School Science Education – Universalisation with Quality

September 12, 2007

This is one of the sessions organized in a National Conference on Science Education-Challenges of Quality being organised in HBCSE on account of Prof. B. M. Udgaonkar’s 80th birthday.

The speakers of this session: Prof. Anil Sadgopal (Chair), Prof. Ram Takwale, Dr. Anita Ramphal, Dr. Jayashree Ramadas, Dr. Gambhir and Dr. Subramaniam.

Prof. Ram Takawale talked about the issues of Open Educational Resources, distance and open universities, school science education, universalization and quality school science education for all, how to achieve universalization of education. As we know, information and knowledge society is emerging, and therefore ICT can play an important role in solving the problems of making quality of science education universal. In today’s world, we are connected with mobile phone, TV,internet, but not all the schools are connected, in this situation how can we create a connected world. ICT is using different processes such as digitization, personalization, customization and can we use these new processes to universalize science education.

According to Prof. Takwale, we cannot use the conventional processes to solve the problems of universalization, and we need to use ICT to solve such problems. The keypoint is that ICT enables for mass collaboration wherein few people come together for a common cause and create resources for everyone for example wikipedia. He showed interest in creating learning groups or learning communities for the open educational program.

Well, I would like to add here that the SELF Project is also an example of such open educational resources. The SELF Platform is being used to create courses and learning materials. It aims to be a community-driven platform for producing and distributing educational materials.

The next speaker, Dr. Anita Ramphal dealt with the formulation of NCERT syllabus. She showed concerns to bridge the inequality in school education. Some other issues that were touched upon were the language of science used in the textbooks, sometimes due to this the people are distancing from science. The language of science has to be explicit, visual representations are important.

Jayashree Ramadas talked about the Homi Bhaba Curriculum, Dr.  Subramaniam talked about research in mathematics education, Dr. Gambhir talked about science experiments in schools.


Wellcome images in public domain

July 13, 2007

Good news ! The Wellcome trust has released its Wellcome images in public domain. The wealth of collection portrays the 2000 years of human culture. The images are released under the Creative Commons Licence. From their press release:

Wellcome Images is the world’s leading source of images on the history of medicine, modern biomedical science and clinical medicine. All content has been made available under a Creative Commons Licence, which allows users to copy, distribute and display the image, provided the source is fully attributed and it is used for non-commercial purposes.

This news is quite exciting for me. In its collection, I searched for the images that I have been looking for, such as—Galileo’s drawings of moon’s phases, Vinci’s illustration of human anatomy, etc. This collection will be of greate value to our History of Science Exhibition.

history of science exhibition @ HBCSE

April 24, 2003

HBCSE has developed a wonderful illustrated exhibition on the history of science — “Science—A Human Saga”. The exhibition has excellent graphics and the research on themes, text, graphics, captions are done in-house. I am glad that I have been involved in this project.

The exhibition captures the origins of science, its history, its development upto the modern period. The major themes of the exhibition are—Great Leaps in Early Period; Science in Ancient Greece, Ancient China, Ancient India, West Asia; The Scientific Revolution; Science in the 18th, 19th centuries, Social Sciences, Modern Science. The exhibition is a permanent display at the ground floor foyer of HBCSE and is open for visitors.

Some of the major objectives behind producing this massive exhibition are:

  • To depict that science as a development process
  • To depict the conceptual changes that have taken place in the history, a process which is considered to be seen as a parallel with the conceptual changes that students undergo
  • To depict that science has multicultural origins
  • To demystify science

HBCSE had also produced a mobile version of the exhibition which has travelled throughout the country. This history of science exhibition is one of its kind in the country.

Some snapshots of the exhibition.