30 March, 2009

Essential Teaching Skills (2nd Edition) by Dr. Chris Kyriacou

Reviewed by C. Radhakrishnan

About the Author: Dr. Chris Kyriacou is reader in Educational Psychology and currently the Director of Graduate Studies at the University of York. He is particularly interested in researching aspects of effective teaching, the experience of being a teacher, student learning and student motivation. His other major books include Effective Teaching in Schools – Theory and Practice, Helping Troubled Pupils, and Stress-busting for Teachers.

Target Readers: Newly qualified and experienced teachers, trainers, coaches, educational leaders and for every one who have an interest in defining, understanding and exploring the concept of teaching skills and its place within the learning system. This book would make a great introduction for anyone considering taking up a career in teaching, or interested in acquiring skills that would help them in their B.Ed. or M.Ed. courses. In fact, I suspect it may already be a set work, if not, it should be.

This book has been presented in eight chapters covering the following topics.

Chapter 1 - Developing your teaching skills:
This lesson provides the reader a clear perception on nature of teaching skills. How to monitor our own teaching skills and which are the areas a teacher must focus for developing essential teaching skills are brilliantly introduced by the author. Dr. Chris Kyriacou finishes the lesson with a very powerful note – “If your teaching is to retain the sharpness, freshness and cutting edge that characterises the most effective teaching, it is crucial that your skills are never allowed to rest for too long on the back burner.” In the coming lessons each of the major teaching skills are explained in a vivid manner.

Chapter 2 - Planning and preparation:
As we all know planning and preparation is the key to successful teaching. In the first section Dr. Chris elucidates the three major elements of lesson planning such as selecting and scripting a lesson, preparing the materials and resources to be used and deciding how to monitor and assess pupil’s progress. In the second part he focuses on preparation that involves the preparation of all the resources and materials to be used in the lesson. No doubt, planning and preparation go hand in hand, and many planning decisions are taken while preparation is going on. This lesson would be of great use for beginners in the teaching profession.

Chapter 3 - Lesson presentation:
This lesson is presented in three sections – the teacher’s manners, teacher talk activities and academic tasks. Author has succeeded in convincing the reader the importance of teacher’s manners and attitude while presenting a lesson. Many of the minute aspects mentioned here remind the teachers how careful they should be in the class about their manners and organisation of teacher talk activities. In the last part of the lesson various aspects related to academic tasks – activities set up by the teacher to facilitate student learning, are lucidly presented.

Chapter 4 - Lesson management:
This lesson is essentially concerned with those skills involved in managing and organising the learning activities by which teachers can maximise students’ productive involvement in the lesson. According to the author, given the large size and range of ability of most classes, lesson management is not at all a mean task. First section gives the reader a clear idea on how to begin a lesson, handle the transition within the lesson between activities and bring a lesson to a successful ending. In the later part we come across strategies for maintaining students’ involvement, handling the logistics of classroom life and managing student movement and noise in the class. This lesson is worth reading and practicing for beginners and experienced teachers.

Chapter 5 - Classroom climate:
Dr. Chris Kyriacou begins the lesson by saying, “the classroom climate established by the teacher can have a major impact on pupils’ motivation and attitudes towards learning.” Through out the lesson by giving various strategies and reference quotes he successfully presents to the reader how to build a positive classroom climate, motivate students, establish healthy relationship with students, enhance students’ self-esteem and create an excellent classroom appearance and class composition.

Chapter 6 - Discipline:
This lesson is based on the basic principle – ‘skillful teaching lies at the heart of establishing discipline’. Author’s effort to provide basic information on nature of students’ misbehaviour, how to establish teacher’s authority, how to deal with students’ misbehaviour and the principles to be kept in mind while opting for reprimands and punishments are really commendable. It’s a must read lesson for teachers who face problems in managing classroom discipline.

Chapter 7 - Assessing pupils’ progress:
One of the most important components of classroom teaching and learning is the regular assessment and feedback of students’ progress. The issues discussed here include the purpose and types of assessment and methods to improve, record and report assessment and feedback.

Chapter 8 - Reflection and Evaluation:
This lesson is imperative for all teachers who take this profession very seriously and sincerely. Reflecting and evaluating what teachers’ do every day not only in the classroom but in the school by themselves is essential to their growth as an effective teacher. Various principles and strategies involved in self evaluation and reorienting ourselves to greater heights is presented in a very beautiful manner by the author. Last part of this lesson is devoted for techniques to cope teacher stress.

It is all presented in a no-nonsense way, with the emphasis on developing and evaluating practical skills acquired during teaching practice. This is firmly backed up with constant reference to other textbooks and teaching theory.

For example, lesson management is considered from the point of view of the experienced teacher who knows from past experience how to control and encourage a class; from the point of a new trainee who might be afraid to put into practice what they know, and someone who is in the mid point between these two areas.

The skills are constantly under revision and the reader gains an understanding of how personal self evaluation, critical theory and actual practice can all contribute to effective teaching.

Indeed, some aspects of this book draw on experience and practice outside of the strict realm of classroom teaching and could be applied to other professions: how to communicate effectively or encourage rather than discourage someone, for example.

The skills covered form the basis of continuing professional assessment, which also of course includes formal appraisal and personal career development. There are plenty of reference sources for further reading at the end of each chapter, and also lists of key questions and points to consider.
There are practical suggestions as well as an analysis of teaching theory - what teaching aids may be useful in particular circumstances, how to create a viable learning environment, and how to tackle problems you may come across during your time in the classroom.

The illustrations tend towards the light-hearted, black and white drawings, neatly bringing out points from the text. If a little old-fashioned in appearance, they are apt and amusing.

There is an extensive bibliography in addition to the individual chapter resources, plus a useful subject and author cross- referenced index. An updated and revised third edition of this book which has already been published by Nelson Thornes, tells us the extensive reception of this book by educators all over the world. In short it’s a great work by a well experienced educator for all other educators who wish to master the art of teaching to make teaching-learning process fun and enjoyable.

Book Courtesy: The High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti, Munnar.

29 March, 2009

School Counselors Help You Cope

School counselors know how to listen and help. They’ll take your problem seriously and work with you to find a good solution. School counselors are trained to help with everything — and it doesn’t have to be just school stuff. A counselor can help you deal with the sadness when someone has died as well as advise you on taking the right classes to get into your dream college.

It takes a lot of training to be a school counselor. Most not only have college degrees but also master’s degrees, as well as special training and certification in counseling. One of the many good things about school counselors is that they are up-to-date on all the top things that affect students, including any trends that might affect your school.

School counselors can give you all sorts of tips and support on solving problems and making good decisions. Chances are that whatever problem you have, your counselor has seen it before — and has lots of good advice on how to help you work through it. Counselors can give you tips on standing up for yourself if you’re being bullied, managing stress, talking to your parents, and dealing with anger and other difficult moods. Counselors also can advise you on problems you may have with a teacher, such as communication difficulties or questions over grades.

School counselors are plugged in to the rest of the school community and, in many cases, the outside community as well. So they can refer students to outside resources like substance abuse treatment centers, professional therapists, and even health clinics.

It can help to know the different types of support your counselor offers — even if you don’t think you need it now. Some schools and school districts use their websites to explain what the counselor does and how to get a counseling appointment. You may find their services listed under headings like “student resources,” ” student services,” or “student counseling.”

Your school’s website may also explain the roles of other school staff members who can help students with problems or school issues. Depending on the size of your school, these people may include school psychologists, tutors, college or career counselors, and school nurses. The counselor’s role varies from school to school and district to district, so don’t assume your counselor provides the same services as the counselor in a friend’s school.

How Do I See the Counselor?
You may have been assigned a counselor when you started the school year. Or your school may leave it up to you to go to the counseling office on your own. A counselor might also visit your class to talk about certain subjects and let you know when he or she is available. In some schools, teachers or school nurses refer students to counselors if they think there’s something the student needs to work through. Different schools have different policies on putting students in touch with counselors.

Your school’s website, administrator’s office, or a trusted teacher can also tell you how to contact the counselor for an appointment. In many schools, there’s a guidance secretary who coordinates appointments. Many counselors are willing to meet with students at times that fit into the student’s schedule — such as before or after school or during lunch.

