5%), free time (8.0%), and morning (7.2%). The duration of class hour was more than one hour (88.3%), one hour (11.5%), and half an hour (0.2%). About attendance, 62 percent attended the classes regularly, while 32 percent irregularly. It was reported by 84.5percent learners that no vocational training was provided, however, the rest (15.5%) received training in different skills like Agarbati-making, handicrafts, pickle preparation, mat-making, and tailoring. When asking the extent of satisfaction of the adult education programme, almost 100 percent of them replied ‘satisfied’.

Thus, from the above discussion, it may be concluded that most of the classes are conducted in the houses of the volunteers at night and the places of the centres are within walking distance of the learners. So, adequate supply of kerosene oil or candle or solar lamp should be provided by the concerned authority to each adult education centre. Along with these, attempt should be made to provide proper accommodation to the learners so that they can come and join the adult education programme comfortably.

Method Of Teaching- Learning Materials And Assessment Process

In order to know about the materials received, responses of the learners were obtained in different aspects. Table 20 presents the distribution of learners according to their opinion on method of teaching; learning materials available in the centres and evaluation system of the centres.

Table No. 4: Method of Teaching- Learning Materials and Evaluation System (n=600 for each variable)

Method Of Teaching, Learning Materials And Evaluation System

No. of learners

Percent

Method of teaching

Textbook

 

568

96.7

Experience- based

 

1

0.2

Co-curricular activities

 

8

1.3

Get all required learning materials in the centre

Yes

 

14

2.3

No

 

586

97.7

Reason for not getting learning materials

Textbook, paper, pencil, erasers, light etc

 

14

2.3

Audio-visual facilities

Yes

 

14

2.3

No

 

586

97.7

Satisfied with the behaviour of the teachers

Yes

 

600

100

Satisfied with the quality of the learning materials

Yes

 

560

93.3

No

 

40

6.7

Reason for not satisfied with the quality of learning materials

Lack of adequate materials

 

4

10.0

Poor quality of materials

 

36

90.0

Teachers are competent enough to teach

Yes

 

599

99.8

No

 

1

0.2

Volunteer teachers evaluate your performance

Reading and writing

 

17

2.8

Written

 

583

97.2

Frequency of assessment in Literacy learning centres

Once a month

 

561

93.5

Twice a month

 

38

6.3

Not responding

 

1

0.2

Satisfy the assessment method

Yes

 

599

99.8

No

 

1

0.2

Reason for not satisfied the assessment system

Inconvenient timing

 

1

0.2

 

It is learnt from the above table that text-book was the only method adopted by the volunteers (96.7%), while 0.2 percent and 1.3percent of the learners were taught through experience- based and co-curricular activities respectively. As for the audio-visual facilities, only 2.3 percent of the learners got the facilities, while 97.7 percent of the learners did not. All the learners expressed that they were satisfied with the behaviour of the volunteer teachers. Again, only 6.7 percent of the learners were not satisfied with the quality of the learning materials, while 93.3 percent of the learners satisfied with it. 99.8 percent of the learners expressed that the volunteer teachers were competent enough to teach. Further, 97.2 percent of the learners were evaluated through written tests and 2.8 percent of the learners through both reading and writing. The frequency of assessment was mostly once a month (93.5%), while (6.3%) of the learners were assess twice a month. A majority of learners (99.8%) were satisfied with the method of assessment whereas, only 0.2 percent did not satisfy; the reason was mostly due to inconvenient timing of class. 

Problems Faced By The Adult Learners

The problems encountered by the adult learners are discussed below:

Table No. 5 : Problems Faced by Learners (n=600 for each variable)

Problems Of The Learners

No. of learners

Percent

While reaching the adult education centre

No

600

100

While enrolling in the centre

No

600

100

Regarding the teaching process of the volunteer teacher

Yes

21

3.5

No

579

96.6

Problems in teaching process

Lack of regular classes

3

14.3

Want to start the classes in time

16

76.2

Want to teach more than one hour

1

4.8

Want to teach with practical

1

4.8

Utilization and distribution system of the teaching and learning materials

Yes

122

20.3

No

478

79.7

Problems in utilization and distribution system of teaching and learning materials

Lack of adequate learning materials

111

90.9

No proper sitting arrangement

1

0.8

No proper supply of lighting materials

3

2.5

Poor quality of learning materials

4

3.3

Physical infrastructure of the centre

Yes

256

42.7

No

344

57.3

Problems about the infrastructure

Lack of adequate learning materials

7

2.7

Lack of proper lighting facilities

78

30.5

No proper sitting arrangement

105

41.0

No proper toilet facilities

22

8.6

No proper ventilation

5

2.0

Poor infrastructure of the centre

39

15.2

Proceding the programme in the centre

Yes

251

41.9

No

348

58.1

Problems on procedingthe programme in the centre

Lack of adequate learning materials

192

76.6

Lack of regular time during rainy season

3

1.2

No proper lighting and sitting arrangement

53

21.1

Poor infrastructure

1

0.4

Assessment process

Yes

73

12.2

No

527

87.8

Problem on assessment process

Inconvenient time

52

71.2

Lack of materials

1

1.4

No proper lighting

1

1.4

No proper sitting arrangement

6

8.2

Want to conduct the assessment in time and also Supply the learning material

1

1.4

 

The data indicated that none of the learners (100%) faced any problems. Again, 96 percent of the learners were not facing any problem of learning. Most of the learners (76.2%) expressed that their main problem was to start the classes in time, 14.3 percent of the learners stated that lack of regular classes was the problem. Again, 4.8 percent of each learner wanted to learn more than one hour and with practical. Most of the learners (79.7%) did not face any problem of utilization and distribution system of the teaching and learning materials, while only 20.3 percent of the learners faced the problems. Regarding the problems in utilizing and distribution system of teaching and learning materials, 90.9 percent of the respondent did not get adequate learning materials. Again, 0.8 percent and 2.5 percent of the learners faced the problems of lacking proper sitting and lighting facilities in the centre respectively, while 3.3 percent of the learner encountered the problems of poor quality learning materials. Most of the learners (57.3%) faced the problems in the physical infrastructure of the centre, while 42.2 percent of the learners did not. About the problems of infrastructure, 41.0 percent of the respondent faced the problems of sitting arrangement, while 30.5 percent and 15.2 percent of the learner expressed that they faced the problems of lighting and poor infrastructure of the centre respectively. Similarly, only 8.6 percent and 2.7 percent of the learners faced the problem of lacking proper toilet facilities and learning materials, only 2.0 percent of the learner faced the problem of not getting proper ventilation in the centre. Again, while proceding the programme 58.1 percent of the learners did not have any problem, while 41.9 percent of the learners got the problem , most of the problems were due to lack of adequate learning materials (76.6%), lack of regular classes during rainy season (1.2%), lack of proper lighting and sitting arrangement (21.1%), poor infrastructure of the centre (0.4%). Similarly, in assessment process, 87.8 percent of the learners did not face any problem while assessment. Only 12.2 percent of the learners were facing the problem of assessment process of the Adult Education Programme. In case of the problems of assessment process, 71.2 percent of the learners expressed about the problems of timing, while 1.4 percent each stated about the lack of materials, lighting problems, wanted to conduct the assessment in time, and supply the learning materials adequately. Lastly, 8.2 percent of the learners expressed about the problems of sitting arrangement in the centre.

