June 2019

The teacher who decided to learn

Kaveri Borthakur became a student again, to become a master teacher of Integrated Approach to Technology in Education programme

Kaveri Borthakur using teaching skills she learnt as a participant of Integrated Approach to Technology in Education programme

Kaveri Borthakur from Assam is one among 39 Master Teachers, who helped teach 586 other teachers. But first, she had to be a student.

In Assam, almost 85% of all Secondary Schools are equipped with computer lab facilities, as well as smart classrooms. Yet, these rooms have mostly been gathering dust. And the reason is even more unfortunate — the lack of integration of computer technology with subject teaching.

However, around mid-2017, the computers were dusted off. Kaveri was one of the first to participate in the Integrated Approach to Technology in Education (ITE), an in-service teacher professional development programme, in order to understand the importance of assimilation of teacher, technology and pedagogy. The first certificate course, ‘ICT & Education for School Teachers’, was developed and approved by the academic council of the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

Kaveri spent four months dedicating herself to improving the quality of education she provided her students. She was among 39 other such committed upper primary and secondary teachers and was joined by the District Institute for Education and Training (DIET) faculty.

To quote Kaveri, “The course helped me understand a lot about Learning theories, ICT integration in the classroom and making lesson plans better. It has also motivated me to change my teaching methods; I try more activities which incorporate technology now”.

Kaveri’s entire batch, in fact, went further. They reached out to another 586 teachers from their neighbouring schools to train them in the ITE pedagogy. The nested model is such that a Continuous Professional Development plan is woven in. They all meet once a month to participate in a module designed by the ITE resource team. Together, they learn about ITE practice and implementation, theories and types of learning, the TPACK model, Bloom’s Taxonomy, 21st century learning and develop lesson plans pertaining to their respective subjects and grades.

If all of that sounds complex and rigorous, it is. Yet, the teachers create batches to complete course work and include project creation via computer, determined to not only encourage students to integrate technology, but also redefine their own roles as facilitators, so as to enhance the role of students as active learners.

This story has been taken from the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and Allied Trusts Annual Report 2017-18.