Tuesday, May 13, 2014


Teaching - learning processes and professional development of student teachers demand special attention of all concerned in teacher education. The B. Ed. program is often considered as a mixture of a number of trades and tricks and the scenario is marked by conflicting claims of stakeholders. Though these conflicting interests do pop up inside the classroom often, I could manage instructional activities smoothly throughout my teaching career.
This is my twenty fifth year as a teacher educator. Every year I used to modify my teaching style and my students used to enjoy it.  But during the last couple of years there were certain problems with my teaching and I am not satisfied with my performance. I tried to integrate learner centered and activity methods along with ICTs increasingly in my daily teaching. I could not achieve full integration of these two due to a variety of reasons. One of the root causes with the adoption of Learner centered and activity methods is that the university assessment systems do not require a teaching with such an approach and hence student teachers are not basically motivated to adopt these in their daily learning. Final assessment is rote memory based and do not require student teachers develop essential professional skills. The major problem with teaching with technology - especially with online/ digital tools is the lack of access to relevant technology by all student teachers. This also creates much discomfort in the learning process. It is my basic belief that exposure to ICT tools by student teachers is very much essential because the future teaching learning scenario demands it. Though the scope of addressing these two challenges seems still bleak this year, one emerging positive component is that with the restructured curriculum being implemented by the University from this year, there is a big talk about ‘techno pedagogy’ and ICT integration all around.  I am planning to continue the integration of the above two aspects in my teaching this year also with a renewed vigour.
The following five principles will the backbone of my teaching this year.
 1. Vision: Teach with Empathy.
The novice student teacher of today comes from a myriad of social, economic and educational problems. I am convinced that what they need more than pedagogic discourses are an empathetic support for their professional development as a teacher of 21st century. I am also convinced that the whole young generation needs the same type of scaffolding and hence I will help my student teachers develop the philosophy of empathetic teaching. A variety of activities will be adopted for the accomplishment of this vision. While transacting the curriculum I will adopt the ‘modern 3 Rs’- Relevance, relationship and reflection.
2. Mission: Develop Communication Skills.
Development of communication skills is an essential prerequisite for practicing empathetic teaching. The student teachers generally hold a lopsided view of communication skills by focusing on verbal communication only- that is even in English language. I will help them develop an integrated view on communication.
3. Teaching Approach – Real Life, Problem Based and Constructivist
In order to successfully attain the above goals, I will log on to real life, problem based and constructivist approach in my class. I do hope that my students will enjoy this approach. The curriculum stipulates the undertaking of practicum activities by student teachers. I will develop real life scenario based practicum activities and student teachers are expected to develop professional skills by addressing these issues.
4. Classroom Tools- People, Media and Technology.
People, Media and technology will be used to maximum extents to drive everyday discussions and learning interesting. Individual, small group and large group activities and project will be assigned. Student teachers will be encouraged to share and reflect their experiences with people, media and technology. Special sessions and activities will be organized to ensure basic technology exposure to every one of the student teachers.
5. Assessment
A variety of dynamic assessment methods- self, peer, mentor, facilitator- will be encouraged. Reflective Practice will be promoted on a daily basis as a tool for professional development .Student teachers will be encouraged to develop their Professional Portfolios. Since the summative part of the assessment process is with the university, I will try to make the formative part as learner centered as possible.
            It is my earnest ambition to provide my students with internationally comparable learning experiences in my course this academic year. I am assigned to engage the course Edu – 01: Philosophical and Sociological Perspectives of Education. I developed the following ‘Course Outcomes’ for my course in Semester I.
CO1. Demonstrate an awareness of and an understanding of the teaching profession and the role played by public education in contemporary society.
CO2. Articulate a rationale for becoming a teacher and explain a personal philosophy of education that incorporates relevant theories, approaches and models of education.
CO3. Demonstrate an understanding of the interactive role of education and society and the role of education in promoting desired social changes.
CO4. Value the involvement and support of parents, guardians, families and communities in schools.
CO5. Be a reflective practitioner, demonstrate readiness to change the teaching strategy, identify professional needs applicable to the knowledge era and work to meet those needs individually and collaboratively and engage in career-long learning.
For the course syllabus please CLICK HERE .
Your valuable comments are earnestly solicited. E-mail: tuzhuvath@gmail.com mob. 9895604200