Conclusion

It may be concluded that most of the learners and volunteers wanted to continue the adult education programme effectively and systematically by supplying all the required materials and also they wanted to make the authority check the problem faced by the learners and the volunteers in time and also learnt that library facilities are not available at Literacy Centres, even though there are provision for such facilities at the Adult Education Centres.

References

  1. Devi Jamini. (1999). Education in Manipur, Imphal, Rai Pravina Brothers.
  2. http:// Manipurupdate. Com.
  3. Sanajaoba R.K.(1998).Development of Adult Education in the Valley areas of Manipur during Post Independence Period, Ph.D Thesis, Education, Manipur University.
  4. Directorate of Adult Education. (2010-2011). Annu Administrative Report. Government of Manipur, Babupara, Imphal.
  5. Directorate of Adult Education. (2012-13). Annual Report on Saakshar Bharat Programme, Thoubal District.
  6. Directorate of Adult Education. (2011-2012) Annual Administrative Report. Government of Manipur, Babupara, Imphal.
  7. Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Imphal. (2010-11). Statistical Handbooks. Government of Manipur.
 

EFFECTIVENESS OF MULTIMEDIA APPROACH ON ACHIEVEMENT IN SCIENCE AT UPPER PRIMARY LEVEL

 

EFFECTIVENESS OF MULTIMEDIA APPROACH ON ACHIEVEMENT IN SCIENCE AT UPPER PRIMARY LEVEL

K. Jeeja George
Research Scholar,
Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Mysore
Dr. Asha K.V.D. Kamath
Associate Professor
Regional Institute of Education (NCERT), Ajmer.

Abstract

The aim of the study was to find out the effectiveness of Multimedia Approach on achievement in science at upper primary level. It was a single group pre test post test experimental design. The sample consisted of intact group of 50 student’s i.e 31 boys and 19 girls of who belonged to one of the sections of Class VII of a Higher Secondary school located in Kozhikode taluk with affiliation to CBSE. Multimedia approach was used to teach four selected topics in science for a period of two months. The data were analyzed by Mean, Standard Deviation and‘t’ test. The study revealed that there was a significant difference in the achievement of the students when the means of pre test and post test were compared. It also showed that there was a significant difference among boys and girls when their means of pre test and post test were compared.

Introduction

Education bridges the gulf between the original nature of immature child and the standards, custom and the demands of the society which increases with the growth of civilization. Education renews and rebuilds the social fabric and gives social consciousness. Elementary education plays a vital role in making a child an educated individual. In elementary school curriculum, science has a significant role in respect of usefulness in every day life, the intellectual improvement and cultural development.

Science, as a subject plays a unique role in promoting the thinking level of the children by giving emphasis on hypothesizing, manipulating the physical world and developing reasoning. It is a dynamic, expanding body of knowledge covering new domains of experience. Science should be an interesting subject to the learner when it includes the participation of students. Conventional teaching methods emphasize on the product aspect of science where the child is passive. But in pupil centered teaching approach science has tremendous possibilities for making use of diverse, alternative learning sources and learning strategies in the classroom. One of such approach is Multimedia Approach which is a special type of computer technology that combines both traditional static visual information (text and graphics) and dynamic information i.e. speech, music, video fragments, animation etc.  So by using Multimedia Approach in the classroom, students get opportunity to integration of computer, audio, video and television techniques with various information technologies.

Stain, Manju (2004), conducted a qualitative study of the reasons for poor static of science teaching at elementary stage. Her research paper delves deep into problems and reasons for the quality of science teaching and learning in elementary schools. The major reasons were poor maintainance of facilities for science teaching and lack of facilities, non interactive method of teaching science, teaching to lower stage learner (both primary and upper primary) was found to be perceived as a casual and unplanned exercise and domination of one way interaction in classroom. Teachers were found to be using the textbook method or question answer method.

Goldenberg and et.al (2004), in their research on what middle grade student say about learning science with multimedia reported that the JASON Multimedia Science Curriculum (EJMSC) was developed  in 1989  by  the  JASON  foundation  for  education  and is  a  multimedia, interdisciplinary, inquiry based science curriculum that responds to the dual demands of teacher having to teach state standards while engaging students in scientific inquiry. The JMSC encourages interaction between students and real life science and scientists while teaching scientific content and concept by selecting a unique research expedition site and topics each year, upon which print curriculum, video, live satellite broadcasts and a variety of online activities that include digital labs and electronic journals are based.

Hennessy Sara and et. al (2007), studied pedagogical approach technology integrated science teaching through two separate projects described have examined how teachers expert computer based technologies in supporting learning of science at secondary level. The findings suggest that teachers are moving away from only using ‘real’ experiments in their practice. They are exploring the use of technologies to encourage students to engage in ‘what if ’ explorations where the outcomes of ‘virtual’ experiments can be immediately accessed.

All the studies reveal that the nature of education demands research in its various areas. This is essential as this century is characterized by intense application of science. The National Curriculum Framework (2005) recommends that curriculum should help learners to become constructors of knowledge and emphasizes the active role of teachers in relation to the process of knowledge construction. Learners construct knowledge while engaged in the process of learning and the teachers role is to engage in the process of learning through well chosen tasks and questions.

In the present study, the investigator attempted at finding out the effectiveness of Multimedia Approach on achievement in science at upper primary level.

Objectives of the Study

  • To study the effectiveness of Multimedia Approach on achievement in science among the students of Class VII.
  • To study the effectiveness of Multimedia Approach on achievement in science among boys and girls.

