Innovation in Science Education

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Innovation in Science Education
Case of the “Small Science” Curriculum
TWAS Regional Prize, 2011 for the development of scientific educational material
November 16, 2012, JNCASR, Bangalore Modified: April 4, 2013, HBCSE, Mumbai
Jayashree Ramadas
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education
HBCSE's goal is to bring about a positive change in science and maths education from primary school to undergraduate level in the country; to influence students, teachers and policy, and to build expertise, resources and opinion that are conducive to good education at all levels. HBCSE's work is premised on a close interaction between research, development of materials, and sustained outreach programs with teachers and students.
HMB Minutes, March 21, 2012

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education
Our Aim
• To improve the quality of science and mathematics education in the country from primary school up to undergraduate level

Research and Innovation

Development of Materials and Methods

Outreach & Advocacy

A synergy

Specifically we aim to:

• Generate new ideas • Translate them to
useable forms
• Demonstrate or implement the ideas on a small or large scale

Research and Innovation
Development of materials and methods
Outreach and Advocacy


Knowledge-base for Innovation
1. Research in Science Education
- Cognitive studies - Socio-cultural studies
2. Practice of Science / Science Education

Research areas at HBCSE

Students' conceptions
Mathematical understanding Concept mapping
Concept Inventories Model-based reasoning
Visuo-spatial and embodied modes of reasoning

Design and technology
Out-of-school learning Learner-centred practices, collaboration, diversity
Socio-scientific, ethical, moral issues
Affective outcomes, student engagement
Testing and assessment

Knowledge-base for Innovation
2. Practice of Science Education
- Learning, teaching, interviewing - Observations of schools and lessons - rural,
urban, formal and non-formal ~ 200 hours
- Teacher education - Classroom trials

Process of curriculum development
Teacher - Trials Artist - Designs
Researcher - Writes

• Why do we need innovation in science education?
• What kinds of innovation in education might produce students who innovate?
• How does an innovation permeate the school system?

State of school science education
“(Our) teaching methods are mercilessly stultifying, and it is a miracle that children survive them without entirely losing their creative abilities and independence of mind.”
- Public Report on Basic Education (PROBE) in India (1999)

Rural Students • Rich experiences • Lack systematisation and clear

Urban Students
• Bookish learning • Ignore natural surroundings

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Innovation in Science Education