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Eleven students and I were assigned St. Thomas HS, Karthikapally, for the Initiatory School Experience (ISE) from January 20th to 23rd   2014. ISE is a modified version of the School Visit Program of previous curriculum and it aims to provide student teachers an opportunity to have primary experiences with the functioning of the school. Though general instructions are given in the curriculum document, essential planning and customization at the college level is to be done. This aspect was not properly addressed by the college. Teacher educators provided a few practicum activities in addition to the one given in the curriculum document. At the college level, there was no attempt to integrate various activities provided by teacher educators. Therefore much planning was conducted at the school after the team arrived at the school.
        The program went smooth as planned by the group. The group could undertake all the stipulated activities. The school authorities cooperated excellently with the team and extended all the help to complete various activities. Teachers gracefully permitted student teachers observe their classes. The headmistress arranged required number of classes for each student teacher to engage lessons. Student teachers collected data regarding learning facilities and physical facilities available in the school.
      The group couldn't effectively undertake activities related to the study of the social and familial background of school students. I think there are two reasons for this lapse. One is the absence of proper planning and the other is the general negligence of role familial and social background of students in their learning. A focused attention of this aspect during the planning session will help mitigate this lapse.
      A few suggestions for better implementation of ISE are given below  
1.      Fixing the school and finalizing the students’ list much in advance will help student teachers prepare for the ISE in a planned manner.
2.      A thorough planning at the teacher educators’ level and customization and integration of activities must be undertaken.
3.      Distribute an instruction sheet to each student teacher containing various activities proposed by teacher educators. Core subject teachers may provide practicum works and help plan other general activities and optional teachers may help student teachers plan class observation and class engagement.
4.      A half day visit to the assigned school and meeting the Head teacher and the subject teachers a week ahead of the program will help student teachers plan the activity better.
5.      Distribution of attendance sheet to teacher educators help note down absentees and report the same to the college office.( There are stray cases of absenteeism during ISE)
6.      How to prepare observation notes and class engagement notes must be discussed with student teachers. A few models may be introduced.
7.      Out of school hours or Saturdays may also be included for the effective study of familial and social environment of school students.
8.      A workshop mode embedding constructivist approach will enhance the effectiveness of the program.

Your comments are earnestly solicited.                                  23/01/2014

Friday, January 17, 2014

EDU 102 - Initiatory School Experience

EDU 102 - Initiatory School Experience

(2 Credits- 20 marks)

The purpose of Initiatory School Experience is to provide student teachers an opportunity to have primary experiences with the functioning of the school. This programme is for four continuous working days, giving them an opportunity to acquaint with the school environment and the day-to- day functions. The following activities must be undertaken by student teachers.

1.      Observation of lessons engaged by school teachers (student teachers observe lessons individually or in small groups).

To observe means to watch keenly and note down what happens. You need prior planning and must get ready to observe the class. Please get prior permission from the head of the school and the concerned teachers before planning to observe their classes.

2.      Meeting students in an informal setting to learn their background and their interest in learning.

You may get prior permission from the teacher-in-charge of a class to collect necessary data from students.

3.      To see the learning facilities in the school.

To take a stock of the learning facilities, prepare a check list of essential learning facilities needed and take the list of available facilities. Try to note down the working conditions and the frequency of use of these facilities. You may also collect data regarding students’ satisfaction with these facilities.

4.      Observing the social climate in the school, etc.

To observe the social climate, prepare a check list incorporating a few components like teacher pupil relationship, punctuality of teachers and students, morale and motivation of students’, participation and success in co-curricular activities at various levels, school community relationship, involvement of various stake holders like parents, local self- government etc..  

5.      Engaging lessons individually or as Shared Practice.

Each student-teacher has to engage 3 lessons individually or as Shared Practice.Lesson plans need not be written with the rigidity employed for Practice Teaching lesson. In Shared Practice, student-teachers will be in small groups of three members. The lessons will be divided into three parts and each student teacher will practice one of the parts by rotation in the natural classroom situation.

6.      Maintaining a detailed diary as record of the visit.

           The diary must contain a brief history of the school, learning facilities available, social      and academic climate of the school, notes of all lessons engaged etc. This must also            contain reflective text by the student teacher.

7.      Reflecting on your experience.

             After the four day initiatory school experiences, a one day reflection session will be organized in the college on Friday 24th February. Student teachers are expected share          their reflections in plenary as well as in small groups sessions.