Hypotheses

  • There is a significant difference between the mean scores of pretest and post test in the test on the achievement in science among the students of the Class VII.
  • There is significant difference between the mean scores of the pretest and post test on the achievement in science among the Boys of Class VII.
  • There is significant difference between the mean scores of the pretest and post test on the achievement in science among the Girls of Class VII.

Methodology

The investigator used the pre test post test single group experimental design in the study.

Sample

To experiment Multimedia Approach investigator selected an intact group of 50 students i.e. 31 Boys and 19 Girls of Class VII of a Higher Secondary school of Kozhikode Taluk which was affiliated to CBSE.

Tools Used

The following tools were used in the studies which were prepared by the Investigators.

  • A test on achievement in Science

Four chapters were selected namely, Chapter 7- Weather , Climate and adaptations of animals to climate; Chapter 8- Wind, storms and cyclones; Chapter 9 – Soil and Chapter 10 – Respirations in organisms, from class V11 Science text book and 50 multiple choice items were prepared based on blue print constructed. For right response one score was given and for wrong response it was zero. One hour was given for answering 50 items.

The constructed achievement test was administered on the sample as pre test and after treatment with Multimedia the same test was administered as post test for knowing the effectiveness of Multimedia.

  • Multimedia materials on selected topics

The Investigators prepared Multimedia materials which are the integration of graphics, audio, visual recordings and video fragments for teaching four selected chapters of class V11 Science text book.

Procedure

After the thorough study of the text book of science for Class VII, the investigator selected four chapters. Then 50 multiple choice items were constructed based on the selected topics by giving weightage to various objectives. Four alternatives were given for each item and for right response the score given was one and for wrong answer it was zero. After construction of the achievement test, the pre test was administrated on the sample of 50 students and it was scored according to the scoring key evolved by the investigator. The scores were tabulated and statistically analyzed and interpreted.

Then the investigator developed Multimedia materials on the selected four topics by the integration of graphics, audio visual recording and video fragments. Oral instruction was also given along with. These topics with the help of developed Multimedia were taught to the group for a period of two months.

After treatment with the Multimedia material on the sample, the post test was administered to the sample. The achievement test which was administered as the pre test itself was given as the post test for knowing the effectiveness of teaching with Multimedia material. After administering the post test the data obtained was subject to appropriate statistical techniques and interpreted accordingly.

In order to find out the effectiveness of Multimedia Approaches on achievement in science among the students of class VII descriptive and inferential statistics were used. Descriptive statistics namely Mean and Standard Deviation were computed for the variables of the study. The inferential statistics used was‘t’ test. ‘t’ value was calculated to find out the significant difference between the means of scores of pre test and pos test as well as that of Boys and Girls in order to reject or accept the hypotheses.

Analysis and Interpretation

Hypothesis I :There is a significant difference between the means of pre test and post test on achievement in science among the students of class VII. 

 

Table No. 1: Mean, SD and ‘t’ value of pre test and post test scores of class VII

N

M

SD

‘t’ value

Remarks

Pre test

50

5.42

1.38

 

2.96

Significant

at

0.01 level

Post test

50

34.94

3.35

 

From the Table 1, it is observed that the mean score obtained by the students in the pre test on achievement in science is 5.42 and that of post test is 34.94. Theobtained ‘t’ value is 2.96. For df 98 table value is 2.12   for the obtained value to be significant at 0.01 level. As the obtained ‘t’ value is greater than the table value it is concluded that there is a significant difference between the mean scores of the pre test and post test on achievement in science among the students of class VII and so the hypothesis is accepted.

Hypothesis II: There is a significant difference between the mean scores of the pre test and post test on the test on achievement in science among the boys of Class VII.

Table No.2: Mean, SD And ‘T’ Value Of Pre Test And Post Test Scores Of Boys Of Experimental Group

N

M

SD

‘t’ value

Remarks

Pre test

31

5.77

1.23

 

2.83

Significant

at

0.05 level

Post test

31

34.13

3.31

 

From the table 2, it is observed that the mean scores obtained by the boys in the pre test is 5.77 and that of post test is 34.13. The obtained‘t’ value is 2.83. For df 98, table value is 1.96   for the obtained value to be significant at 0.05 level. As the obtained‘t’ value is greater than the table value it is concluded that there is a significant difference between the mean scores of the pre test and post test on achievement in science among the boys of Class VII. So the hypothesis is accepted.

Hypothesis III : There is a significant difference between the mean scores of the pretest and post test on the achievement in science among the girls of class VII. 

 

Table No. 3: Mean, SD And ‘T’ Value Of Pretest And Post Test Scores Of Girls

N

M

SD

‘t’ value

Remarks

Pre test

19

4.84

1.46

 

2.76

Significant

at

0.05 level

Post test

19

33.31

3.43

 

From the table 3, it is observed that the mean scores obtained by the girls in the pre test is 4.84 and that of post test is 33.31. The calculated ‘t’value is 2.76. For df 36, to be significant at 0.05 level the table value is 1.96. Ad the obtained value is greater than the table value (1.96), it is clear the there is a significant difference between the mean scores of the pretest and post test on the achievement in science among the girls . So the hypothesis is accepted.

Major Findings

In the light of interpretation and discussion the major findings of the study are given below.

  • There is a significant difference between the means of pre test and post test on achievement in science. Multimedia approach has been effective in the achievement of students in science.
  • There is a significant difference in the achievement of boys when their means of pre test and post test were compared. Post test mean is higher than the pre test mean.
  • There is a significant difference in the achievement of girls when the means of pre test and post test were compared. Post test mean is higher than the pre test mean.

Educational Implications

The major findings of the study led to the following educational implications:

The developed Multimedia Approach could be effectively used to get high achievement in science among the students of class VII. As the approach increases pupil participation in the class it keeps the pupils not only alert but also active. Therefore, teachers may try to develop a resource room which accommodates all teaching learning aides and equipments which is easily accessible to all learners whether it is a teacher or a pupil irrespective of the subjects. Gradually, there can also be give and take between the schools for optimal use of the available resources and strengthening the bond between and among the schools.