It’s probably a good idea to visit your counselor and get to know him or her even if you don’t have a problem. This helps you feel comfortable with the counselor in case you ever do need to meet in a time of crisis. It’s usually easier to talk about a tough issue or a problem when you already feel comfortable with the counselor. Meeting your counselor when you’re not in the middle of a crisis also gives you a chance to discuss such issues as what the counselor will keep confidential and how he or she works with a student to resolve a problem.

Student-Counselor Meetings

Counselors meet with students individually or in small groups. The most common setting for most students is a private meeting just between the student and the counselor. Most school counselors have offices where you can sit down and talk.

You don’t need to know exactly what’s bothering you when you talk with the school counselor. It’s perfectly OK just to make an appointment because you’re feeling bad or not doing as well in school as you’d like. It’s the school counselor’s job to help people figure out what’s going on. In fact, it’s often better to see your counselor as soon as you know something’s up, even if you don’t know what the trouble is. Chances are you’ll be able to solve a problem faster when you have the skill and resources of the counselor behind you.

How often you meet with your counselor depends on the issue. Some concerns are dealt with in a one-time meeting. Others require regular meetings for a while. It all depends on the topic at hand and the plan that you and your counselor decide on.

Counselors also sometimes meet students in groups. Group meetings can really help people who are dealing with similar issues, such as a divorce. In these group settings, people can share their feelings and learn coping skills. Not only do you get great ideas in a group setting, but it can also help to know that other students are going through the same thing and that they understand.

Counselors often come into the classroom, too, to teach a class on a subject that affects everyone, such as good study skills.

Sometimes the counselor might meet with you and a teacher or you and a parent — especially if the teacher or your parent has asked for the meeting.

How Confidential Is It?

When you meet privately with a school counselor, your conversation will most likely be confidential. The counselor isn’t going to go blabbing your business around school. Different schools have different policies, though. So talk directly with your counselor about what he or she considers confidential.
In very rare cases, a counselor is unable to keep information confidential. A counselor who thinks that someone is at risk of being harmed is required by law to share that information. Even in these rare cases, the counselor will share that information only with the people who need to know.

People sometimes worry that other students will think they’re seeing the counselor because they have major problems or they’re in trouble. But in most schools the counselor deals with lots of school issues — as well as personal ones. So you could be meeting to get career counseling or advice on which classes to take for college. Your friends and classmates don’t need to know why you’re seeing the counselor unless you choose to tell them.

Your school counselor is someone who is separate from your life — a neutral adult who isn’t a parent, relative, or teacher. Your school counselor isn’t a therapist. (So if you see your counselor, it’s not the same as getting therapy.) If you need help in some way that the school counselor can’t provide, he or she can give you information about other resources, such as the name of a therapist.

No matter what your problem, try to think of the counselor as someone who’s on your side. Even if you’ve had a bad experience in the past with another counselor or a private therapist, don’t hesitate to contact your school counselor — or talk to the counseling office about seeing someone else if you don’t click with your current counselor. Every counselor is different, and most understand that it’s natural for people to be more comfortable with some individuals than others.

Don’t be surprised if your parents know your school counselor. They may even be in touch with each other. Sometimes counselors offer workshops for parents, with or without their kids, about topics such as study skills or preventing drug abuse. It’s good for the counselor and your parents to know each other when everything is going OK. That way, if any problems come up — like if you’re being bullied or there’s a death in the family and you have to be out of school — they’ll be able to work together comfortably.

If you’re seeing your counselor and your parents don’t know about it, don’t worry that the counselor will talk to them about your meetings. Unless you’ve given the counselor the feeling that you may harm yourself or others, what’s said in your meetings will stay just between you and the counselor.

School counselors are all about helping to make your school experience the best it can be. The role of the school counselor today is very different from what it was like when your parents were in school. Instead of just focusing on schoolwork and careers, today’s counselors are there for students in a broader way. They help students handle almost any problem that might get in the way of learning, guide students to productive futures, and try to create a positive environment for everyone at school. So if you need a counselor’s advice, just ask!

25 March, 2009

All about B.E. , B.Tech , Engineering

What is B. Tech?

Bachelor of Technology is an undergraduate academic degree conferred after completion of a three or four year program of studies at an accredited university or accredited university-degree level college in the Commonwealth of Nations, Norway, Republic of Ireland, the United States, and other countries. The common abbreviation for Bachelor of Technology is B.Tech., or B.Tech.(Hons), if awarded with honours.

The degree is awarded to those who have undertaken a Bachelor of Science degree program supplemented by either occupational placements (e.g., supervised practica or internships) or practice-based classroom courses. Due to the supplemental requirements, the degree normally takes at least four years.

In India, the Bachelor of Technology degree is used by the highly ranked and autonomous institutes such as Indian Institute of Technology (IITs), Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT formerly UDCT) for professional engineering programs. Most other institutions in India are affiliated to a university and thus use the Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.) degree.

What is B.E.?

Bachelor of Engineering (commonly abbreviated as BE or BEng) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded to a student after three, four or five years of studying engineering at an accredited university in the United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Finland, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Nigeria, China, India and Pakistan. It is a professional degree that involves a requirement for undertaking some engineering work. This is controlled by the national professional engineering society or institute that accredits the universities, usually regulated by law.

Some institutions award either a Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Applied Science (BASc) degree to undergraduate students of engineering study. In some cases, Bachelor of Engineering degrees are given to students who take engineering courses as a majority of their course load. However, many universities in Canada only award the Bachelor of Applied Science degree for their accredited undergraduate engineering programs (never the Bachelor of Engineering or Bachelor of Science degrees).

In India, the Bachelor of Engineering is a degree awarded by many universities. Bachelor of Engineering degree is awarded to a student who has completed four years course ( eight semesters ) in engineering. The entry to B.E is 10+2 years of schooling or completion of Pre University course( PUC ). Diploma holders in engineering are also eligible for entry into B.E. Diploma holders of engineering enter degree course, by lateral entry which gives some concessions in study of subjects. The B.E degree is awarded by the university in field of engineering in which student has studied for four years

What is B.Arch?

The Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for a course of study that generally lasts four years in India.

Specialization Fields & Their Scope

1. Aeronautical/Aerospace/Astronautical Engineering
Aerospace engineering is the branch of engineering that concerns aircraft, spacecraft, and related topics. Originally called aeronautical engineering and dealing solely with aircraft, the broader term “aerospace engineering” has replaced the former in most usage, as flight technology advanced to include craft operating outside Earth’s atmosphere. In analogy with “aeronautical engineering”, the branch is sometimes referred to as astronautical engineering, although this term usually only concerns craft which operate in outer space.

2. Automotive Engineering
Automotive engineering is a branch of Mechanical Engineering, incorporating elements of mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering as applied to the design, manufacture and operation of automobiles, buses and trucks and their respective engineering subsystems

3. Biochemical Engineering
Biochemical engineering is a branch of chemical engineering that mainly deals with the design and construction of unit processes that involve biological organisms or molecules. Biochemical engineering is often taught as a supplementary option to chemical engineering due to the similarities in both the background subject curriculum and problem-solving techniques used by both professions. Its applications are used in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and water treatment industries

4. Biomedical Engineering

Biomedical engineering (BME) is the application of engineering principles and techniques to the medical field. It combines the design and problem solving expertise of engineering with the medical expertise of physicians to help improve patient health care and the quality of life of healthy individuals. As a relatively new discipline, much of the work in biomedical engineering consists of research and development, covering an array of fields: bioinformatics, medical imaging, image processing, physiological signal processing, biomechanics, biomaterials and bioengineering, systems analysis, 3-D modeling, etc. Examples of concrete applications of biomedical engineering are the development and manufacture of biocompatible prostheses, medical devices, diagnostic devices and imaging equipment such as MRIs and EEGs, and pharmaceutical drugs.

5. Building Engineering
Building engineering, commonly known as architectural engineering, is an emerging engineering discipline that concerns with the planning, design, construction, operation, renovation, and maintenance of buildings, as well as with their impacts on the surrounding environment. As building construction projects are increasingly large and complex, the discipline requires pertinent knowledge integrated from traditional well-established disciplines.

6. Civil engineering for building structures and foundation
Civil Engineering for building structures and foundations include mechanical engineering for Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning system (HVAC), and for mechanical service systems; Physics for building science, lighting and acoustics. Electrical engineering for power distribution, control, and electrical systems; Chemistry and biology for indoor air quality; Architecture for form, function, building codes and specifications; Economics for project management.

