ONTACT Teacher Training programme

ONLINE 16-HOUR, HANDS-ON EXPERIENTIAL SCIENCE TEACHER TRAINING PROGRAMME

We firmly believe that when equipped with the tools to make children think, a teacher can ignite and nurture the scientific temper inherent in children, and this is the goal of the TACLearn programme. ISPF and ThinkTac have been conducting the hugely successful TACLearn Teacher Training Programme: a 3-day, Hands-on, Experiential Science Teacher Training Programme at Sir C.V.Raman’s old home in Bangalore for the last two years.

To cater to the increasing demand for conducting the TACLearn programme in different parts of the country, we are offering an Online Programme with the same curriculum and goals.

The programme is designed as an immersive, hands-on, 16-hour programme, spread across either a WEEKEND or 5 WEEKDAYS. Since the focus of the programme is on the pedagogy instead of the content, it would be relevant for any teacher working with children, who may be as young as seven. This also implies that the teachers need to have a basic understanding of the sciences.

This programme will be valuable for teachers who are hungry to find new and innovative ways of making science more engaging. While TACLearn equips the Educator with a range of knowledge and skills required to deliver the ThinkTac programmes, further study of the material specific to the science curriculum being used is essential to facilitate the full range of TACtivities.

PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

Can you imagine that Newton’s Laws of Motion stop working when you haven’t taken a bath in the morning? Or that our lungs start absorbing nitrogen along with oxygen and our body starts making amino acids from this nitrogen so that we stop needing protein in our food? Or that water and mercury swap their molecular property of adhesion to other molecules so that water becomes completely non-sticky and hence, the umbrella and towel industries go down overnight?

Fortunately, the above examples are ridiculously hard to imagine. The laws of science are impartial to the context and usually work the same way everywhere across years and at times across ages.

Those who will be a part of the TACLearn Teacher Training programme, need to remember that their key role is science education and not science research. While a science educator needs to be as enthusiastic about science as a science researcher, he/she has to wear two caps at the same time. The second cap happens to be of a science communicator, a teacher, someone who understands the world of children, someone who understands how learning happens, someone who knows some of the most effective ways of communicating science to children. We focus on this second requirement of science communication and education in this programme.

The ThinkTac/ISPF team believes in a few fundamentals about education. These fundamentals have been captured in the form of three laws of learning. The ThinkTac team believes that these laws work as consistently across different contexts as the laws of science and these will be the focus of one of the sessions.

ORGANISE MATERIALS

The programme covers 10 TACtivities and the material required for these TACtivities is listed here.

There are two categories of materials – TACtivity Materials and Household materials, which should generally be available at home. Apart from the main TACtivity, we will also be executing variations. We expect that each of the Teachers will execute one variation. The teachers will be required to organise or procure the materials for the main TACtivity and one of the variations.

Participants are given the option of buying the materials from us, by paying a small fee of Rs. 2000, the payment link for which will be shared in the registration confirmation email. Please note that we reserve the right to ship these materials only to genuine first-time teacher training participants. To ensure creation and discussion of different variations, we will provide kits with different variations to Teachers.

Teachers who are procuring the material on their own are requested to procure all the material that is listed under the Column – BOM – Variation 1, having a total of 127 items. All teachers are required to organise the household material and tools that are listed under the last column called Household Material.

As our sessions are hands-on, all the participants are expected to be ready with the TACtivity materials and Household materials before the commencement of training.

EXPERIENCE TACTIVITIES

The first day will focus on kindling the scientific temper in us by following the TACLearn methodology. The TACLearn methodology has experience at its core, with the participant experiencing a phenomenon through a TACtivity. After the hands-on activity, the learner makes a set of observations by asking questions and engaging in some experimentation. This is followed by making variations to the model or conducting the experiment by changing any one variable. This exercise of observation and exploration through the variations usually leads to some hypothesis for the underlying phenomenon. The participant may then repeat the process by working on another TACtivity related to the same phenomenon and in the process, refines his/her hypothesis.

This initial Teacher Training Programme contains a set of 10 TACtivities. Three of the TACtivities are covered during the training and the participants are expected to work on the remaining 7 TACs on their own and submit their work within the designated period.

The 10 TACtivities covered in the programme are listed below with links to short YouTube videos. The first 3 will be covered during the online sessions.