Reference

  • Goldenberg,  L and et.al(2004). What middle grade students say about learning science with Multimedia ERIC Document Reproduction Service No.E J486114.
  • Hennessy, Sara & et.al (2007). Pedagogical approaches for Technology integrated science teaching. Computers and Education, 48 (01), 137 – 152, ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. EJ743698.
  • Jain, Manju (2004).  Teaching of Science at the Elementary stage : Observations from a qualitative study, Journal of Indian Education . XXIX (2). 66 – 75.
  • NCERT, Fifth Survey of Research in Education (1988 – 1992). New Delhi : National council for Educational Research and Training.
  • NCERT, Sixth Survey of Research in Education (1993 – 2000) New Delhi : National council for Educational Research and Training.
  • Chauhan, P (1997). Achievement in Science, New Delhi: Anmol Publication Pvt Ltd.
  • Erickson, C.W.H (1970). Fundamentals of teaching with Audiovisual Technology (6th Ed). London: Collier – Macmillan Ltd.
  • Garrett, H.F. (1981). Statistics in Psychology and Education, Bombay: Vakils Feffer & Simons Ltd.

 

 

Validating Language by Modifying the Language as Per Learners’ Needs: An Analysis of Science Classroom Context

Validating Language by Modifying the Language as Per Learners’ Needs: An Analysis of Science Classroom Context

Rakesh Kumar

Assistant Professor

MV COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

University of Delhi.

Abstract

A closer look at the six validities proposed by Position Paper, National Focus Group (NCERT, 2006) on Teaching of Science when interpreted in the context of language to be used within the classroom reveals us the following. Cognitive validity requirement would mean that the pedagogical practices including the language used are age appropriate, and within the cognitive reach of the child. Content validity requirement would need the language that can convey significant and correct scientific content. Process validity requirement will emphasise the engage the learner in acquiring the methods and processes that lead to generation and validation of scientific knowledge, which is not possible without modifying it as per their needs. Historical validity requirement that helps the learner to view science as a social enterprise and to understand how social factors influence the development of science also need the language in the classroom to be modified accordingly. Environmental validity requires that science be placed in the wider context of the learner's environment that includes learners’ language. Ethical validity requires  that  the  curriculum  promote the values of  honesty, objectivity, co-operation, freedom from fear and prejudice, and develop  in the learner a concern for life  and  preservation of  environment. This needs learners’ language for communication. It is thus clear that the language needs of the learner have to be respected for effective science classroom. This work explores the pre service teachers’ self-assessment related to their classroom practices in terms of modifying the language as per learners’ needs. It is based upon the feedback on 592 science lessons from 30 pre-service teachers and shows diversity in their natural dispositions towards modifying the language as per learners’ need in science. The teachers agree that they modified the language as per learners’ need in their average dispositions. Further, analyses of these dispositions show that the range is large showing a high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean means most of the teachers agree that they modified the language as per learners’ need while some strongly agree with it. Skewness is slightly negative i.e. the number of high scorers are slightly more than the number of low scorers. Kurtosis is -.798 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is slightly Platykurtic.

Key Words: Learners’ needs, modifying language, validity, pre-service teachers, science classroom

Introduction:

Day after day children bring to school their experiences of the world around them the trees that they have climbed, the fruits they have eaten, the birds they have admired. All children are alive to the natural cycles of day and night, of the weather, the water, the plants and the animals that surround them. Children, when they enter Class I already have a rich language base of small numbers, and the rudiments of operations are already in place. Yet rarely do we hear the knowledge that they already have and which they bring into the classroom. Rarely do we ask children to talk about or refer to the world outside the school during our lessons and teaching. Instead we resort to the convenience of the printed word and picture, all of which are poor replicas of the natural world. Worse still, today in the name of computer-aided learning, the living world is being turned into animation strips that children are expected to watch on their computer screens. Before star ting a lesson on living and non-living, if a teacher was to take her class out on a walk through a field near the school, and on returning asked each child to write the names of ten living things and ten non-living things that she/he saw, the results would be amazing. Children in Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu may include in their list of things sea shells, pebbles and fish, and those in Chhattisgarh near the Dandakaranya forest may include nest, bee hive, and anklet. Instead, children are usually required to look at a drawing in the textbook, or a list of words, and sort the things out as living and non-living. During a lesson on water pollution, children could examine the water sources and water bodies and then connect these with different types of pollution. This exercise could also raise issues regarding how lack of safe water affects health. Instead, children are expected to see pictures of polluted water and comment on them. When studying the moon and its phases, how many teachers actually ask the children to look at the moon at night and then talk about it the next day? Instead of asking children the names of local birds and trees, our textbooks name ‘ubiquitous’ things that seem to belong everywhere and yet belong nowhere. Only if children in, say Class VIII, can connect the chapter on photosynthesis with the real plants around would they think of asking questions such as, ‘How do crotons, which have coloured leaves but no green leaves, manage to manufacture their food?’ Only when the living world around becomes available for critical reflection within. It is indeed hard to exaggerate the importance of teaching home languages at school. Though children come equipped with basic interpersonal communicative skills, they need to acquire at school cognitively advanced levels of language proficiency. Basic language skills are adequate for meeting situations that are contextually rich and cognitively undemanding such as peer-group interaction; advanced-level skills are required in situations that are contextually poor and cognitively demanding such as writing an essay on an abstract issue. It is also now well established that higher-level proficiency skills easily transfer from one language to another. It is thus imperative that we do everything we can to strengthen the sustained learning of Indian languages at school (NCERT, 2005).

In the above emphasis National Curriculum Framework (2005) reiterates the role of language in learning. It emphasises the local language not just for its own sake but due to the reason that without learning local language the learner might not be able to have proper grasp of conceptions aimed to be developed. Reflection on development on science related conceptions, may reveal the importance of learners’ language in learning.

Need and Significance:

Position Paper by National Focus Group (NCERT, 2006) on Teaching of Science, identifies six different types of validities for good science education to take place in schools. Good science education is true to the child, true to life and true to science.   This simple observation leads to the following basic criteria of validity of a science curriculum:

a)         Cognitive validity requires that the content, process, language and pedagogical practices of the curriculum are age appropriate, and within the cognitive reach of the child.

b)         Content validity requires that the curriculum must convey significant and correct scientific content.    Simplification of content, which is necessary to adapt the curriculum  to  the cognitive level of the learner, must not be so trivialized as to convey something  basically flawed and /or  meaningless.

c)         Process validity requires that the curriculum engage the learner in acquiring the methods and   processes that lead to generation and validation of scientific knowledge, and nurture the natural curiosity and creativity of the child in science.  Process validity is an important criterion since it helps the student in 'learning to learn' science.

d)         Historical validity requires that science curriculum be informed by a historical perspective, enabling the learner to appreciate how the concepts of science evolve with time.   It also helps the learner to view science as a social enterprise and to understand how social factors influence the development of science.

e)         Environmental validity requires that science be placed in the wider context of the learner's environment, local and global, enabling him /her to appreciate the issues at the interface of science, technology and society and preparing him / her with the requisite knowledge and skills to enter the world of work.

f)         Ethical validity requires  that  the  curriculum  promote the values of  honesty, objectivity, co-operation, freedom from fear and prejudice, and develop  in the learner a concern for life  and  preservation of  environment (NCERT, 2006).

