The Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme (HSTP)

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					The Hoshangabad Science
Teaching Programme (HSTP)

    Amitabha Mukherjee
    Centre for Science Education and Communication
    University of Delhi
    am@csec.ernet.in

   Presentation at South Asia Regional Conference on
    Education Quality
   New Delhi
   October 24-26, 2007
Contents
   Background
   Key features of HSTP
   Classroom practices
   Teacher Training
   Textbook and kit
   Examinations
   Lessons learnt
Background
   The Hoshangabad Science Teaching
    Programme (HSTP) started as a pilot
    project in 1972 in 16 schools in
    Hoshangabad district of the state of
    Madhya Pradesh (M.P.)
   Addressed the question “Can science be
    taught better in an ordinary school?”
Background (contd.)
   Started by two voluntary agencies – Kishore
    Bharati and Friends‟ Rural Centre
   Confined to the teaching of science in middle
    school – grades 6-8
   Partnership of University and College faculty
    with schoolteachers
    “Nothing the programme could do could
    possibly make things worse than they were”
“Nothing could be worse…”
   Government schools - poor buildings, no
    library, no laboratory , no facilities
   No experiments in science classes
   Science taught as received knowledge
   Authoritarian school teacher, often untrained
    in science
   Docile children, no rewards for initiative, no
    questions in class – to maintain discipline
Brief Chronology
   Pilot project in 16 schools from 1972
   Extended to all middle schools in the
    district in 1978
   EKLAVYA set up in 1982
   Expanded to clusters in 14 other
    districts in mid 1980s – ~1000 schools
   Closed down by M.P. Govt in 2002
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Key features of HSTP
   Classroom processes based on
    experimentation
   Teacher Training – intensive and
    continuing
   Textbook and kit
   Examination system
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Classroom practices
   Children did experiments in groups of 4
   Recorded their own observations
   Reported their findings to the whole class
   Data from different groups pooled together to
    provide robust evidence
   Conclusions arrived at after whole class
    discussions guided by teachers
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Teacher Training
   3-week training programmes every year
    for 3 years
   Hands-on, textbook-based training
   Every teacher trained to do every
    experiment and guide discussion in the
    classroom
Teacher Training (contd.)
   Monthly meetings
   School follow-up by trained resource
    teachers to handle problems in
    implementation
   Manuals
   Periodicals
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Textbook and kit
   Textbook „Bal Vaigyanik‟ („Child
    Scientist‟) actually a book of instructions
    for experiments – no information
    content
   Low-cost and locally available materials
    used as far as possible
   Minimal kit supplied to all schools in
    adequate numbers
Examinations
   No reform possible without reform of the
    examination system
   Open-book, unlimited time exams, both
    annual and final middle school (grade 8)
   Each student examined in theory as well
    as in experiment
   Tests of conceptual clarity, logical ability,
    process skills – not rote learning
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Lessons learnt from HSTP
   No programme of innovation can
    succeed unless teachers are convinced
    of the need for such change and work
    actively to bring it about
   School teachers are almost completely
    isolated intellectually and it is important
    to work to break this down
Lessons learnt from HSTP - II
   Some structural features can work
    across programmes – monthly
    meetings, cluster resource centres, …
   Control over examinations is essential
    for any programme of innovation to
    succeed
Lessons learnt from HSTP - III
   Innovations in curriculum/pedagogy
    may face a roadblock of school system
    functionality
   Involvement of the community in
    programmes of educational reform is
    not only desirable, but may be crucial
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Thank you