Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Science Teaching - Primary level

Children conducting experiments 
Al Qamar uses the Small Science curriculum from the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, a unit of the Tata Institute for Fundamental Research (TIFR) Mumbai.  

The curriculum is a hands on, inquiry based curriculum that builds scientific thinking in children - observational skills, logical thinking and data analysis. Children conduct experiments to observe and draw conclusions.  There is no rote learning - each activity is hands on and requires a child to think independently. 

On a nature walk
Most classes take place outdoors, under the trees.  The classes are full of discussions. Children ask questions, propose answers, try out their hypothesis. They are often taken on excursions and nature walks related to what they've been studying. The children have visited the RainCentre to understand rainwater harvesting, an orgaic farm to see crops growing, the Tree Park to understand biodiversity, the sewage plant at the Chennai Mathematical Institute to understand waste water treatments.  The excursions add to the children's conceptual understanding
Understanding properties of liquids

Last year, the ex Director of HBSCE and author of the Small Science books, Prof Jayashree Ramdas, spent a sabbatical term at Al Qamar guiding the teachers in the implementation of the curriculum.  Her invaluable involvement resulted in a far better delivery of Small Science.  
Measuring shadows with their sun clock

The work has been documented on the Small Science website

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