Research centered curriculum
“All undergraduate students in all higher institutions should experience learning through and about research and inquiry.”
Healey and Jenkins (2003)
Lords Universal College of Education believes that learning through inquiry contributes in developing research skills and thereby making learning more meaningful. The course content in the syllabus has in-built elements of research activities spread throughout. However, going beyond prescribed syllabus, the Institution strives for training students for research informed teaching-learning practices keeping following objectives in mind:
- To develop inquiry skills through curricular and extra-curricular activities
- To develop skills to review other’s researches
- To develop understanding of doing research
The entire curriculum is researched by the teaching staff through brainstorming to identify the connections and correlations between the theory papers and also between theory and practicum. This helps the teacher to avoid unnecessary repetition due to overlapping and make curriculum transaction more meaningful and holistic in nature.
Facilitating learning of the syllabus course through inquiry:
The Staff uses different research based strategies and methods like flipped classroom, cooperative learning, and other problem based learning, seminars, etc. that requires lot of inquiry about the problem or challenge posed. Such contextual learning helps student-teachers to develop understanding of the content through self-inquiry and also to use it in their practice-teaching.
Different workshops conducted for students culminate in the product based on their understanding. This ensures application of theory in developing learning resources and presentations.
During practice teaching, students create their reflective diaries on the observations made on curricular and co-curricular activities carried out in schools. This data is used to identify the hidden curriculum of each school that is implemented to realize its vision.
The interviews taken in the school of children of special abilities are collated by teachers and common characteristics and efforts that schools take towards their better inclusion are analyzed.
Students are exposed to research related activities as follows:
Theme based Assembly:
Institution provides sufficient time for assembly in the time table. Students take up the theme either based on any important day or week or any environmental or social issue and research on it in a group and identify the oath, prayer and the research article from the library for presenting in the classroom. Reflective discussion follows after the presentation. The groups write the report of the entire session and submit to the college.
The entire process thus makes them familiar with the research language, format of conducting and reporting.
Every student conducts an action research on the felt need in school by following all the steps of the research required, writes the report and presents in the college in the form of Viva-Voce.
Institution has converted this university required activity into a co-research project whereby staff and the group of students are involved in the action research. For example, brainstorming the theme and developing a questionnaire as well as the implementation takes place on an individual level at different allotted schools. Students carry out analysis and interpretation on the individually collected data and complete the task.
Teachers’ contribution in the research is at the preparation stage and then combining the data of all the students to carry out analysis on a different level.
Students are given opportunities to participate and present research papers in other institutions.
Students’ research reports are published on the college website.
Value Added courses:
Institution offers value added courses like, YOGA training, Phonetics, etc. which are well researched by using need analysis, testing students’ achievement levels through feedback and achievement tests so as to keep the scope open for further improvement.
Most of the co-curricular activities, competitions and guest lectures are analyzed through feedback given by the students and participants.
Research activities by teaching faculty:
Teacher educators of the Institution too, are active in research practices in the following ways:
- Perusing Ph.D.
- Writing research papers for seminars, journals, etc.
- Analyzing feedbacks on every activities for further improvement
- Collating students’ action research data into mega data to use as need survey and convert into research paper
Institution strives to establish the research center in the Institution for conducting different research related activities as follows:
- Guiding Ph.D. students by getting approval for Ph.D. center
- Connecting and collaborating to research community through conferences and seminars at national and international levels.
- Organizing guest lectures and workshops on the research related themes at regular intervals.
ICT enabled Educational Practices
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is here to stay with its dynamic nature. This requires all the educational set ups to create the competitive working culture to face the challenges of latest technology related knowhow.
Institution has taken up the challenge to train student teachers in ICT enabled teaching-learning practices through direct and indirect learning experiences by keeping following objectives in line with its vision:
- To design ICT enabled teacher education practices to enhance ICT related competencies in student-teachers.
- To train student-teachers to use easily available and cost effective webpage creation tools like Google, blogs, etc. to create and design own website and learning materials.
- To develop research skills using ICT tools like online survey form.
The revised B.Ed. syllabus demands the integration of computer technology in all the courses. In addition, it includes a workshop based course on Enhancing Professional Competencies in critical understanding of ICT in education. Institution is well equipped with the ICT enabled infrastructure. Universal Education has a separate IT department that caters to the technology related requirements of the educational institution.