A closer look to these validities when interpreted in the context of language to be used within the classroom reveals us the following. Cognitive validity requirement would mean that the pedagogical practices including the language used are age appropriate, and within the cognitive reach of the child. Content validity requirement would need the language that can convey significant and correct scientific content. Process validity requirement will emphasise the engage the learner in acquiring the methods and processes that lead to generation and validation of scientific knowledge, which is not possible without modifying it as per their needs. Historical validity requirement that helps the learner to view science as a social enterprise and to understand how social factors influence the development of science also need the language in the classroom to be modified accordingly. Environmental validity requires that science be placed in the wider context of the learner's environment that includes learners’ language. Ethical validity requires  that  the  curriculum  promote the values of  honesty, objectivity, co-operation, freedom from fear and prejudice, and develop  in the learner a concern for life  and  preservation of  environment. This needs learners’ language for communication.

It is thus clear that the language needs of the learner have to be respected for effective science classroom. This work explores the pre service teachers’ self-assessment related to their classroom practices in terms of modifying the language as per learners’ needs. No a-priori assumption have been developed and no controlled variables employed. Instead, their own self-assessment on the topic had been analysed in status of what emerged out of normal settings of science classrooms. No hypothesis has been formulated. This also helped the investigator in keeping a distance from his own preconceived notions about the matter to maintain objectivity of the study.

Research Methodology

Research Questions and Objective

The following question is the focus:

How do science teachers perceive their natural disposition towards modifying the language as per learners’ need as a part of the teaching-learning process?

The study has focused on the following objective:

“Exploring teaching learning contexts in science classrooms, with special reference to modifying the language as per learners’ need as a part of the teaching-learning process”.

Methodology, sample and tools:

Methodology: 

Based on understanding developed from the review of related literature and researcher’s own experience as science teacher/teacher educator, a comprehensive tool was developed by the researcher. This tool related to different issues related to different areas of the teaching-learning processes in science.

This tool was used on 38 pre-service teachers. Data from 30 pre-service science teachers was collected in the form of self-assessment feedback regarding 592 Science lessons transacted by them during their school life experience program. 8 Pre-service teachers became non-responding. The teachers were asked to rate themselves on the basis of self-assessment after each lesson. This feedback on 592 lessons from the teachers is received, analysed and reported. The feedback is quantified, described and analysed in terms of science teachers approach towards forming and addressing Alternative Frameworks during the science classes with special reference to posing interpretative questions to the learners in science.

These 38 Pre-Service science teachers who are the B.Ed. students of the two of Education in Delhi, India) were chosen as samples for the study. Most of the observations, interpretations, analysis and reflections done by the participants were discussed with them also to develop their insight about their own science classrooms.

All types of schools were allotted to these science teachers during their school life experience program. Training of teachers was done for both data collection (one day) and analysis (three days). In addition, two days were devoted for reflection and discussion on resolution of the problems faced during the process.

Sample

Total 38 Pre-Service Science teachers participated from two B.Ed. colleges of 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.

 

 

 

 

Figure 1 - Classification of teachers’ sample

 

 

Figure 2 - Classification of School sample

Notations: G- Government; P- Private; G.A.-Government Aided; K.V.-KendriyaVidyalaya

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 review of the available tools, it was identified that these tools cannot be used in order to collect required data for the present study or in other words, suitable tools for getting the relevant data could not be located. Thus, in order to explore teaching learning contexts in science classrooms with respect to possible sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks among learners in science, a tool was needed. Self-assessment feedback schedule in the form of self-appraisal developed by the researcher for Science teachers was thus prepared for data collection. This self-appraisal had both open ended and close-ended questions, questions that can be analysed in quantitative and qualitative ways. The major themes of the questionnaire include exploration about the resources that the learners tend to tap, their preferred learning styles, possible sites of Alternative Frameworks, their notion about themselves as science learners etc.

To validate the tools, the First draft of tools was given to experts namely school teachers, and colleagues in teacher education institutions, and ambiguous language and other issues resolved and the items modified subsequently.

Analysis of Data 

Self-assessment feedback Schedule, contained 26 items originally, had the option of responding in terms of strongly agree, agree and disagree. In order to understand this data, these three categories were given the weight two, one and zero respectively. Thus from one day feedback of a particular science teacher there were responses in the form of zero, one and two. For one particular science teacher, these responses were collected on Microsoft Excel sheet for the period of entire school life experience program. From this, average score of one particular teacher on each item is calculated. Similarly, this process was repeated for the 30 teachers who responded to this self-appraisal. These average scores of 30 teachers were then entered in another Excel sheet to be analysed for their responses on the selected item. Various descriptive of the item is calculated and reported. Graphs were plotted to show the average per day score of the 30 science teachers. These were further analysed and reported in terms of graphs showing histogram and probability curve for giving pictorial idea of the responses of the learners (Figure 1 and Figure 2). The descriptive that have been calculated are Min., Max., Range, Mean, Std. Deviation, Skewness, and Kurtosis.

Findings

Table 1 shows the average scores of various teachers on the feedback schedule linked to the Symbol “modified the language as per learners’ need” of the teaching-learning context in terms of Teachers' Self-Assessment. The analysis, explanation and appropriate graphical descriptions had been used in the mentioned discussions using the data from the Table 1. Table 2 describes the properties of undefined variables in the above table.

 

Table 1 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item: Modified the language as per learners’ need

 

 

 

Table 2 - Properties of undefined variables in the Table 1

 

Figure 3 - Individual average score of different respondents on the item ‘Modified the language as per learners’ need’

 

Figure 4 - Grouped average score of different respondents on the item ‘Modified the language as per learners’ need’

At a glance:

 

Mean: 1.4455

 

Standard Deviation: .33934

 

Range of 1 Standard Deviation: (1.10 - 1.78)

 

Skewness: -.172

 

Kurtosis: -.798

Analysis and Interpretation:

The range is 1.20 for which the minimum value is .75 and maximum value is 1.95. It shows a high difference between minimum and maximum value. The mean is 1.4455 which means most of the teachers agree that they modified the language as per learners’ need while some strongly agree with it and it can also be seen in the graph. Standard deviation is .33934 which indicates that most of the teachers scored between 1.10 and 1.78. Skewness is -.172 which is slightly negatively skewed i.e. the number of high scorers are slightly more than the number of low scorers. We can also see in the graph that the left tail is longer than the right one which indicates negative Skewness. Kurtosis is -.798 with standard error .833 which shows that the distribution is slightly Platykurtic.

