2020 Day 3: 27th May Presentation

Teacher Interactions with a Vigyan Pratibha Learning Unit

Chaitanya Ursekar
Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR, Mumbai, India* 

The Vigyan Pratibha programme at HBCSE seeks to nurture students’ interest in science and mathematics. The programme revolves around modular, activity-based instructional plans, called learning units (LUs). Teachers from participating central government schools are familiarized with the LUs at workshops at HBCSE, after which they voluntarily conduct them with their students. It is also expected that this may lead to teachers’ professional development through the experience of transacting new teaching-learning materials. However, the literature suggests that teachers’ use of teaching-learning materials is not a straightforward matter. Teachers may face challenges in effectively using new teaching-learning materials that may affect learning outcomes (Davis, Janssen & Van Driel, 2016).

In the context of this larger problem, I characterize a teacher’s enactment of a Vigyan Pratibha LU called “Is there protein in those grains?”. My data includes a pre-enactment interview with the teacher, observations of enactment, and a post-enactment reflective interview with the teacher. I analyze this data using the curriculum strategy framework put forth by Sherin and Drake (2009). The framework suggests three kinds of teacher-curriculum material interactions – reading, evaluation, and adaptation. I highlight instances of these three in the teacher’s use of the learning unit. In particular I describe the challenges faced by the teacher as a result of adaptations (both intended and unintended) that were made to the unit. I also identify provide an account of the teacher’s reflections on and learning from having enacted the unit.
Lastly, as a designer of the learning unit, I also highlight opportunities for student learning that emerge due to the teacher’s modifications.

Davis, EA, Janssen, FJJM, & Van Driel, JH. (2016). Teachers and science curriculum materials: Where we are and where we need to go. Studies in Science Education, 52(2), 127–160.
Sherin, MG, & Drake, C. (2009). Curriculum strategy framework: Investigating patterns in teachers’ use of a reform‐based elementary mathematics curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(4), 467–500.