The campus of the Institution is fully WIFI enabled with a computer lab having the capacity of around forty laptops. The lectures halls too are equipped with LCD projectors and smart boards. There are a few computers dedicated to students for completing their assignments or for practice purpose. All the staff members are provided with the personal computers at their desks. The office and library is equipped with the Management Information System (APPLANE)
Lords Universal College of Education strives to make the ICT training prescribed in the syllabus more meaningful and product based so that it can be applied throughout the curriculum and beyond it.
Most of the assignments given in the courses are completed by using the latest mobile and computer technology, like WhatApp, e-mail, document sharing, blogs, survey forms, etc.
In-house workshop is conducted to train students in creating and using learning management system, blogs, document sharing etc.
Action research is part of students’ practical work. Students use online survey forms to collect data for the same.
Students are trained in different software like Piktochart, VLSD, etc. to create learning resources to use in their practice teaching. They are encouraged to use the learning strategies like flipped classroom, cooperative learning or any other constructivist approach where such resources can be used to facilitate learning.
Using the Piktochart software, students developed text graphics for spreading awareness through cleanliness drive in the surrounding area as part of Institution’s community outreach programme.
Guest lecture using Online webinars, video sessions are organized for students to avail expertise in the virtual set-up.
Institution encourages Staff members to take up online courses i.e. MOOCs as part of their professional growth on varied topics. Students too are encouraged to take up online courses offered by Department of Life Long and Extension (DLLE) of Mumbai University.
Our Institution strives to connect with other institutions online for exchange programme for students and also establish teacher organizations for virtual teachers’ meet for exchanging innovative ideas.
We strive to adapt ICT as the integral part of teacher training programme by making it cost effective for students and staff by availing easily and freely available learning resources, software and apps.
The Lords Universal College of Education focuses on Community service and Social action which centers on building bridges among diverse groups of people and encouraging learning through community work. Our institution reaches out to the communities and draws them into the world. Our students are engaged in continuous dynamic process of bridging a rich linkage between college and community to cultivate relationships with them. Linking schools and communities is widely recognized as a good pedagogic practice.
Engaging in community service provides students with the opportunity to become active members of their community and has a lasting, positive impact on society at large. Community service or volunteerism enables students to acquire life skills and knowledge, as well as provide a service to those who need it most. The common benefits of participating in a community service program are:-
- Psychological benefits: It increases overall life satisfaction and helps you feel good about yourself because you are helping others. It can also help to decreases stress and ease depression.
- Social benefits: It engages students with the community, creates special bonds with the population being served, and increases social awareness and responsibility.
- Cognitive benefits: It helps students enhance their personal knowledge, grow from new experiences, and develop better interpersonal communication skills.
As required by 2-year B.Ed. curriculum the F.Y.B.Ed. Students have to complete 36 hours of community work in Semester 1. For this purpose our student go to different community centers such as Orphanage, old age home, special schools etc., and contribute themselves in helping them. During this period the students’ emotions, values are more strongly developed and is reflected through their feedback.
As future teachers we expect our children to celebrate children day in the community centers. On occasion of Children Day i.e., 14th November the students visit various community centers and conduct different activities. This helps our students to develop competency skills.
On World Disability Day i.e., 3rd December our student visit community centers and spend meaningful time with them. They perform various skits on social issues in front of them. This develops self-confidence in our students.
On Christmas celebration, i.e., 25th December based on the theme “Week of Giving” our students contribute different things to the community centers. This develops a strong bonding between our students and special people. It also gives the special people a feeling that they are also part of society.
Self-efficacy is developed through community work. Our institution also runs a mobile laboratory. In this our students goes to BMC schools and give them knowledge of basic concepts of science. We have a mobile laboratory kit which is portable and the experiments can be conducted in the schools. This helps the students to strengthen their own basic concepts of science and also BMC students are benefited.
Our institution also tries to collaborate with community as an when we get a chance by conducting various activities such as rally, skits, etc. The college conducted rally on cleanliness drive under swatch bharat abhiyaan. On occasion of “International Women’s Day” i.e., on 8th March 2017 the college conducted rally to create an awareness on “Sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) act 2013. The students prepared piktocharts about filling the complaint against sexual harassment and also explained to the local people.
Our colleges working with collaboration with “Sneha” organization located at Malvani, Malad (W). This is an orphanage which has all the age group girls. Our student-teachers visit this organization and give tuitions to the girls. Along with this they recite with them poems and tell stories to inculcate moral values in them. This helps the organization in bringing up their girls and also our student-teachers by helping them to serve to the society.
