The Telegraph
Saturday , January 4 , 2014
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Five steps to make science easier

- Success rate improves in Kerala Public School-NML after teachers invent new study model

If the students of Kerala Public School-NML, are finding science easy and the overall performance in the subject, which is normally perceived as difficult, has improved, it’s all because of a group of five teachers and their innovative teaching ways.

Team Galaxy — comprising Vikas Das, Sujata Maity, Durga K., Sanjeev Mohanty and Aashish Prasad — has not only earned the school the par excellence tag for innovation in science at the national round of International Convention on Quality Circle Competition (ICQCC) last month, but has brought down the percentage of poor performers in the cradle by 28 per cent in less than a year.

The teachers’ easy way of teaching science based on five principles is largely responsible for more and more students overcoming their fear of daunting formulae, chemical reactions and hard-to-recall definitions. The school is now looking forward to annual examination results to make a final assessment.

“We are basically teaching with the help of five activities and it has shown results. The failure rate in science subjects was as high as 82 per cent in our school till last year. But the figure has come down to 54 per cent on the basis of evaluations in tests and terminal examinations. This was the reason why we earned accolades at the national round of ICQCC in Calcutta,” said Das, the team leader of Galaxy, which has been working on the model since April and is gearing up to take part in the international round of ICQCC in Colombo in October.

The teachers are targeting students from classes VIII to XII, who are being taught through five methods — re-teaching, mind mapping, concept mapping, gimmick and information.

For example, in re-teaching, a senior student explains a chapter after a teacher has already taught it and the juniors are free to ask questions. Since students are more comfortable with their seniors than teachers, this method has worked wonders.

In the process, the senior students master the art of teaching.

Mind mapping is based on the simple principle that visuals have a greater impact on mind. Hence, the students are taught everything with pictures. On the other hand, key words and revisions are an integral part of concept mapping, while students are told stories and the struggle period of great scientists as part of the gimmick method.

“There are students who give up easily. We tell them stories of scientists, whose famous inventions came after a series of trial and error to boost their confidence level,” Prasad explained.

In the information segment, students have to speak on a topic on latest technological updates.

“This helps build a sense of strong competition among them,” Prasad added.

Kerala Public School-NML, has already bagged an award for its Assertive Discipline Project from the International Convention on Quality Circle Competition (ICQCC), Taiwan.

The project focussed on constructive punishment for students.