Conclusions:

Science learning needs the effective use of language. Psychologists know of the intimate relation between language and thought. Language is more than a way of labelling things around us; it is a tool that helps us conceptualize.  Language adds meaning to, and aids in interpreting our experiences (NCERT, 2006). There is diversity and range in the pre-service science teachers’ natural dispositions towards being the modified language as per learners’ need in science. This range and diversity contradicts pre-service science teachers’ preparedness towards taking the first step in addressing alternative frameworks among learners in science. A question of their readiness in terms of skills and expertise, knowledge and strategies is a natural consequence. A need to focus upon the skills and strategies related to the modified language as per learners’ need during pre-service science teachers’ education is identified.

References:

  • NCERT. (2005). National Curriculum Framework-2005. New Delhi, India: National Council of Educational Research and Training.
  • NCERT. (2006). POSITION PAPER: NATIONAL FOCUS GROUP ON TEACHING OF SCIENCE. Delhi.

 

 

Understanding Classroom Settings in Indian Context While Topic ‘Cells’ is Taken-Up in Class

Understanding Classroom Settings in Indian Context While Topic ‘Cells’ is Taken-Up in Class

Rakesh Kumar

Assistant Professor

MV COLLEGE OF EDUCATION,

University of Delhi.

Abstract

Learners form conceptions in an environment that cannot be differentiated in terms of formal and informal settings. Learners do not wait for assistance, to come up with some solutions to the problems that they face while putting hard efforts to understand the physical and natural world. This understanding is often at odds with the conceptions that scientific community accepts as adequate representation of reality. These OTHER CONCEPTIONS of learners are challenging our contemporary understanding on designing context specific teaching-learning processes in science. This generates the need to understand science learning contexts in an integrated form from multiple dimensions. The present  study in this context reveals that 54 % of learners studied did not want to know something more on the topic discussed in the classroom; 52 % learners looked for other resources of learning; 38 % learners wanted to ask a question on the topic; only 22 % learners said that they planned/performed an activity to find answer of their questions; 70 % learners said that they shared what they learnt with others; 70 % learners felt that they are learner of science; most of them wanted to share information about different food habits of animals. Learners wanted to know new things about the delivered topic; used different resources for enhancing the knowledge; mostly learners used the experiences of their parents as resource; Very few learners used internet because it was not available to all; most learners learned through sharing their experiences with each other and then they solve their problems in group activities; learners shared only those subtopics of cell which were included in activity performed in the classroom; they drew only that diagram which was presented on the chart or flash card by the pupil teacher. The diagrams shown in the study reveals that they do not confine themselves to just the area ‘Cell’ but make linkages to every form of association that can be extended. These type of diagrams can be deliberated by the teacher as the preparatory theme of the learners’ experiential framework.

Key Words: Teaching-Learning contexts, Cell, Alternative Frameworks, learners’ questions, learners’ diagrams


Introduction

The most important single factor influencing learning is what the learner already knows. Ascertain this and teach him accordingly”

(Ausubel, 1968)

(Worth, 1999) in ‘The Power of Children’s Thinking’ thinks of children as natural scientists and posits that, “They do what scientists do, but perhaps for some slightly different and less conscious reasons. They are anxious to understand the world just as adults are or one can say even better than them. There is a terribly interesting, but rather confusing, world full of stimuli all around them. Many adults, however, have learned to ignore some of that world rather than investigate it. Young children ignore very little” (Worth, 1999). The curiosity of children is many times evident in the questions that they ask. Since children are more curious and receptive than usual adults. Instead of idealised world of scientific theories, they weave. The web of their understanding from the exploration of messy world around them and this is with what a child enters the school.

“Some call these early ideas that children form as Alternative Frameworks; others label them naive conceptions, or alternative conceptions. Alternative Frameworks might also be referred to as preconceived notions, non-scientific beliefs, naive theories, mixed conceptions, or conceptual misunderstandings. Basically, in science these are cases in which something a person knows and believes does not match what is known to be scientifically correct. These terms identifying similar mismatches are used interchangeably in this study and are referred to as Alternative Frameworks” (Worth, 1999).

(Hancock, 1940) defined a "misconception" as "...any unfounded belief that does not embody the element of fear, good luck, faith, or supernatural intervention" (p. 208). (Barrass, 1984) wrote of “‘mistakes’ or errors, ‘misconceptions’ or misleading ideas, and misunderstandings" or misinterpretations of facts, saying that teachers and brighter learners can correct errors. But what attention is paid to misconceptions and misunderstandings that are perpetuated by teachers and textbook researchers?”

The expression preconception has an inference of pre-instructional impression progressed by the science student. "Teachers and researchers mostly suggest to pre instructional understanding as preconceptions. Before commencing teaching on any new topic, teachers need to see their learners' preconceptions because learning, and so teaching itself, varies depending on whether learners' preconceptions be suitable with the concepts being taught or oppose those concepts" (Lucariello, 2012). When the preconceptions discussed above materialize to be coordinated with the concepts in the designated curriculum, the preconceptions are labelled as 'anchoring conceptions'. In other words, the preconceptions that are in link with curricular goals are termed as anchoring conceptions. It is obvious that the presence of anchoring concepts will assist learning of the scientific concepts. Though, with the presence of anchoring conceptions, learning is just a process of enrichment and conceptual growth, but they nevertheless need to be separated from the incongruent preconceptions. On the contrary, pre-concepts may be counter-productive.

Even though sometimes learners' conception may happen with the logical explanations, but there still may be some difference between the learner's knowledge and the scientifically expected of nature and natural phenomenon. “The term alternative conception is used to mean learners’ ideas, manifested after exposure to formal models or theories, which are still at odds with those currently accepted by the scientific community” (Boo, 1998). There is however a clear cut difference between the terms alternative conceptions and alternative framework. This difference is related with the consistency of using an alternative conception in more than one context. “When an alternative conception is used with consistency over more than one context or event, it is referred to as an alternative framework” (Boo, 1998).