7. Computer Engineering
Computer engineering (also called electronic and computer engineering) is a discipline that combines elements of both electrical engineering and computer science. Computer engineers are electrical engineers that have additional training in the areas of software design and hardware-software integration. In turn, they focus less on power electronics and physics. Computer engineers are involved in many aspects of computing, from the design of individual microprocessors, personal computers, and supercomputers, to circuit design. This engineering discipline is especially useful for integrating embedded systems into devices and machines (for example, several embedded computer systems are used to control and monitor the many subsystems in motor vehicles). Usual tasks involving computer engineers include writing software and firmware for embedded microcontrollers, designing VLSI chips, designing analog sensors, designing mixed signal circuit boards, and designing operating systems. Computer engineers are also suited for robotics research, which relies heavily on using digital systems to control and monitor electrical systems like motors, communications, and sensors.

8. Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is a broad field of engineering dealing with the planning, construction, and maintenance of fixed structures, or public works, as they are related to earth, water, or civilization and their processes. Most civil engineering today deals with power plants, bridges, roads, railways, structures, water supply, irrigation, the natural environment, sewer, flood control, transportation and traffic.

9. Chemical Engineering

Chemical engineering is the branch of engineering that deals with the application of physical science (e.g. chemistry and physics), with mathematics, to the process of converting raw materials or chemicals into more useful or valuable forms. As well as producing useful materials, chemical engineering is also concerned with pioneering valuable new materials and techniques; an important form of research and development. A person employed in this field is called a chemical engineer.
Chemical engineering largely involves barfing and reproducing. Chemical engineers in this branch are usually employed under the title of process engineer. The development of the large-scale processes characteristic of industrialized economies is a feat of chemical engineering, not chemistry. Indeed, chemical engineers are responsible for the availability of the modern high-quality materials that are essential for running an industrial economy.

10. Construction Engineering

Construction engineering concerns the planning and management of the construction of structures such as highways, bridges, airports, railroads, buildings, dams, and reservoirs. Construction of such projects requires knowledge of engineering and management principles and business procedures, economics, and human behavior. Construction engineers engage in the design of structures temporary, cost estimating, planning and scheduling, materials procurement, selection of equipment, and cost control.

11. Control Engineering
Control engineering is the engineering discipline that focuses on mathematical modeling of systems of a diverse nature, analyzing their dynamic behavior, and using control theory to create a controller that will cause the systems to behave in a desired manner.

12. Industrial Engineering

Industrial engineering is a branch of engineering that concerns the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people, knowledge, equipment, energy, material and process. Industrial engineering draws upon the principles and methods of engineering analysis and synthesis, as well as mathematical, physical and social sciences together with the principles and methods of engineering analysis and design to specify, predict and evaluate the results to be obtained from such systems. Industrial engineers work to eliminate wastes of time, money, materials, energy and other resources.

13. Information Technology
Information technology (IT) is the study, design, development, implementation, support or management of computer-based information systems, particularly software applications and computer hardware. In short, IT deals with the use of electronic computers and computer software to convert, store, protect, process, transmit and retrieve information.

14. Instrumentation Engineering

Instrumentation is defined as “the art and science of measurement and control”. Instrumentation can be used to refer to the field in which Instrument technicians and engineers work, or it can refer to the available methods of measurement and control and the instruments which facilitate this.

15. Electrical Engineering
Electrical engineering (sometimes referred to as electrical and electronic engineering) is a semi-professional and professional engineering discipline that deals with the study and/or application of electricity, electronics and electromagnetism. The field first became an identifiable occupation in the late nineteenth century commercialization of the electric telegraph and electrical power supply. The field now covers a range of sub-studies including those that deal with power, electronics, optoelectronics, digital electronics, analog electronics, computer science, artificial intelligence, control systems, electromagnetics, photonics, signal processing and telecommunications.

16. Electronic Engineering

Electronic engineering is a professional discipline that deals with the behavior and effects of electrons (as in electron tubes and transistors) and with electronic devices, systems, or equipment. The term now also covers a large part of electrical engineering degree courses as studied at most universities. Its practitioners are called electronics engineers.

17. Environmental Engineering
Environmental engineering[1][2] is the application of science and engineering principles to improve the environment (air, water, and/or land resources), to provide healthy water, air, and land for human habitation and for other organisms, and to remediate polluted sites. Environmental engineering involves water and air pollution control, recycling, waste disposal, and public health issues. It also includes studies on the environmental impact of proposed construction projects.

18. Geomatic Engineering

19. Manufacturing Engineering

20. Marine Engineering
Marine Engineers are the members of a ship’s crew that operate and maintain the propulsion and other systems onboard the vessel. Marine Engineering staff also deal with the “Hotel” facilities onboard, notably the sewage, lighting, air conditioning and water systems. They deal with bulk fuel transfers, and require training in firefighting and first aid, as well as in dealing with the ship’s boats and other nautical tasks- especially with cargo loading/discharging gear and safety systems, though the specific cargo discharge function remains the responsibility of deck officers and deck workers.

21. Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is an engineering discipline that involves the application of principles of physics for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems. It requires a solid understanding of key concepts including mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics and energy. Practitioners of mechanical engineering, known as mechanical engineers, use these principles and others in the design and analysis of automobiles, aircraft, heating & cooling systems, manufacturing plants, industrial equipment and machinery, and more.

22. Material Engineering
Materials science is an interdisciplinary field involving the properties of matter and its applications to various areas of science and engineering. It includes elements of applied physics and chemistry, as well as chemical, mechanical, civil and electrical engineering. With significant media attention to nanoscience and nanotechnology in the recent years, materials science has been propelled to the forefront at many universities, sometimes controversially.

23. Mechatronic Engineering
Mechatronics is the synergistic combination of mechanical engineering (”mecha” for mechanisms, i.e., machines that ‘move’), electronic engineering (”tronics” for electronics), and software engineering. The purpose of this interdisciplinary engineering field is the study of automata from an engineering perspective and serves the purposes of controlling advanced hybrid systems.

24. Mining Engineering
Mining Engineering is a field that involves many of the other engineering disciplines as applied to extracting and processing minerals from a naturally occurring environment. The need for mineral extraction and production is an essential activity of any technically proficient society. As minerals are produced from within a naturally occurring environment, disturbance of the environment as a result of mineral production is a given. Modern mining engineers must therefore be concerned not only with the production and processing of mineral commodities, but also with the mitigation of damage or changes to an environment as a result of that production and processing.

25. Nuclear Engineering
Nuclear engineering is the practical application of the atomic nucleus gleaned from principles of nuclear physics and the interaction and maintenance of nuclear fission systems and components, specifically, nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants and/or nuclear weapons. The field can also include the study of nuclear fusion, medical applications of radiation, nuclear safety, heat transport, nuclear fuels technology, nuclear proliferation, and the effect of radioactive waste or radioactivity in the environment.

26. Ocean Engineering
Ocean engineering is the branch of engineering concerned with the design, analysis and operation planning of systems that operate in an oceanic environment. Examples of systems range from oil platforms to submarines, from breakwaters to sailboats. Common to all are the conditions of the ocean including waves, seawater, and hydrostatic pressure.

27. Software Engineering
Software engineering is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software. The discipline of software engineering encompasses knowledge, tools, and methods for defining software requirements, and performing software design, software construction, software testing, and software maintenance tasks. Software engineering also draws on knowledge from fields such as computer engineering, computer science, management, mathematics, project management, quality management, software ergonomics, and systems engineering.

28. Systems Engineering
Systems Engineering is an interdisciplinary approach and means for enabling the realization and deployment of successful systems. It can be viewed as the application of engineering techniques to the engineering of systems, as well as the application of a systems approach to engineering efforts. Systems Engineering integrates other disciplines and specialty groups into a team effort, forming a structured development process that proceeds from concept to production to operation and disposal. Systems Engineering considers both the business and the technical needs of all customers, with the goal of providing a quality product that meets the user needs.

29. Aeronautical Engineering / Aerospace Engineering
This course trains an engineer in designing, constructing, analyzing, testing, development and manufacturing of commercial and military aircrafts, missiles, and spacecrafts. Aeronautics focuses on systems that operate in the Earth’s atmosphere and Astronautics on those operating in space. Within each division, your choice of a career path can take you on a journey through widely varying disciplines. Aerospace engineers design, develop, test, and help manufacture commercial and military aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft. They develop new technologies in commercial aviation, defense systems, and space exploration.

