Thursday, December 29 2016

Alladi Ramakrishnan Hall

'Small Science' in the classroom: Some observations on curriculum change

Jayashree Ramadas

Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, Mumbai

The Homi Bhabha Curriculum for Primary Science, consisting of the Small Science series of books for Classes 1 to 5, was developed more than a decade ago by the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education. Small Science adopts an inquiry approach, seeking to build on the natural curiosity of young children, to develop systematic observation, analysis and articulation. The curriculum is grounded in research and classroom trials.

Over the years the books have been used as resource by National and State agencies and by private and aided schools, by some as their regular curriculum. Each year about 3000 students around the country follow it in their schools. Small Science content and stylistic elements have been adapted by other curricula and its learnings were reflected in the National Curriculum Framework.

However actual classroom implemention of a curriculum that goes beyond a textbook-centred approach is another matter and expected to be problematic. Recently I have been working with three schools in and around Chennai, with an aim to get feedback on the use of Small Science, to identify specific teacher development needs and to prepare resources for teacher support. I will share some of my experiences of collaborative work with teachers in these schools.

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