Value education plays an important role and the values cannot be abstractly developed. Hence, our institution provides them concrete experience by giving them opportunities again and again to integrate with community so that a strong value complex is developed in the students
Institution is concerned about the education and service to the community on a regular basis. The community outreach does not stop at the point of completing curriculum requirement. Going beyond it, the institution organizes activities for more exposure to understand the challenges and acquire competencies to face the challenges related to the under-privileged and specially able population keeping following objectives to be achieved:
- Providing opportunity to extend Service to community with special needs
- Training to play the role of liaison between the school and community with special needs.
- Developing awareness about the special educational needs of the students with special abilities for effective inclusion in mainstream schools.
Institution focuses on Community service and Social action which centers on building bridges among diverse groups of people and encouraging learning through community work. Our institution reaches out to the communities and draws them into the world. Our students are engaged in continuous dynamic process of bridging a rich linkage between the institution and community to cultivate relationships with them. Linking schools and communities is widely recognized as a good pedagogic practice.
Community work as an academic task:
As required by 2-year B.Ed. curriculum Students have to complete 36 hours of community work in Semester one. For this purpose, our student go to different community centers such as Orphanage, old age home, special schools etc., and contribute themselves in helping them. During this period the students’ emotions, values are more strongly developed and is reflected through their feedback.
Going beyond the curriculum:
Institution provides opportunities to students more exposure for community work by organizing varied activities either through integration or by conducting programmes independently:
Different days of importance are celebrated in community centers. It helps to sensitize students about the community’s expectations from the mainstream society and emotional needs of the children and adults from the community. Institution thus integrates different days of major festivals like Diwali, Christmas, Eid celebration and national and International days like World disability day, children’s day,
Students are involved in following activities during these days:
- Assisting in preparation and organization of programmes.
- Contributing in the programme by performing cultural activities for them.
- Voluntarily making donations meaningfully and as per the needs of the centers.
- Spreading the joy of togetherness by spending quality time with children and adults from the center.
Institution promptly responds to the appeals made by University or government welfare department by making valuable contribution. Issues like sexual harassment of women, swachhata Abhiyan, Awareness about obesity among children and Youth, Digi-literacy drive for cashless economy etc. are taken up through following activities:
- Drives and march to create awareness by distributing pamphlets, having dialogue with common people etc.
- Educate housewives and other people from lower economic and education strata in Digi- apps for cashless economic transactions
- Inter-collegiate competitions on drawing, poster making etc.
Organizing special programmes for community outreach:
Self-efficacy is developed through community work. Institution runs a mobile laboratory for the children from community centers. In this venture, students visit Municipal schools and help them gain better understanding of basic concepts of science. With the help of portable Mobile Laboratory kit simple and basic science experiments are conducted for students belonging to lower economic strata.
Students are trained for inclusive education by organizing exchange programme in community centers like ADAPT for spastic children,. Students observe the strategies and methods used by specially trained teachers for teaching these students. They also get the opportunity to actively participate in the organization of the performances of the students in the cultural events or helping students to prepare items to be kept in exhibitions and also assist as paper writers during their examinations.
Institution has tied up with the Malad branch of Snehashram Organization running orphanages all over Mumbai and developed a continuous community outreach programme schedule throughout the year for extending services like Remedial teaching, volunteering in the organization of various activities, celebrating special days with children etc. Each students as per the planned schedule visit the center to be part of this endeavor.
Institution also tries to collaborate with community as an when we get a chance by conducting various activities such as rally, skits, etc. The college conducted rally on cleanliness drive under swatch bharat abhiyaan. On occasion of “International Women’s Day” i.e., on 8th March 2017 the college conducted rally to create an awareness on “Sexual harassment of women at workplace (prevention, prohibition and redressal) act 2013. The students prepared piktocharts about filling the complaint against sexual harassment and also explained to the local people.
Institution desires to enhance the capacities of student teachers to be effective teachers for inclusive class rooms and hence would strive to strengthen the ties with community centers for exchange programmes spreading throughout the year for the activities like inviting the specially trained teachers to train student-teachers in basic skills required to facilitate learning of students with special needs, co-teaching these children with their teachers, organizing programmers to spread awareness about the special needs and importance mainstreaming of these students in the society and schools.