Specialization: The bachelor’s degree programme offers curriculum covering fundamentals of propulsion, electronics, automatic control guidance, theory of aerodynamics, structural analysis, materials science, and fluid dynamics.

Educational Attainment:
BE / B. Tech in aeronautical Engineering -Postgraduate program in aeronautical engineering for B.Sc students
- B.Tech and Ph.D. program in aeronautical Engineering
- Associate membership program conducted by Aeronautical Society of India (ASI).
- It is possible to take a degree in Physics or electronics to work in this area and leave more option open.

Employment opportunity in Aerospace / Aeronautical engineering:

Companies and government agencies in the aeronautics field employ a broad range of professionals. Chiefly these are aerospace, mechanical, and electrical engineers, but they also include engineers, scientists, and technicians from a variety of specialties. Among the specific disciplines employed by the aeronautics industry are aerodynamics and fluid dynamics; propulsion, guidance, navigation and control; aircraft structures and materials; mechanical design, electronics (including radar) weapons systems and flight control; communications; systems engineering; software engineering; and computer engineering. Four major divisions exist in the Aeronautics side of the Aerospace Industry: military aircraft, civilian aircraft, aircraft engines, and missile systems. Following are the few places these engineers can look forward for their employment.

Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, DRDO, Air India, Indian Airlines, ISRO. There are limited opportunities in this branch, therefore a large number take Research and development areas in Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Civil Aviation, Defense Laboratories or Civil Aviation departments.

o Agriculture Engineering
o Automobile Engineering
o Biomedical Engineering
o Chemical Engineering
o Civil Engineering
o Ceramic Engineering
o Electrical and Electronics Engineering
o Energy Engineering
o Environmental Engineering
o Industrial Engineering
o Marine Engineering
o Mechanical Engineering
o Micro Electronics Engineering
o Mining Engineering
o Nuclear Engineering
o Physics Engineering
o Telecommunication Engineering
o Textile Engineering

17 March, 2009

Publicising Your School – By David Medgett

Book Review

Publicising Your School is the essential guide for school managers, teachers and administrators who care about presenting the image of the school or a department effectively in the community.

It is a practical, working book, packed with examples, illustrations and checklists to help the reader to understand and use a wide range of media and techniques with the best results.

It is suitable for beginners and experienced publicists, starting with basic definitions and building to a complete promotional package for school activities that need greater publicity.

It covers:

o Raising the profile of the school
o Creating pride in the school
o Defusing and explaining bad news
o How to work with people in the media
o Preparing for media interviews
o Appointing a publicity officer
o Improving the environment
o Open days
o School publication, badges, letterheads and logos
o Planning, advertising and staging popular school events
o Working with the community
o A ready-made outline publicity strategy

Publicising Your School is a invaluable as a step-by-step guide to a coherent publicity strategy to enhance the image of the school as a whole, a reference handbook to specific techniques for particular purposes, and an instruction manual for campaigns for special events.

To buy online, log on to ‘Publicising Your School’.


By Dr. Glen W. Probst

There are many characteristics, techniques, etc. that make for a successful teacher. These may be as varied as the teachers themselves. However, there are certain time-tested attributes, characteristics, and practices which contribute immensely to teacher success. The following list contains items that students have used to describe their best teachers.

1. Enthusiasm
o Students can feel the excitement
o Students easily detect the teacher’s love for job and subject
2. Preparation
o Teacher knows the subject
o Teacher plans and prepares lessons daily
3. Punctuality
o Always arrives on time
o Begins and ends class on time
o Expects and encourages students to arrive on time
4. Support and concern for students
o Lets students know that he/she cares about their success
o Takes time with students
o Allows for creativity
o Is friendly and courteous
o Is supportive and encouraging
o Is smiling, caring and loving
5. Consistency
o Does not miss class
o Is consistent in attitude and dealings with students
o Is always well prepared to teach class
6. Politeness
o Treats students with respect
o Does not condescend
o Avoids embarrassing students in class
7. Firmness and control
o Is firm in a kind manner
o Avoids tangents in teaching
8. Does not play favorites

9. Provides personal help
o Takes time to explain concept
o Gives individual attention
10. Accepts individual differences

11. Employs an effective delivery
o Clarifies for understanding
o Creates a sense of fun with the learning task
o Eliminates bad, irritating and/or distracting habits
12. Does not make students lose face
o Avoids criticizing students
13. Has high expectations of class members

14. Is humble

15. Is fair

16. Uses variety

o Uses a variety of learning activities
o Experiments
o Allows for spontaneity
17. Has a sense of humor; is relaxed

18. Use of engaged time
o Sets a good pace and provides for a change of pace
o Avoids engaging students in “busy work”
19. Use of text
o Is not a slave to the text
o Uses text as a road map
20. Keeps within 1-2 days of the scheduled course outline

21. Field trips and other activities
o Applies student experiences to classwork
22. Does not always teach from a sitting or leaning position

23. Interpersonal relationships with students
o Does not allow students to call him/her by first name
o Does not try to win a popularity contest
o Maintains a healthy teacher-student relationship
o Respects students (remember that sometimes what you think is healthy, fun joking with students may be interpreted by them as disapproval and dislike.)
24. Does not allow one or two students to monopolize or dominate the class

25. Keeps accurate records of

o Work completed
o Attendance
o Test results
o Grades

Additional Suggestions
1. Provide for activity changes — perhaps something not on the lesson plan; for example, scrabble, hangman, pictionary.
2. Be somewhat unpredictable — Students will not know what comes next. Keep students in some suspense.
3. Variety — In teaching, variety provides for renewed interest in the subject matter. Use variety in how you have students work together. Do not always pair the same ones together. Provide for a variety of learning activities. Some suggestions are:
o Assignments
o Brainstorming
o Buzz sessions
o General discussion
o Panel discussion
o Problem-solving discussion
o Music
o Instructional games
o Questioning and quizzes
o Reports and talks
o Role playing
o Worksheets
o Demonstrations
o Dramas
o Storytelling
o General chalkboard use
o Chalkboard illustrations
o Charts and maps
o Displays and mobiles
o Filmstrips
o Flannelboard
o Flashcards
o Motion pictures
o Opaque projections
o Overhead transparency projections
o Pictures, posters
o Tape recordings
o Video tape recordings
o Videodisk recordings
o Videotaping class presentations or activities
o Guest appearances
o Combined activities with another class.
4. Instant Involvement — Create a variety of instant involvement techniques that can be used to capture students attention for what will be presented.
5. Give eye-to-eye contact.
6. Change teaching style for variety.
7. Pace — A change of pace is refreshing and helps students re-enter the learning process.
8. Change of setting — At appropriate times it is stimulating and interesting to meet in a different location or setting for a specific learning task.

Submitted by : Bindu Sharma



Science courses are becoming difficult not only due to conceptually difficult content but also due to our formal and didactic approach of teaching science. This process of teaching and learning of Science doesn’t fascinate the students and hence learning of science becomes only a tool to get a descent looking job. To make physics understandable perceivable and enjoyable I have make use of technology. My presentation ‘Total Internal Reflection’ explains the basic concepts of the phenomenon and its application in daily life with the help of PowerPoint presentation and the teaching aids. Slides were prepared with the help of animation to explain the phenomenon and its application. For making the concepts of physics understandable to students the teaching aids were also designed by the available resources and used to explain the phenomenon.

Keywords: Power point presentation, animations, teaching aids, Application in real life.

Science plays an ever increasing role in the modern civilization. It is our primary duty to see that every individual should have at least an elementary knowledge of the scientific principles involved in every day life.

The national policy on education, 1986 has given due emphasis on child centered education and inculcation of scientific temper in students. Scientific temper in pupil is inculcated by experimental work in science. He gets an opportunity to handle scientific apparatus/equipment skillfully and understand principle/concepts/processes of science. The learning through demonstration also provides first hand direct experience and can arouse curiosity and interest in children. As the Chinese proverb say:

“I read, I forget it.
I see, I remember it.
But when I do things, I understand.”

The philosophy underlying the learning of science through fun is directed towards a greater participation of children in active learning experiences in the classroom and outside. Discovery, purposeful activity and environment are the three basic elements of new teaching method.

Activity should be developed utilizing local resources in such way that children perform the experiment themselves.

