Project Based Learning, a method currently recommended for all schools by National and State agencies, was studied for its learning potential, through a series of workshops, a teachers’ seminar and follow-up visits to schools. Systems thinking was studied in students.
Project practices of four Indian middle school teachers
This study looked at project practices of four Indian middle school teachers, elicited through semi-structured interviews of individual teachers. The teachers responded to a proposal to modify four aspects of existing project practices, viz. subject integration, assessment, group work, and management of resources. The aspects were derived to be significant from the recommendations of the Indian National Curriculum Framework (2005), and based on research literature on project-based learning (PBL). The study found that teachers largely used projects as motivating exercises before teaching, or an activity for applying what was learnt. Hence, they associated fluid meanings to projects, like tasks given as home assignments, gathering information, or a scrap-book activity. Teachers felt too burdened with work for conducting projects within school hours, and sought systemic changes before the researchers’ proposal for changing practices could be implemented.
Shome, S., & Natarajan, C. (2013). Ideas and attitudes towards projects and changing practices: Voices of four teachers. Australian Journal of Teaching Education, 38(10), 64-81.
Shome, S. (2013). A teacher’s practice of projects: Scope for improvements. Voices of teachers and teacher educators, II(3), 33-38.
Shome, S. and Natarajan, C. (2010). HBCSE Guidebook on project based learning. Technical Report. Mumbai: Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.
Middle School Students’ Ideas about Energy and Its Flow through Organisms
This work was a precursor study to create a module on Energy and environment topic. In this study, a short 8 day course on energy and environment was developed, in which students of Class VIII engaged in a large variety of activities designed to explore their understanding of energy and its fl ow through life forms, with special emphasis on the link between humans, energy and the environment. The study reports some of our insights gained through a variety of interactions with students and their implications for teaching.
Shome, S. (2014, February) Teaching ”species” in class VIII. Teacher Plus, 21-23.
Shome, S. (2013). Exploring students’ understanding of species: A study with class VIII students. In Nagarjuna G., Jamakhadi, A. and Sam, E. (Eds.), Proceedings epiSTEME 5: International Conference to Review Research on Science, Technology and Mathematics Education (pp. 158- 164) India: Cinnamonteal.
Shome, S., & Natarajan, C. (2012). Middle school students’ ideas about energy and its flow through organisms. Journal of Indian Education, 38(2), 121-127.
Shome, S., Patel, A., & Natarajan, C. (2009). A study of middle school students’ ideas about photosynthesis through multiple interaction mode. In Proceedings and papers of Panel on Ecological and Environmental Science Education in India of II People’s education congress (pp. 55-70), HBCSE, Mumbai, 5-9 October 2009. Allahabad: Peoples Council of Education.
Shome, S., & Natarajan, C. (2009). A short course on Energy and Environment for middle school students and a study of students’ ideas on the topic. Technical Report. Mumbai: Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education.