Need of Study:

There are umpteen challenges in science pedagogy at present. These consist of utilizing prior knowledge and deep-rooted individual experiences of the learners in the school, scheming significant science learning experiences for them, providing impressive models to the learners to shape their science concepts on, involving the student in stimulating, motivating, and significant ways, imbibing our understanding of nature of science in instructional practices etc. Ample classrooms and learning model limitations force a teacher not to pay personal consideration to the learner (Kumar, 2012). In simple language, specifically in developing countries there is acute resource crunch. This leads to large classroom situation, and exhausting timetable schedule and a lot of non-teaching assignments leaving a very limited scope for a science pedagogue to have individualized attention to every learner in the class. The investigator had felt this difficulty as individual. Analysing pre- concepts of the learners in science has been found to be a significant property in learning science so that the development of the alternative frameworks can be dealt with. In simple words, for addressing alternative frameworks, the remembering of their possible sites can be the primary first step.

Different researches show that Alternative Frameworks are formed in both formal and informal settings that are difficult to understand in discontinuity from each other. This generates the need to understand science learning contexts in an integrated form from multiple dimensions. The following effort is directed to the issue of identification of possible sites of Alternative Frameworks and explorations of the teaching  learning  contexts  in which these have been explored has been drawn from the reflections and analysis of the teachers teaching them. The nature of the study was such that it was not possible for the researcher to control the variables in the process of formation and addressing Alternative Frameworks among learners in science. Thus, in the absence of controlled variables no hypothesis has been formulated. This also helped the researcher in keeping a distance from his own preconceived notions about different dimensions of the study.

Research Methodology

Research Questions and Objective

The following questions are focussed:

  • How do science learners perceive their natural classroom environment while a topic CELL is being undertaken?
  • What are the possible sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks when the topic CELL is taken up in the classroom?
  • What questions come to learners’ mind when the topic CELL is taken up in the classroom?

The study has focused on the following objectives:

  • Exploring teaching learning contexts in science classrooms, with special reference to topic CELL being undertaken.
  • Identifying possible sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks when the topic CELL is taken up in the classroom (if any).
  • Identifying the questions that come to learners’ mind when the topic CELL is taken up in the classroom.

Methodology, sample and tools:

Methodology:

The researcher came to the understanding that there might be many more possibilities of formation of Alternative Frameworks in the life experiences of science learners that might need deep probing. For this, the science learning experiences were explored to locate potential sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks. Based on understanding developed from the review of related literature and researcher’s own experience as science teacher/teacher educator, a comprehensive tool was developed by the researcher. This tool related to different issues related to different areas of the teaching-learning processes in science.

These 38 Pre-Service science teachers who are the B.Ed. students of the two of Education in Delhi, India) were chosen as convenient samples for the study. Most of the observations, interpretations, analysis and reflections done by the participants were discussed with them also to develop their insight about their own science classrooms. These 38 prospective science teachers of the two colleges (MV College of Education and GRD College of Education in Delhi) who were chosen as samples for the study have henceforth been addressed as science teachers. These science teachers were also a connection to reach to the science learners in the schools. Thus an input from the science classrooms was available to the teachers during their school life experience program. All types of schools were allotted to these science teachers during their school life experience program.

A tool described in later part of the study tool was used on these 38 pre-service teachers. But the data from 30 pre-service science teachers was collected in the form of self-assessment feedback regarding 592 Science lessons transacted by them during their school life experience program. 8 Pre-service teachers became non-responding. All types of schools were allotted to these science teachers during their school life experience program as described later. Training of teachers was done for both data collection (one day) and analysis (three days). In addition, two days were devoted for reflection and discussion on resolution of the problems faced during the process.

Sample

Total 38 Pre-Service Science teachers participated from two B.Ed. colleges of 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.

 

Figure 1 - Classification of teachers’ sample

 

Figure 2 - Classification of School sample

Notations: G- Government; P- Private; G.A.-Government Aided; K.V.-KendriyaVidyalaya

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 review of the available tools, it was identified that these tools cannot be used in order to collect required data for the present study or in other words, suitable tools for getting the relevant data could not be located. Thus, in order to explore teaching learning contexts in science classrooms with respect to possible sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks among learners in science, a tool was thus developed in the form of a questionnaire. The major themes of the questionnaire include exploration about the resources that the learners tend to tap, their preferred learning styles, possible sites of Alternative Frameworks, their notion about themselves as science learners etc.

To validate the tools, the First draft of tools was given to experts namely school teachers, and colleagues in teacher education institutions, and ambiguous language and other issues resolved and the items modified subsequently.

In the questionnaire filled by the science learners in different schools in Delhi, the question number six was ‘Mention the question you asked/wanted to ask’. In order to analyse these questions, the researcher categorized the questions in the response to this question in terms of the topics/areas they represent. Originally 449 questions were received from the science learners.  After removing repetitions, 17 areas finally emerged out of these questions as categories. In the questionnaire filled by the science learners in different schools in Delhi, the question number thirteen was ‘What figures, diagrams and scientific terms did you use? Please draw/write it.’ On this question total 908 diagrams and figures were received and were grouped according to the concept represented in them. In each of the groups the analysis follows regarding the concepts depicted and possible sites of alternative framework. In the study, the questions asked by them were explored. This study contributes to identify some of the breeding ground of Alternative Frameworks amongst learners in science that will need deep probing to start the journey of addressing them. Also it is to be noted that this approach can guide the science teachers to assist learners in moving towards scientific conceptions that are at the heart of science learning by identifying the point of start. The analysis of figures and diagrams made and terms used by science learners was analysed to identify following sites of formation of Alternative Frameworks that will further deep probing for understanding of their context.

Collection of data:

The questionnaire prepared by the researcher and vetted by two eminent scholars was used for the collection of data. This questionnaire was distributed to more than 1207 learners of science ( as described in the Figure 3) studying in classes sixth to tenth across Delhi and received from total 979 learners. These schools catered to the needs of a diverse population. Some particular topics were under focus in various schools (due to the schedules fixed by the educational structure) at the time when data from school was collected. Thus, some topics got more coverage in the study than the others as the topics under discussion were not in researcher’s control.