Science courses are becoming difficult not only due to conceptually difficult content but also due to our formal and didactic approach of teaching science. Therefore science teaching should be:

1. through understanding.
2. Life oriented.
3. Lectured-cum-demonstration and activity oriented.
4. made interesting through use of local resources.

Science can thus also help in giving pupils the social education. Thus for flexible science teaching aid is essential to:

1. Involve pupils in science.
2. Help them to think about science.
3. Stimulate their participation.

Science and specially physics is being taught since years and decades only through chalk and talk. Science education has reduced to transferring some formulae, equations and statements from the teacher’s lecture notes to the student’s notebooks via the blackboard without affecting either of the brains. This process of teaching and learning of Science doesn’t fascinate the students and hence learning of science becomes only a tool to get a descent looking job.

To make physics understandable, perceivable and enjoyable. I am trying to bring in innovations in teaching such as demonstrations experiments during the classroom teaching by designing low cost teaching aids and by using computer (Media) as technological aids.

As making teaching aids is an emotionally, intellectually, aesthetically and professionally rewarding experience .It is an act of creation. It is an affirmation-an affirmation that I as a teacher care about the pupils and believe that, with the help of these learning aids they can learn. It is an act of love.

Teaching aids provide a stimulus for exploration and thinking. With the added input of verbal, personal communication with an adult interaction and discussion arise…. And these are crucial to real, activity based learning. Adults and older children, help younger ones to interpret sensory and language experiences to clarify them and relate them to their previous understandings. Children that learn by blending language with experiences, they learn to think.

For maximum mental growth and personality development, a child’s life needs to be filled with stimulating, encouraging experiences. Appropriate learning materials (teaching aids) help children to develop their innate abilities.

A classroom consists of heterogeneous ground, where they differ in their intellectual ability to abstract, generalize, reason and remember. In that sense every child is unique and has unique ways of learning as a result a teacher has to adapt different methodology in order to create understanding among all children in a class.

As teachers, we have a wealth of information from which to choose for our classrooms. We can now bring history into the classroom through pictures, music and other visuals to a degree never before possible. We can communicate with students from other countries, and we can take classes from teachers we have never met in places we have never been. We can apply the physics from classroom to simulations available to us through the internet, and we can develop projects across grade levels and campuses. Students are no longer limited by the walls of a classroom or the knowledge of a single text book. The world is available to most classrooms, even when students do not have their own computers.

We can bring media into the classroom through visuals, sounds, smells and tastes. Because our brains rely heavily on stimulus from the outside for learning, this is just one of the reasons that teaching with media is brain friendly. In addition, we should bring technology to the classroom because
• Technology is not limited by the classroom walls
• Technology does not know or care what the student’s socioeconomic status may be, and thus helps to level the playing field for these students.
• Technology provides an equal opportunity for every one to learn.
• Technology is more in tune with the way our students learn today.
• Technology is so much a part of the real world that to limit its use in the classroom is to limit our student’s ability to compete in the world.


Most researchers define brain compatible learning as learning that occurs:
• Using modalities that are most comfortable for the learner. For example, most learners are either visual or kinesthetic, thus a brain-friendly environment will lean heavily on teaching methods that include visuals, models, or hand-on-activities.
• In an environment that is positive and friendly and incorporates high expectations for everyone.
• In a classroom that utilizes research-based methods for teaching and learning.
• In a classroom that provides a variety of opportunities for learning.
• In a classroom that is flexible in terms of time, resources and structures. For example, if something is not working, the problem is identified, diagnosed and fixed rather than just moving on. If students need more time to learn, more time is given rather than sticking to a fixed timetable, regardless of the quality of the learning.
• In a classroom where quality is important and students are given rubrics or matrices that tell them in advance what is expected.
• In a classroom where standards are used and where students know the expectations. The students are provided opportunities to review their work in terms of given standards so that they know at all times where they stand.
• When specific feedback is given consistently and frequently. Just saying “Good job” is not enough.

We are being encouraged to use brain based strategies in our classrooms: one of the best ways to do so is through the use of media in the teaching/learning processes.


About 98% of all incoming information to the brain comes through the senses. Add to that the fact that over 87% of the learners in the classroom prefer to learn by visual and tactile means and you have a recipe for failure if the primary methods of teaching are auditory. In Growing up Digital (1998), Don Tapscott said that this generation prefers to be active participants in all that they do.


According to Jensen (1997), interactive abstract learning that includes the use of various media such as CD-ROMs, the internet, distance learning: or virtual reality utilizes the categorical memory and requires little intrinsic motivation. Although traditional forms of education receive the greatest amount of the education dollars, they require a great deal of intrinsic motivation to be effective.

Students must struggle to make the traditional type of learning work, since it is outside the context of its meaning.


We know that most of the discipline problems in the classroom are caused by such factors as boredom, not understanding the relevance of the information, and incorrect modalities for learning.

We also know that over 87% of the students in any given classroom are visual learners. Students who enter our classrooms have been a part of a multimedia world since birth. Students today we able to insert videos or DVDs of children’s programs into the appropriate devices for viewing from the time that they were three years old .If they want to know something, they search the internet. It should not be surprising to us that these same students have difficulty sitting all day in classrooms that rely on low technology, such as overheads, whiteboards, lectures and note taking, as the major sources of information gathering. For the majority of students, who are visual, just hearing the information is not enough, they need to see it and to experience it. We lament the fact that students do so poorly in mathematics and yet we teach this subject primarily by lecture and homework (i.e. drill and practice). If we can find ways to help these students see how the math works and how it is applied to the real world, we are more likely to have better math students. Media can help us get there quickly.


There are so many great websites that encourage and teach higher level thinking that we do an injustice to our students if we do not lead them there. Using media is the key to moving students to higher –level thinking. Our students are already familiar with using the Internet and many of the software programs required to reach such higher-level thinking skills as creativity, problem- solving, comparison and contrast and evaluation. We need to lead them to the best of the best in term of media and to provide feedback as they work. Real world applications, such as the physics software that explores how to design amusement park rides utilizing g-forces without damaging the body, are exciting and fun, but they also lead students into problem solving and decision making.

To make physics understandable perceivable and enjoyable, I am delivered my lessons by using technology also, in the form of power point slide show or by using internet .I incorporated technology in my day to day teaching process to create a conducive pro-technology environment in the class . At last I also want to share my experience with you. While teaching with technological aided lesson, I found that the students were very attentively listening and observing the lesson .Their face were smiling with the satisfaction. So, teaching through technology is indeed an effective method to engage the classroom as they relate to it with interest.

References & Acknowledgements:

1. Low- cost, No-cost Teaching Aids by Mary Ann Dasgupta
2. What every teacher should know about Media and Technology by Donna walker

Managing and Maintaining Learning Culture and Environment among Teachers at Schools and Colleges

By C. Radhakrishnan

One of the prime roles of education leaders at schools and colleges for assuring quality service is managing and maintaining self learning culture and environment among teachers. Once this is achieved, naturally students will emulate the teachers and it will be very easy for developing learning culture among the students.

Learning Culture:

Let’s understand first what is learning culture? Learning culture is referred to as an environment in which opportunities for learning are openly valued and supported and are built, where possible, into all activities. The various strategies that help in developing an excellent learning culture among the faculty are:
1. Find out your own learning needs and update yourself to be a ‘leader role model’ for teachers under you.
2. Encourage teachers to identify their own learning needs.
3. Provide a regular review of performance and learning for teachers.
4. Encourage teachers to set challenging learning goals for themselves.
5. Encourage teachers to join new courses to upgrade their qualification.
6. Provide feedback on both performance and achieved learning.
7. Review the performance of department heads and senior teachers in helping to develop junior faculty.
8. Assist the teachers to find learning opportunities on the job.
9. Provide new experiences from which teachers can learn.
10. Encourage teachers to visit reputed institutions and observe their teaching-learning process.
11. Facilitate in-service orientation training programmes on teaching to update, adapt and sharpen their skills.
12. Tolerate some mistakes, provided teachers try to learn from them.
13. Encourage teachers to review, conclude, and plan learning activities.
14. Encourage teachers to challenge the traditional way of teaching.
15. Encourage teachers to take part in regional, national and international level seminars and competitions.
16. Finally, develop a proper system of performance assessment and reward suitably the deserving ones.

