9 December 2020—Development of a Contextual Learning Package Based on REACT Strategy
Amongst those involved in Education, it is a common lament that there is a mismatch between what is taught, what is learned, and what is practised. But what do we do about it? The Wednesday Webinar on 9 December 2020 showed how this question was addressed as part of the Ph.D. research of Dr. Bindu M. P., Assistant Professor of Education, in the School of Ethics, Governance, Culture and Social Systems, at Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV).
A firm believer in the responsibility of a teacher as a social engineer to help learners apply what is learnt in their everyday lives, Dr. Bindu presented her doctoral research study titled ‘Development of Contextual Teaching Learning Package in Biology Based on REACT Strategy for Enhancing Selected Life Skills among Secondary School Students of Kerala’, which was a step in that direction. She began the session with a detailed background of the research highlighting the gap between curriculum and reality from her own experiences as a teacher in a school where she used to be a student. She proceeded to explain the key terms, variables and objectives of the study. The methodology adopted with an intervention design was elaborated upon; so were the tools used, developed by the researcher with the help of the supervisor, listed and explained, with emphasis on their reliability and validity.
The findings of the study were presented and were also discussed in the Q&A session that followed the talk. The questions mostly revolved around the finding that students from rural families exhibit highly developed life skills than those from urban families. It was also interesting to note that the experienced teachers (with over ten years of teaching experience) show more awareness of the contextualisation of teaching and learning science than their counterparts who are newer to the profession. The concepts of authentic assessment and a living library were also take-aways for some.
The event was hosted and moderated by Ms. Neethu S. Kumar, Assistant Professor of the School of Linguistics and Literary Studies, who is the coordinator of the Wednesday Webinars at CVV.
16 December 2020—Srinivasa Ramanujan
The Wednesday Webinar on 16 December, 2020, was organised as a part of Chinmaya Vishwavidyapeeth (CVV)’s week-long celebrations of the National Mathematics Day, commemorating the birth anniversary of Srinivasa Ramanujan, a name familiar to most of us as that of a phenomenal mathematical genius. Shri Vinay Nair, an avid mathematician, the founder of ‘Raising A Mathematician Foundation’, and a Ph.D. research scholar at CVV, discussed certain significant aspects of the life of the renowned Indian mathematician for the benefit of all gathered.
The speaker not only threw light on the various people who played a pivotal role in Ramanujan's life, but also highlighted the roles of many others who have worked hard in popularising the works of Ramanujan, and of those who continue to do so, thereby shaping the legacy we celebrate on 22 December every year. Through many fascinating anecdotes, the speaker presented a perspective on how the life of Ramanujan underlines the importance of identifying and nourishing the especially talented amongst us, not just in the field of Mathematics but in every walk of life.
The interactive discussion followed many interesting threads including the Indian Mathematics world at the time of Ramanujan, the possible reasons for him to reach out to a western scholar, the relevance of identifying and nurturing gifted students, and a speculation on how Ramanujan’s life (and even the world of Mathematics) might have been if certain key events discussed had not happened. The session came to a close with the host Dr. Ajaykumar K., Assistant Professor of the School of Philosophy, Psychology and Scientific Heritage at CVV, informing the audience of the other exciting events planned as part of the National Mathematics Day celebrations at CVV.