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The Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP). Amitabha Mukherjee Centre for Science Education and Communication University of Delhi am@csec.ernet.in Presentation at South Asia Regional Conference on Education Quality New Delhi October 24-26, 2007. Contents. Background

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the hoshangabad science teaching programme hstp
The Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP)

Amitabha Mukherjee

Centre for Science Education and Communication

University of Delhi

am@csec.ernet.in

  • Presentation at South Asia Regional Conference on Education Quality
  • New Delhi
  • October 24-26, 2007
contents
Contents
  • Background
  • Key features of HSTP
  • Classroom practices
  • Teacher Training
  • Textbook and kit
  • Examinations
  • Lessons learnt
background
Background
  • The Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP) started as a pilot project in 1972 in 16 schools in Hoshangabad district of the state of Madhya Pradesh (M.P.)
  • Addressed the question “Can science be taught better in an ordinary school?”
background contd
Background (contd.)
  • Started by two voluntary agencies – Kishore Bharati and Friends’ Rural Centre
  • Confined to the teaching of science in middle school – grades 6-8
  • Partnership of University and College faculty with schoolteachers

“Nothing the programme could do could possibly make things worse than they were”

nothing could be worse
“Nothing could be worse…”
  • Government schools - poor buildings, no library, no laboratory , no facilities
  • No experiments in science classes
  • Science taught as received knowledge
  • Authoritarian school teacher, often untrained in science
  • Docile children, no rewards for initiative, no questions in class – to maintain discipline
brief chronology
Brief Chronology
  • Pilot project in 16 schools from 1972
  • Extended to all middle schools in the district in 1978
  • EKLAVYA set up in 1982
  • Expanded to clusters in 14 other districts in mid 1980s – ~1000 schools
  • Closed down by M.P. Govt in 2002
          • Back to Contents
key features of hstp
Key features of HSTP
  • Classroom processes based on experimentation
  • Teacher Training – intensive and continuing
  • Textbook and kit
  • Examination system
          • Back to Contents
classroom practices
Classroom practices
  • Children did experiments in groups of 4
  • Recorded their own observations
  • Reported their findings to the whole class
  • Data from different groups pooled together to provide robust evidence
  • Conclusions arrived at after whole class discussions guided by teachers
        • Back to Contents
teacher training
Teacher Training
  • 3-week training programmes every year for 3 years
  • Hands-on, textbook-based training
  • Every teacher trained to do every experiment and guide discussion in the classroom
teacher training contd
Teacher Training (contd.)
  • Monthly meetings
  • School follow-up by trained resource teachers to handle problems in implementation
  • Manuals
  • Periodicals
        • Back to Contents
textbook and kit
Textbook and kit
  • Textbook ‘Bal Vaigyanik’ (‘Child Scientist’) actually a book of instructions for experiments – no information content
  • Low-cost and locally available materials used as far as possible
  • Minimal kit supplied to all schools in adequate numbers
examinations
Examinations
  • No reform possible without reform of the examination system
  • Open-book, unlimited time exams, both annual and final middle school (grade 8)
  • Each student examined in theory as well as in experiment
  • Tests of conceptual clarity, logical ability, process skills – not rote learning
          • Back to Contents
lessons learnt from hstp
Lessons learnt from HSTP
  • No programme of innovation can succeed unless teachers are convinced of the need for such change and work actively to bring it about
  • School teachers are almost completely isolated intellectually and it is important to work to break this down
lessons learnt from hstp ii
Lessons learnt from HSTP - II
  • Some structural features can work across programmes – monthly meetings, cluster resource centres, …
  • Control over examinations is essential for any programme of innovation to succeed
lessons learnt from hstp iii
Lessons learnt from HSTP - III
  • Innovations in curriculum/pedagogy may face a roadblock of school system functionality
  • Involvement of the community in programmes of educational reform is not only desirable, but may be crucial
          • Back to Contents