Learning Environment:
The learning environment includes, but is not limited to, academic buildings, residence halls, sports facilities, the campus environment, and the co curricular activities and events.
A positive environment in which teachers learn is influenced by a number of factors. Look at the diagram given below.

(Source: Mumford, Alan, ‘Effective Learning’ - Range of Influence on a Learner, Page 54.)

Let’s see what role education leaders at schools and colleges play in creating an excellent learning environment. Some of their roles are:

1. Role Model:
Leaders need to be role models by explicitly demonstrating their behaviour and actions that they are enthusiastic learners/developers themselves.
2. Facilitator: Leaders need to be conscious and generous providers of learning/development opportunities for other people and active supporters/encouragers whenever those opportunities are taken up.
3. System: You as a leader need to build learning into the system so that it is integrated with day to day work processes and is firmly on the conscious agenda.
4. Champion: As a leader you need to champion the importance of learning in other parts of the organisation and the organisation as a whole.

To bring in sustainable quality in our educational services it is the duty of each and every educator to see that we are updating, adapting and changing according to the pace of the modern technological era in the 21st century. When we talk about quality we should always visualise a world after ten or fifteen years and we should put sincere efforts to educate the children under our care according to their needs not for today’s world but for the future world. I firmly believe that it is high time for all educators and policy makers to come together and reach a consensus on how a better critical thinking learning culture and environment can be developed and sustained in our educational institutions among teachers and students. If we ignore this issue today the future generation is going to suffer and they won’t pardon us. So let’s take it as a challenge to redefine our educational process and commit ourselves for creating an enjoyable and fun oriented educational system based on critical thinking.

Print & Online References:
1. Munford, Alan (2000); “Effective Learning”; Universities Press, Hyderabad - High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.

2. Beard, Colin & Wilson, P John (2007); “Experiential Learning”; Kogan Page India, New Delhi - High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.

3. Honey, Peter & Munford, Alan (1995); ‘Managing your Learning Environment’; Honey – High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.

4. www.teach-nology.com/glossary/terms/l/

5. edc.appstate.edu/equity/issues/definition_of_terms.html

12 March, 2009

Are you a critical thinker?

Quality thought is vital. So why don’t schools foster it?

By Linda Elder

Dillon Beach, Calif. - How can we hope to thoughtfully address the economic issues, conflicts, world poverty, and many other pressing concerns that trouble our planet, if we don't take the way we think seriously?

We can't. To effectively deal with these issues, we must cultivate the spirit of critical thinking throughout human societies.

Right now we are not even teaching the skills and dispositions of the critical mind in our schools. We are not cultivating the intellect.

Everyone thinks; but we don't always think well. In fact, much of our thinking, left to itself, is sloppy, distorted, partial, uninformed, or prejudiced. Yet the quality of our life and all of the decisions we make depend precisely on the quality of our thought. At present, the act of thinking is virtually ignored.

Critical thinking is self-guided, self-disciplined thinking that aims to take the reasoning we all do naturally to a higher level. It is the art of analyzing and evaluating with the goal of improving thought. When making a decision, it is the difference between weighing information to come to a logical conclusion and making snap judgments without understanding the information.

Consider some of the great thinkers: H.L. Mencken, Tom Paine, Mark Twain, Abraham Lincoln, Bertrand Russell, and Jane Austen. They became some of the greatest thinkers by not accepting information at face value, but by thinking deeply for themselves, asking questions, and refining their thinking over time. It wasn't easy. Of his own thinking, Charles Darwin said: "I have as much difficulty as ever in expressing myself clearly and concisely; and this difficulty has caused me a very great loss of time, but it has had the compensating advantage of forcing me to think long and intently about every sentence, and thus I have been led to see errors in reasoning and in my own observations or those of others."

His diligence paid off. Darwin's critical thinking pushed the boundaries of science and society. And isn't the purpose of education to give students the tools to thoughtfully contribute (on a small or large scale) to society? Right now we are not doing that. With few exceptions, we are not teaching them how to fully and deeply comprehend what they read or write with clarity, precision, and purpose. We are not teaching students to integrate ideas within and among subjects. We are not teaching them to entertain (in good faith) viewpoints with which with they disagree.

We are failing them at the most fundamental level.

Some believe that critical thinking was once cultivated in schooling. But it is fair to ask if it has ever really been fostered in a meaningful way in mainstream schooling (and the standardized testing movement is only making it worse). Teachers, like students, live in a nonintellectual culture, one that, for the most part, neither values fair-minded critical thinking nor encourages it.

If we want to effectively deal with the tremendous problems we now face, we must begin teaching students to discipline their own thinking. Teachers must move beyond rote and merely active engagement, and work toward transforming how students reason through complex issues, to look beyond easy answers.

We must teach students that the only way to learn a subject or discipline is to learn to think within the logic of it, to focus on its purposes, questions, information, to think within its concepts and assumptions.

It is true that some students learn some critical thinking implicitly along the way. But, as is evident in the dismal state of affairs, our collective thinking simply isn't good enough.

There is some good news. Many global organizations such as the Peace Corps, UNICEF, and Amnesty International are promoting critical thinking within a particular area of importance. As part of their reaccreditations, the University of Louisville and Eastern Kentucky University are both making concerted efforts to bring critical thinking across the curriculum. But much work is still needed. William Graham Sumner, the Yale academic and essayist may have put it best when, in 1906, he said:

"The critical habit of thought, if usual in society, will pervade its entire mores, because it is a way of taking up the problems of life. Men educated in it cannot be stampeded by stump orators.... They can wait for evidence and weigh evidence, uninfluenced by the emphasis or confidence with which assertions are made on one side or the other. They can resist appeals to their dearest prejudices and all kinds of cajolery. Education in the critical faculty is the only education of which it can be truly said that it makes good citizens."

His warning resonates today. Though there is no quick and easy fix, we can all start by beginning to think about how we think. We can question our purposes, our assumptions, our ideas, and our inferences. We can question whether we are considering the views of others to understand them, or to dismiss them. We can open our minds to the larger world with all of its complexities. If we are to reverse the downward spiral we are presently experiencing, we must begin to actively and deliberately foster fair-minded critical thinking in our schools, our homes, our social institutions, in government, and indeed, in every part of human life.

Linda Elder is the president of the Foundation for Critical Thinking, an education nonprofit organization concerned with fostering fair-minded critical societies. She is an educational psychologist who has co-written four books on critical thinking and 20 thinker's guides.

10 March, 2009

Dr. Benjamin Bloom and His Idea behind Taxonomy

By C. Radhakrishnan

Many teachers approach learning from different angles. But having a good knowledge of how Bloom's Taxonomy of Learning describes and expands on the learning domain approach is important for today's teacher.

First created in 1956, by Dr. Benjamin Bloom, the concept was created for academic learning in the beginning, but it is easily adapted for all different kinds of learning. His first raid into the subject was called "Taxonomy of Education and Objectives" and was started by Dr. Bloom in 1948.

The basic model for Dr. Bloom's system is made up of three distinct parts. He refers to them in domains, and sometimes these three parts overlap. Dr. Bloom is an academician, and he uses language that is found in the academic world, but it is not too difficult to understand for the average person.

Dr. Bloom's system is made up of three parts or domains:

Cognitive- This is the part or domain that involves the mind and the intellect. It deals with thinking, knowledge and the ability of a person in intellectual pursuits.

Affective- This is the part that deals with a person and how they act and feel. Emotions and feelings, and different behaviours such as a person's individual attitude are characteristic of this domain.

Psychomotor - This deals with the physical realm, manual skills, actions and physical skills.

Dr. Bloom’s Taxonomy is based on the principle that each of these three domains are arranged in order of the difficulty in which they exist. According to Dr. Bloom each different domain has to be conquered, or "mastered" before a person can move on to the next one.

Each of the domains involved has categories and levels within it. Each domain has the following categories and as you go higher and higher in the ladder the difficulty level increases.




Each domain is set up in this sort of structure. It is in a matrix format, which allows a person to set up a template, or a checklist.

In most cases, as a learner continues along the path of learning, he/she should realise a positive effect or benefit from each of these elements, usually in order:

Domain: Cognitive- Intellect and development of ones Knowledge
Domain: Affective- The beliefs and various attitudes in learning for a person
Domain: Psychomotor- Putting bodily and physical skill into action.

