Centre of Excellence in Science and mathematics Education (CoESME) at IISER Pune conducts activities in the following broad areas: Professional Development & Pedagogy Training for Teachers; Hands-on Science Activity Centre for Students & Teachers; Educational Science and Mathematics Camps for Students
Professional Development & Pedagogy Training for Teachers
Teachers are an important stake holder of the education system and empowering them with the right skills and tools can lead to a transformative change. CoESME is committed to capacity building of teachers through professional development programmes designed to suit specific needs of teachers at various levels. We have explored approaches such as inquiry-, research- and activity-based pedagogy to identify tools that can be adapted to suit age-group, language and socio-economic background of students. We focus on developing and disseminating teaching methods that help students imbibe the process of science instead of just information.
Our programmes provide a platform for teachers to meet their peers, form professional networks and exchange ideas & challenges in teaching and education.
Activities for College Teachers
One of our flagship activities was a series of hands-on pedagogy workshops for under-/ post-graduate science teachers, designed to introduce them to pedagogical tools that help students develop critical thinking and problem-solving abilities. The workshops, organised with support from the DBT/DST (Govt. of India) and the British Council, are held all over India at three levels.
- Level 1: National workshops conducted by a team from Sheffield Hallam University, UK along with experts from India
- Level 2: Train-the-trainer modules conducted by the team from Sheffield Hallam University, UK for selected participants from Level 1 to enable them to train other teachers
- Regional: Workshops for smaller, regional groups all over India, conducted by teachers trained at Level 2
Another major activity is the Induction Training Programme designed to prepare newly-recruited college science teachers for their teaching career. This full-time four-week residential course orients participants on aspects like instructional methods, assessment & evaluation techniques, and ICT enabled teaching-learning. It equips them with knowledge of University rules and regulations, basics of governance and administration. The course uses a blend of new and conventional teaching methods to demonstrate the principles of teaching-learning that the participants are encouraged to use.
Apart from these, CoESME also organises programmes in specific disciplines, like workshop for Mathematics teachers on LaTeX, seminar series on practice of Green Chemistry, workshop on Fourier Analysis for Mathematics and Physics teachers, etc.
Activities for School Teachers
These include subject-specific programmes devoted to content knowledge of a particular discipline like physics, chemistry, mathematics etc.; training on making and using low-cost science toys (see below); and workshops that focus on pedagogy.
A major activity of CoESME for school teachers was training of over 300 teachers from government schools all over Maharashtra, through the state government’s RMSA programme. They were introduced to the concept of inquiry-based learning in workshop mode, along with lectures on specific topics that they find difficult to teach.
We also host National and State-level Teachers’ Science Congresses where school teachers present their pedagogical innovations under themes like ‘Learning Science by Doing’ or ‘Innovative Methods of Evaluation’. Selected teachers are offered internships at IISER Pune to give them an exposure to research environment and an opportunity to develop innovative teaching tools.
Activities for Educators & Scientists
We also run programmes for educators and policy makers that involve brainstorming sessions as well as trainings on education and other aspects of science. In particular, a series of workshops on Science Administration & Management and Science Journalism for women is currently in progress, which aims to provide women training to become tomorrow’s leaders in Science & Technology and its allied careers and create a pool of trained personnel who can provide the support framework essential for the scientific enterprise.
Hands-on Science Activity Centre for Students & Teachers
Experiential learning is considered to be one of the most effective ways of learning. CoESME has created an exploratorium to provide student a hands-on, interactive experience of learning basic scientific concepts. In the Science Activity Centre established on campus, we develop low-cost interactive science toys that can be used to effectively explain scientific concepts in an engaging and hands-on way.
Toys demonstrating a wide range of scientific concepts including electricity, magnetism, chemical reactions, working of human organs, and many more, are available at the Centre.The aim of these toys is to help learners internalise concepts better and to excite their imagination and creativity. To encourage incorporation of these hands-on models and methods in classroom practice, CoESME also organises demonstrations and workshops for teachers on making these low cost/no cost teaching aids.
See our Science Activity Centre page for more details.
Educational Science and Mathematics Camps for Students
We organise short residential camps for school and college students aimed at exciting them about science. These camps, which include an element of hands-on experimentation and lab visits, acquaint students with research in different fields and give them a feel of the research environment. We also host and mentor winners of national-level science fairs to help refine their projects further. Promising students are provided a platform to carry out short projects for research-based learning under the guidance of IISER Pune faculty.