The Vigyan Pratibha aims at promoting talent among students, particularly among those from disadvantaged groups, enabling them to engage in doing quality Science and Mathematics.
The Vigyan Pratibha project envisages working with classes 8, 9 and 10 students from diverse and non-elite backgrounds to nurture their talent in Science and Mathematics. Vigyan Pratibha aims at facilitating students’ entry into careers in Science and related fields and eventually contributing to a pool of high-quality Science and Technology specialists in the country with a special focus on students belonging to disadvantaged groups.
The programme aims at supporting a quality and well-rounded Science and Mathematics education that is based on deep understanding, appreciation and a sense of excitement about the subject.
Currently, the target schools for the project are the roughly 1500 schools of the Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) Sangathan System, the Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya (JNV) Samiti System and the Atomic Energy Central Schools (AECS).
The core of the project is being structured around Learning Units (LUs) that will be implemented by school teachers in these schools as a part of Science circles for interested students. These units are closely related to the school curricula, but expose students to dimensions of Science and Mathematics beyond the textbooks.
The Big Picture
Collecting, sharing, and comparing findings/data among different students in a school and across different parts of the country is another important facet planned in this programme. This aspect would provide a novel kind of learning environment - an environment that has the potential of transforming not just the scenario of Science education but the practice of doing Science in the country.
Vigyan Pratibha is envisioned to create spaces with the school systems in which the young students can deepen their understanding of Science and Mathematics. It is expected to create a culture of academic sharing, analyzing, observing, collective learning and critical thinking among school students through concrete learning material and programmes. The programme is expected to generate Science and Mathematics learning material that is accessible to students from different backgrounds in the country and is related to the lives of the students. The material will be developed by Science educators in partnership with scientists and will evolve with constant feedback from the students and teachers’ community. This programme is expected to prepare a population of students in the country who would have a critical understanding of content in textbooks and of natural, technological, and social changes around them. They would be in a better position to carve out a meaningful career for themselves whether as researchers, educationists, administrators, technologists, civil service providers, medical practitioners or social innovators.
The Homi Bhabha Center for Science Education (HBCSE), a national center of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) in Mumbai, has been assigned the academic leadership of this programme. HBCSE will be responsible for developing the policy, guidelines and academic resources for the Vigyan Pratibha project and for teacher training at the top tier of a cascade structure. HBCSE will frame the guidelines for programme implementation at schools, clusters and national level. HBCSE would develop the academic content, including the various units/modules, with the help of experts drawn from the RCs, Nodal Centres and elsewhere.
With the evolution of the programme, teachers and even students can contribute new activities and content to the programme, and these students and teachers would be duly credited for their contributions. HBCSE will train master trainers, who will in turn train teachers at lower tiers in a cascade model. Regional Centres will participate by contributing resource persons to the training programmes as well as organize training of master trainers on their own. In addition to the above functions, HBCSE will also function as a Regional Centre for the project.
HBCSE and the following collaborating institutions and many others would be providing constant academic support to the teachers in KVs, JNVs, and AECSs in implementing the programme.
The core of this project is the sustained activity of a science circle in the school. A cluster consists of about 10 schools that are within a radius of approximately 100 km such that travel between the schools is possible in a few hours. A coordinator with Science/Science education qualification will be appointed for each cluster and he/she will be designated as a Science Ambassador. Science Ambassadors, stationed at Nodal Resource Centres would coordinate the activities in the schools within their cluster. Their primary responsibility is supporting teachers and addressing their needs in running Science circles in a timely manner. They would coordinate the distribution of activity materials, collecting feedback, troubleshooting problems in the respective schools, uploading the work of the Science circles to a designated portal, etc.
A few school clusters together will constitute a node. The number of clusters per node may vary between 3 and 5 depending on the density of schools in a given area and the availability of a nodal resource centre with adequate facilities. The nodal resource centres are likely to be located in scientific institutions (such as those of DAE, CSIR, ICAR, etc.), that are able to commit suitable resources for Science education through the Vigyan Pratibha project.
The Regional Centres will be the key implementing institutions of Vigyan Pratibha. The Science Ambassadors would be stationed at the Nodal Resource Centre and would be mentored by scientists from the Nodal Resource Centres. Additionally, the scientists would help in the development of activity units, coordinating the activities in schools in their regions, providing content support to the teachers and translations of tasks in regional languages. Scientists may also help in conducting some guest sessions in the workshops. Scientists participating in the VP project would be expected to attend pedagogical orientation and development workshops at HBCSE.
The nodes will be grouped to form about 15 regions across the country. The Science Ambassadors would be stationed at the Nodal Resource Centre and would be mentored by scientists from the nodal resource centres. The Regional Centres will be institutions that already have or are capable of developing a strong profile of work in Science education. Beginning with a few units, RCs from all the S&T related departments such as DAE, DST, DBT, DoS, CSIR, ICAR, etc., will be identified as the project rolls out. The burden of implementation will be collectively shared by the RCs, and fund flows will be channelled through them. Further, they will contribute to the development of policies, guidelines and resources, and to the training of master trainers of the Vigyan Pratibha project.
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The Design and Technology (D&T) Education research at HBCSE is guided by (theoretical) issues of collaborative design, cognition and action, and concerns about the development of language, quantitative and problem-solving skills among school students. It is carried out through the collaborative participation of school students in design, making and evaluation of need-based artefacts and systems. The activities would integrate aspects of affect (wants, desires and aesthetics) and judgements (making strategic alliances, choosing materials and evaluating products). School students are engaged in using knowledge, skills (thinking, manual, procedural, artistic, social, etc.) and values (aesthetic, social) through structured design and making tasks.
Source: Vigyan Pratibha