Teachers can use Bloom's Taxonomy to help design and set up different elements of what they are trying to teach. This method lends itself to a lot of different type of teaching structures.

When he created his Taxonomy, Dr. Bloom was aiming at creating a further understanding of education of an academic nature, but it is also transferable to other types and categories of learning. In the beginning, Dr. Bloom thought that Education in itself should have a primary focus on "Mastery" of different topics and concepts. He also felt education should be self-promoting, and lead to a gradual increase to higher kinds of learning and thinking.

He did not want learning to be merely by rote approach, to simply have facts transferred back and forth in a utilitarian manner.

Dr. Bloom illustrated in his research years ago that a lot of teaching as we know, tends to be trained on recalling information, and transferring facts. He accurately pointed out that such learning is located at the lowest rung of the training level.

In his research Dr. Bloom points out that true learning is coupled with personal development in a meaningful manner. This is a huge challenge for teachers, and remains a central issue to overcome in approaching teaching.

Don't be frightened by the Fancy Terms:
Dr. Bloom and his research, his design of Domains appears to the outsider as something terribly complex. A lot of this can be traced to language.

At the simplest level, his terms can be boiled down to the following.

Taxonomy just means "a group of principles for classification or definition" Taxonomy can also be construed even more simply in one word: Structure. As for the term Domain it just means type or category.
The model that Dr. Bloom set up in his Taxonomy is a fairly logical one. It has elements that can be adapted to the classroom, in setting up lesson plans that are a scaffold for different levels and in learning how to apply various educational standards and objectives. It is also one method to help define and judge the outcome of learning in the classroom

In its Simplest Terms, Dr. Bloom's Taxonomy can be very simply summed up in a few sentences, ones that might be easier to help understand his model:
The Taxonomy model is a form of a defined checklist, and it helps design, assess, evaluate, and plan.

In the classroom, if you are aware and have a basic grasp of each of the three domains: Affective, Cognitive, and Psychomotor, and if you can see how each relates to elements of your teaching, then you will be able to use his model as tools to create effective learning. Dr. Bloom's work is helpful in not only in designing and constructing your lessons; it is also very effective in helping to figure out, if what you are teaching is getting through.

The Taxonomy model of Dr. Bloom is helpful as an assessment tool, and can be used to assess individual parts of a lesson plan, the progress of different students in a class or program, or to simply develop a successful lesson into a template to use again.

Online References:

1. http://www.skagitwatershed.org/~donclark/hrd/bloom.html
2. http://www.businessballs.com/bloomstaxonomyoflearningdomains.htm
3. http://www.humboldt.edu/~tha1/bloomtax.html
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloom%27s_Taxonomy
5. http://academic.udayton.edu/health/syllabi/health/unit01/lesson01b.htm

Informal Learning Opportunities

By C. Radhakrishnan

Learning is the process of acquiring knowledge, attitudes, or skills from study, instruction, or experience. Learning can’t be connected only with school education or what we acquire through reading books. To be a good learner it is very essential to develop:
• A learning culture: an environment in which opportunities for learning are openly valued and supported and are built, where possible, into all activities.
• Habit of lifelong learning: the process of acquiring knowledge or skills throughout life via education, training, work and general life experiences.

In our day to day life there are plenty of informal learning opportunities. But knowingly or unknowingly we miss many of these opportunities. My objective here is just to introduce every one to different informal learning opportunities. The learning opportunities mentioned below are applicable to students, professionals and all others interested in being life long learners. These are not identified in advance through a plan or scheme, but which you might be able to use.

• Analysing mistakes: Some people learn best by studying their mistakes and overcome them. The person analyzing his mistakes can correct himself and learn to do things in a better way in future.

• Attending Conferences or Seminars: This is an excellent opportunity to interact and share experiences with people coming from different backgrounds and environments.

• Being Coached or Counselled: Through coaching or counselling you get an opportunity to understand and sharpen your skills. It also provides a chance to update and adapt new changes into your life.

• Being Mentored:
You should be very lucky to get a wise and trusted guide and advisor. In this process a more experienced person helps a less experienced person, develop in a specified capacity.

• Budgeting:
Here you get a chance to learn how to prioritise and manage our unlimited needs with limited means.

• Championing or Managing Changes: In the globalised-digital world changes take place every fraction of a second. So each moment in our life can be considered as a learning opportunity. Those who exploit these changes will become real leaders of the 21st century in their chosen field of work.

• Holidays and Outings:
Holidays provide you time to introspect and to find and make necessary changes in your way of living and working. Outings give you chance to expose yourself with the new environment and learn from others through observation and interaction. It’s a wonderful opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills by making friendship with new people you come across.

• Dealing with Colleagues, Subordinates, Peers and Boss: Each and every moment you interact and deal with these people you get plenty of opportunities to develop and improve your interpersonal, intrapersonal, linguistic and cognitive skills.

• Domestic life and Family Tasks: A person who succeeds in domestic life and satisfies all family tasks can surely be a great success in his chosen work. In our family life we perform almost all kinds of duties and responsibilities and we get lot of experiential learning opportunities to be a successful person.

• Giving a presentation:
Many people are generally averse to take up this kind of opportunity at the work place. But once you decide to exploit such opportunities your chance for experiential learning is manifold.

• Interviewing: Here you get a chance to interact with someone who is an expert in a particular field. Surely his/her words and actions will give the interviewer a lot of opportunities to understand how people manage and react to different circumstances and reach greater heights in life.

• Job Change in a New Function or within Same Function or Same Job with Additional Responsibilities:
Here you are getting an opportunity to learn and adapt to a new situation.

• Job Rotation: If this is the practice in your work place, opportunities for learning and growth are beyond imagination. Whenever you are shifted from one job or function to another you are provided with a chance to learn new things.

• Making Decisions: It’s an opportunity to develop your skills in foreseeing and analysing the pros and cons of an action.

• Meeting, Negotiating and Networking: All these, if utilised in the right spirit can provide you diverse opportunities to learn and sharpen your interpersonal, intrapersonal and linguistic skills and make you greatly successful in your career.

• Performance Appraisals:
This is a time when you can learn how people work in different environments, conditions and pressure situations. By analysing that, you can make necessary changes in your style of leading your subordinates.

• Project Work: Getting involved in a project work is also another great chance to learn a lot of new things and experiment your ideas. When we physically execute ideas that we have in mind, we will understand the practical issues connected with it and we will be able to make necessary changes.

• Print and Visual Media:
Reading habits can take you to new horizons of experience and learning that no one can imagine. The media helps you to update yourself on current events, culture and way of living and even your written and spoken language. These aspects are vital to an individual’s growth and survival in the present context of globalisation.

This list is not complete because the informal learning opportunities that we all receive every moment in our life are innumerable. What else?

Note the additional learning opportunities below and whenever you come across such opportunities grab it and march on to the peak of success, to the roof of the world.

Print and Online References:

1. Beard, Colin & Wilson, P John (2007); “Experiential Learning”; Kogan Page India, New Delhi - High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.
2. Munford, Alan (2000); “Effective Learning”; Universities Press, Hyderabad - High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.
3. Kyriacou, Chris (2005); “Essential Teaching Skills”; Nelson Thornes Ltd, UK – High Range School Library, TTL, Mattupatti.
4. http://www.dest.gov.au/
5. http://en.wikipedia.org

Forming a Learning Culture

By Archna Sharma

The single greatest predictor of impact is what we call the organization?s learning culture, a broad set of practices that embed learning into teaching processes, faculty behaviours and organizational reward systems.. With learning now taking place everywhere - formally, informally, through social networks and on-demand - an organization?s ability to support and encourage learning drives best results.

Research says that the single biggest driver of impact for much of its professional development is the continual reinforcement of training by management and others. We also find that R &D professionals play a pivotal role in building, supporting and enhancing a school?s learning culture. Therefore, it’s important to think beyond learning programs and consider enterprise learning in a broader context.

Today’s learning organization must focus heavily on the development of talent-driven learning programs that integrate with talent management strategies. Leadership development, career development programs and integration with performance management are critical best practices. Investments in these areas are crucial because many companies are talent-constrained by teachers? turnover, gaps in the leadership pipeline and the influx of younger workers.

Informal and collaborative learning have become as important as formal learning. Communities of practice, coaching, content authored by subject matter experts and on-demand learning are some of the biggest drivers of organizational impact. Such approaches also match the learning styles of young workers.