  1. Action Reaction – Straw Propeller
  2. Respirometer
  3. Lung Capacity
  4. DIY Battery
  5. DIY Stethoscope
  6. pH Indicator – Turmeric Vermilion
  7. Acids & Bases – Conductivity
  8. Electromagnetism – Motor
  9. Microscope – Onion Cells
  10. Density – Shrink & Sink

ASSIGNMENTS

Each of the sessions would end with an assignment that the participant has to do on their own within the given time before the commencement of the next session. During your offline work, ThinkTac facilitators will be available in case of any queries related to the TACtivities. These completed assignments play a major role in the discussion of the very next session.

After completing the online sessions, participants will be given a final assignment to be submitted within a week / weekend to complete the programme:

  1. Complete 5 TACtivities – The participant has to use the resources provided to complete any of the 5 (out of 7) remaining TACtivities and upload pictures / video of them for review. This will include the observations and variations.
  2. Deep Dive into ONE TACtivity – This includes the creation of one New Variation and creating a New Lesson Plan
  3. Session Video (Optional) – The participants are encouraged to conduct the session with a group of students and upload the video. We will review and provide feedback on this, though it is not part of the programme requirement

CERTIFICATE

Each participant would receive the ‘Certified ThinkTac Facilitator’ certificate once they complete all requirements of the programme, including participation in all the sessions and completion of the final assignment. Attending all the sessions and completing all assignments satisfactorily is mandatory before the award of the certification.

The certification is an additional qualification for a science teacher. This will also make a teacher eligible for running a ThinkTac/ISPF programme as a freelancer or at a school / learning centre / local community. The ThinkTac team would actively work with the educator to make their & their children’s experience with the TACLearn methodology richer.

WEEKEND PROGRAMME SCHEDULE

The training schedule for the programme is summarised below. Please note that this is a full-day programme on both the days, even though there are long breaks between sessions. Participants should be available full-time for the programme, including the evening of the first day to complete the mandatory assignments. The schedule mentioned below is indicative only and may be modified at the sole discretion of the ThinkTac team.

AgendaDetailsTime
Pre ProgrammeTest and Technology Components
Review preparations
Day 0
7 – 7:30PM
Overview• The Mission
• Introductions
• Overview of TACLearn™ science learning methodology
Day 1
9:30 – 10:15AM
Introduction to Hands-on Science (Straw Propeller)• Ice Breakers
• Making
•  Observation
•  Content Repository – Variations and Observation Tools
Day 1
10:15AM -12:30
Assignment – IStraw Propeller – Variation and ObservationDay 1
1PM – 2:30PM
Communicating the ConceptReflection and Discussion of Straw PropellerDay 1
2:30PM-3:30PM
Assignment – IIIndependent Deep Dive:
• Respirometer – Making
•  Respirometer – Observations
Day 1
3:30PM-5:30PM
Communicating the Concept Contd.• Experience of independent deep dive
•  Respirometer variations assignment
Day 1
5:30PM-6PM
Assignment – III• Respirometer Variations
•  Lung Capacity – Self and Family
Day 1 8PM to Day 2 9AM
Understanding the Methodology• Assignment Discussion and Learning
•  Introduction to selected fundamentals of education, integral to TACLearn methodology
•  Introduction to TACLesson Plans and Tools-
•  Introduction to Assessment and Technology
Day 2
10AM to 12:30PM
Assignment – IVIndependent Making – DIY BatteryDay 2
1PM – 1:30PM
Innovation•  Innovating – Create a variation for DIY Battery
•  Discuss the Innovation
•  Need for Innovation and other Cognitive Skills
Day 2
1:30-2:30PM
Partnering with ISPF/ThinkTac
•  TACLab – Thematic & Annual
•  School Programmes – Encompass and Science Club
•  Raman Awards – Participation, Mentoring, Evaluation
•  Online Tutoring
Day 2
2:30 to 3:30PM
Next Steps•  The Assignment
•  Staying in touch
Day 2
3:30 to 4:30PM
Reflection & Feedback•  Key Takeaways
•  Feedback
4:30 – 5PM
Final Assignment•  Complete 5 more TACtivities with Observations and Variations
•  Deep Dive into ONE TACtivity
•  Create One New Variation
•  Create New Lesson Plan
Day 3 – Day 7

FLEXIBLE ONE ON ONE PROGRAMME

ThinkTac will also offer a one-on-one programme for selected teachers, based on their credentials and outreach potential. This programme will include the entire programme described above in a flexible manner on weekday evenings.

After the initial overview and introduction, at a designated time be communicated to the selected teachers, the teacher can choose subsequent session time between 4PM to 7PM on any weekday at a frequency convenient to them. The only restriction is that the programme has to be completed in its entirety within 2 weeks from the date of starting to be eligible for a Certificate.