Four Indian teachers landed in US to serve a term and work with teachers and researchers there. They are the recipients of grant under the category of Distinguished Fulbright Awardee in Teaching, recently announced by the United States-India Educational Foundation (USIEF). These teachers will be spending four months in the US researching in their area of interest, topics for which have been selected by them before hand. The four teachers awarded the grant include Sangeeta Gulati, Academic Coordinator and Head of Mathematics, Sanskriti School, New Delhi; Partha Pratim Roy Teacher Consultant in Physics, South Point High School, Kolkata; Mary Sahaya, Headmistress, Kendriya Vidyalaya No 1, Vasco, Goa; and Vasanthi Thiagarajan, Principal Sishya School, Hosur.
Gulati, a Maths teacher will be doing her project of 'Use of Technology in Teaching and Learning of Mathematics'. Roy, a physics teacher, will be doing his project on 'An Integrated and Investigative Approach to Learning of Physics by Discovery'. Sahaya is a special educator and will be researching in the field of 'Inclusive Education'. Thiagarajan will be studying 'Differentiated Instructional Strategies used in Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation: A Comparative Study'.
USIEF promotes mutual understanding between the nationals of India and the nationals of the US through the educational exchange of outstanding scholars, professionals and students. Since its inception, USIEF has awarded approximately 15,000 Fulbright, Fulbright-Nehru, and other prestigious grants and scholarships in almost every academic discipline. Sangeeta Gulati says, “I aim to develop a curriculum that will integrate technology with classroom teaching and learning of mathematics. I believe that the use of technology in the teaching of mathematics not only develops reasoning and critical thinking skills but also makes the subject more interesting and enjoyable for students. I will also learn how to use specially designed softwares such as Geometer's Sketchpad and Geogebra.I also plan to study how the use of technology affects the attitude of students towards Mathematics and Geometry in particular.”
Partha Pratim Roy says, “Learning through discovery has a lasting impact in forming a deep-rooted impression of the subject in the students' minds. The objective of my Fulbright project is to develop an integrated approach towards teaching of Physics in schools. I want to inspire and attract high-school students towards the study and research of physics by providing them hands-on experience and create excitement of discovery during the learning process. I want to nurture an inquiry-based scientific temperament among the students. I look forward to learn new teaching and assessment techniques in the US and incorporate them in my classroom.”
Mary Sahaya says, “My project is particularly significant in Kendriya Vidyalayas where students are from diverse background with 23% from marginalized and disadvantaged sections. There is a need to recognize and address the diversity, dignity and identity of each child. Through interactions with educators in the US, visits to schools, review of US programs and policies on inclusive education, I plan to document the instructional strategies, interventional programs and evaluation methods used. Thereafter, I will design a program on effectively implementing inclusive education in Indian classrooms, which I will disseminate during the teacher training sessions and meetings with the parents.”
Vasanthi Thiagarajan say, “I propose to understand the American National Curriculum Policy of 'no child left behind'. I will also examine the lesson plans, curriculum and find out how US School teachers use identified and measurable standards of assessment. Visits to schools and observing US teachers execute their instructional strategies in the classroom will also be on my plan. Upon my return, I plan to train my colleagues in the instructional strategies and the assessment patterns that can be effectively adapted to our schools.”