All learning organizations must have a core expertise in e-learning. Today, much of our corporate work experience is dependent on electronic content. E-mail, audio, video, mobile devices, web casting, messaging, portals, search engines and social networks make up a huge part of almost every professional?s life. The high-impact processes identified in this research involve not only content development, but skills in information architecture, creation of content standards and implementation of processes for content reuse. Today’s modern learning organization understands how to build context, not just content.

The disciplines of planning, governance, measurement and leadership continue to be tremendously important. While not all organizations can justify the role of a chief learning officer, learning must have a leader. This leader must ensure learning is integrated with the organization?s talent management strategies and aligned with curriculum planning processes. Steering committees that represent the federated learning organization also are mandatory.

Globalization has become one of the top focus areas of high-impact learning. Just a few years ago, only large corporations were focused on this topic. Now, companies of all sizes have global employees, customers and partners demanding a new set of disciplines and expertise in global program development and delivery.

This research clearly shows that modern learning organizations drive impact in new and exciting ways. As learning leaders and professionals, we must continuously understand how changes in technology, demographics, business and organizational structures affect high-impact best practices. We hope these findings help you set your priorities and establish investments that drive the greatest possible impact in the coming years.

We all are convinced that quality education requires well qualified teachers. The development of teachers? performance is inconceivable without appropriate in-service training. The teachers have to adapt to learn to adopt new pedagogical programmes, to develop new curricula, quality assurance systems etc. These activities must be learnt in the framework of continuous training. The organisations that best cope and adapt to change will drive the highest value.

08 March, 2009

Understanding Quality Education

By C. Radhakrishnan

The goal of achieving universal primary education has been on the international agenda since the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirmed, in 1948, that elementary education was to be made freely and compulsorily available for all children in all nations. Upholding this principle, our constitution makers also made free and compulsory elementary education as one of the major features of the constitution. However, most of these declarations and commitments are silent about the quality of education to be provided. Even people, who heavily invest to start modern educational institutions, sometimes forget the need for quality. Education without quality is meaningless and useless.

Why Focus on Quality?

The achievement of universal education will be primarily dependent upon the quality of education available. For example, how well students are taught and how much they learn, can have a vital impact on how long they stay in school and how regularly they attend. Furthermore, whether parents send their children to school at all is likely to depend on judgements they make about the quality of teaching and learning provided – upon whether attending school is worth the time and cost for their children and for themselves. Schools help children develop creatively and emotionally and acquire the skills, knowledge, values and attitudes necessary for responsible, active and productive citizenship. How well education achieves these outcomes is important to those who use it. This aspect is a major area to be focused by edupreneurs, who invest a lot of money in starting high-fi schools. Merely filling spaces called ‘schools’ with world class infrastructure and facilities would not address even basic objectives if no real education occurred. Accordingly, edupreneurs, educators and policy makers alike should also find the issue of quality difficult to ignore.

Two Key Elements of Quality Education:

1. Cognitive development is identified as a major explicit objective of all education systems. If quality is defined in terms of cognitive achievement, ways of securing increased quality are neither clear-cut nor universal.
2. Education’s role lies in encouraging learners’ creative and emotional development, in supporting objectives of peace, citizenship and security, in promoting equality and in passing global and local cultural values down to future generations. Compared with cognitive development, the extent to which they are achieved is difficult to determine.

Evolution and Different View Points of Quality in Education:

1. The evolution of UNESCO’s conceptualization of quality:

One of UNESCO’s first position statements on quality in education appeared in ‘Learning to Be: The World of Education Today and Tomorrow’, the report of the International Commission on the Development of Education chaired by the former French minister Edgar Faure. The commission identified the fundamental goal of social change as the eradication of inequality and the establishment of an equitable democracy. Consequently, it reported, ‘the aim and content of education must be recreated, to allow both for the new features of society and the new features of democracy’. The notions of ‘lifelong learning’ and ‘relevance’, it noted, were particularly important. The Report strongly emphasized science and technology as well. Improving the quality of education, it stated, would require systems in which the principles of scientific development and modernisation could be learned in ways that respected learners’ socio-cultural contexts.

More than two decades later came ‘Learning: The Treasure Within’, Report to UNESCO of the International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century, chaired by another French statesman, Jacques Delors. This commission saw education throughout life as based upon four pillars:

• Learning to know acknowledges that learners build their own knowledge daily, combining indigenous and ‘external’ elements.
• Learning to do focuses on the practical application of what is learned.
• Learning to live together addresses the critical skills for a life free from discrimination, where all have equal opportunity to develop themselves, their families and their communities.
• Learning to be emphasizes the skills needed for individuals to develop their full potential.

This conceptualization of education provided an integrated and comprehensive view of learning and, therefore, of what constitutes education quality.

The importance of good quality education was firmly reaffirmed as a priority for UNESCO at a Ministerial Round Table on Quality of Education, held in Paris in 2003.

UNESCO promotes access to good-quality education as a human right and supports a rights-based approach to all educational activities. Within this approach, learning is perceived to be affected at two levels. At the level of the learner, education needs to seek out and acknowledge learners’ prior knowledge, to recognize formal and informal modes, to practise non-discrimination and to provide a safe and supportive learning environment. At the level of the learning system, a support structure is needed to implement policies, enact legislation, and distribute resources and measure learning outcomes, so as to have the best possible impact on learning for all.

The aims of education, from the Convention on the Rights of the Child, Article 29 (1) - States Parties agree that the education of the child shall be directed to:
(a) The development of the child’s personality, talents and mental and physical abilities to their fullest potential;
(b) The development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and for the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations;
(c) The development of respect for the child’s parents, his or her own cultural identity, language and values, for the national values of the country in which the child is living, the country from which he or she may originate, and for civilizations different from his or her own;
(d) The preparation of the child for responsible life in a free society, in the spirit of understanding, peace, tolerance, equality of sexes, and friendship among all peoples, ethnic, national and religious groups and persons of indigenous origin;
(e) The development of respect for the natural environment.

2. The UNICEF approach to quality:

UNICEF strongly highlights what might be called desirable dimensions of quality, as identified in the Dakar Framework. Its paper Defining Quality in Education recognizes five dimensions of quality: learners, environments, content, processes and outcomes, founded on ‘the rights of the whole child, and all children, to survival, protection, development and participation’ (UNICEF, 2000). Like the dimensions of education quality identified by UNESCO those recognized by UNICEF draw on the philosophy of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

3. Quality in the humanist Tradition:

• Standardised, prescribed, externally defined or controlled curriculums are rejected. They are seen as undermining the possibilities for learners to construct their own meanings and for educational programmes to remain responsive to individual learners’ circumstances and needs.
• The role of assessment is to give learners information and feedback about the quality of their individual learning. It is integral to the learning process. Self-assessment and peer assessment are welcomed as ways of developing deeper awareness of learning.
• The teacher’s role is more that of facilitator than instructor.
• Social constructivism, while accepting these tenets, emphasizes learning as a process of social practice rather than the result of individual intervention.

4. Quality in the behaviourist tradition:
• Standardised, externally defined and controlled curriculum, based on prescribed objectives and defined independently of the learner, are endorsed.
• Assessment is seen as an objective measurement of learned behaviour against preset assessment criteria.
• Tests and examinations are considered central features of learning and the main means of planning and delivering rewards and punishments.
• The teacher directs learning, as the expert who controls stimuli and responses.
• Incremental learning tasks that reinforce desired associations in the mind of the learner are favoured.

5. Quality in the critical tradition
Critical theorists focus on inequality in access to and outcomes of education and on education’s role in legitimizing and reproducing social structures through its transmission of a certain type of knowledge that serves certain social groups. Accordingly, these sociologists and critical pedagogues tend to equate good quality with:
• education that prompts social change;
• a curriculum and teaching method that encourages critical analysis of social power relations and of ways in which formal knowledge is produced and transmitted;
• active participation by learners in the design of their own learning experience.
Agreement about the objectives and aims of education will frame any discussion of quality and that such agreement embodies moral, political and epistemological issues that are frequently invisible or ignored. One of the most important challenges India faces even today is providing universal quality education. If we are actually dreaming of Kalam’s ‘Vision 2020’, it’s necessary to chalk out some framework or strategies to guarantee quality of education. In the present Globalised context a joint effort by the Government of India and major edupreneurs is very essential to tackle this issue.