 

Figure 1 - Classification of science learners

The questionnaire for science learners containing total 17 items was given after transaction of 12 to 15 lesson plans and collected on the same day itself by the science teachers. The primary task of analysing and reflecting on these questionnaires filled up by the science learners was given to the science teachers so that they are able to make linkages with their own classrooms in their particular contexts, which is not possible for the researcher to make. Science teachers were given about 10 days for this task. This analysis and reflection was summarized by the researcher and analysed to see patterns, exceptions and other aspects. Two of those 17 questions from the questionnaires filled up by the science learners were analysed by the researcher. These two questions were related to ‘questions that are coming to the mind of the science learner’ and second the ‘figures, diagrams and scientific terms used’ by the science learner. While the former was analysed to understand the nature of questions that are coming to the science learners mind, the latter was analysed to identify the concepts depicted and the possible sites of Alternative Frameworks (if any).

Analysis of Data

Questions from the questionnaires filled up by the science learners were analysed in two ways.

(a)        The first and the primary analysis was done by their own science teachers, that are discussed in part

(b)        Two questions i.e. question number six and number 13 were analysed by the researcher only. Question number six was related to the questions that come to the students’ mind while the teacher was transacting a particular lesson on a topic from their curriculum and question numbered 13 was related to the figures and diagrams made and terms used by the science learners. The study includes only the analysis from these two questions.

In order to analyse these questions, the researcher categorized the responses to question no. 6 of the questionnaire in terms of conceptual areas. Originally 449 questions were received from the science learners. After identifying repetitions, 17 broad conceptual areas of questions finally emerged. These questions along with the topic have been reported in the study. On the response to Question number 13 a total of 908 diagrams and figures were received and were grouped according to the concept represented in them. These were analysed with two major focuses namely the concepts and the keywords representing the possible sites of Alternative Frameworks. These two have been reported along with the original diagrams and figures drawn by the science learners in the study. In order to meet the ethical standards, the names and identifiable information of the science learner has not deliberately been put on the figures and diagrams. But the questionnaire responses filled up by every learner was coded so that the linkage with the sheet can be made without having to identify the personal information of the science learner and is imprinted on every diagram and figure.

The type of questions posed by the learners are questions from activity done in the class, conceptual queries, dilemmas, from their own observations around them, basic questions that are definitional in nature, queries that require reasoning and arguments, exploratory questions requiring experimenting, questions projecting Alternative Framework sites etc. Table 1 shows the details of the teacher and the leaner along with the topic/area that emerged from the natural settings as described above.

Table 1 - Details of emerging topics/areas along with teachers and learners on possible sites of alternatives frameworks

 

Results:

Summary of teacher's analysis and reflection presents the following about the context of the classrooms. Learners wanted to know new things about the delivered topic; used different resources for enhancing the knowledge; mostly learners used the experiences of their parents as resource; Very few learners used internet because it was not available to all; most learners learned through sharing their experiences with each other and then they solve their problems in group activities; learners shared only those subtopics of cell which were included in activity performed in the classroom; they drew only that diagram which was presented on the chart or flash card by the pupil teacher. 54 % learners did not want to know something more on the topic discussed in the classroom; 52 % learners looked for other resources of learning; 38 % learners wanted to ask a question on the topic; only 22 % learners said that they planned/performed an activity to find answer of their questions; 70 % learners said that they shared what they learnt with others; 70 % learners felt that they are learner of science; most of them wanted to share information about different food habits of animals.

 

Figure 4 – Classroom context as per the Learners’ viewpoint

 

Table 2: Questions asked related to the topic/area ‘Cell’

Diagrams 1 to 38

Possible sites of Alternative Frameworks from analysis of figures and diagrams made by science learners (Diagrams 39 to 47)

Diagram 39

I.                      Onion peel: cells shown with the straight line as if this line is divided to make cells.

Diagram 40

  1. Onion peel cell is shown like highly structured compartments with straight parallel and horizontal lines.

Diagram 41

 

  1. RBC: diagrams give an illusion of having cell within cell.

Diagram 42, 43,44,45,46

  1. AMEOBA: a circular body inside amoeba is depicted as cell in the diagram.
  2. A cell wall is shown outside amoeba in the diagram.

Diagram 47

  1. Nerve cell is drawn like a leaflet of a plant.

Conclusions:

Alternative Frameworks have many serious concerns attached with their presence and something especially concerning about them is that we, at all stages of our development, continue to build further knowledge on our current understandings. This development of learning would be seriously impacted if there are Alternative Frameworks at their core (Black, 2006). While addressing these Alternative Frameworks the learning contexts play an important role. For example what questions were there in their mind, what are the learning style preferences? In the results obtained from present  study 54 % learners did not want to know something more on the topic discussed in the classroom; 52 % learners looked for other resources of learning; 38 % learners wanted to ask a question on the topic; only 22 % learners said that they planned/performed an activity to find answer of their questions; 70 % learners said that they shared what they learnt with others; 70 % learners felt that they are learner of science; most of them wanted to share information about different food habits of animals. Learners wanted to know new things about the delivered topic; used different resources for enhancing the knowledge; mostly learners used the experiences of their parents as resource; Very few learners used internet because it was not available to all; most learners learned through sharing their experiences with each other and then they solve their problems in group activities; learners shared only those subtopics of cell which were included in activity performed in the classroom; they drew only that diagram which was presented on the chart or flash card by the pupil teacher. The study also reveals through the diagrams made by the learners that they do not confine themselves to just the area ‘Cell’ but make linkages to every form of linkage that can be extended.

References

  • Ausubel, D. P. (1968). Educational Psychology: A Cognitive View. New York: Holt: Rinehart & Winston.
  • Barrass, R. (1984). Some Misconceptions and Misunderstandings Perpetuated by Teachers and Textbooks of Biology. Journal of Biology Education, 201–205.
  • Black, S. (2006). Is Science Education Failing Students? American School Board Journal, (November), 48–51.
  • Boo, H. K. (1998). Students’ understandings of chemical bonds and the energetics of chemical reactions. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 35(5), 569–581.
  • Hancock, C. H. (1940). An evaluation of certain popular science misconceptions. Science Education, 24, 208–213.
  • Kumar, R. (2012). Efficacy of CAL in Addressing Alternative Frameworks Amongst Learners in Science: An Exploration. In NAAC sponsored National Seminar on Quality Assurance of Teacher Education: Initiatives and Mechanisms. Department of Education, Modern Institute of Technology, Dhalwala, Rishikesh, Uttrakhand.
  • Lucariello, J. (2012). How Do My Students Think: Diagnosing Student Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.apa.org/education/k12/student-thinking.aspx
  • Worth, K. (1999). The Power of Children’s Thinking (2nd ed.). Washington DC: National Science Foundation.

 
  •  Start 
  •  Prev 
  •  Next 
  •  End 

Page 1 of 2

Login Form

Notice Board