An on-going concern of the Rishi Valley Education Centre is to nurture the growth of teachers, and enable them to engage with both the philosophical aspects as well as pedagogic practices that underpin a holistic education. Our in-house teacher development programme aims at supporting ‘on-the-job’ learning of teachers at the Rishi Valley School. In addition the Centre plans to develop facilities and programmes through which it can reach out to a wider range of schools, teachers and prospective teachers.
The Rishi Valley Institute for Teacher Education (RVITE), set up in November 2006, is housed on the first floor of the administrative building of the Rishi Valley Education Centre. It consists of a library-cum-work space, a seminar room and office. Working in close association with the Rishi Valley School and the Rural Education Centre, the faculty at RVITE is currently engaged in the following range of activities.
- In-house teacher development programmes
- Workshops for outstation teachers
- School support programmes
- Developing mini-courses for teachers
- Curriculum development projects
The Rishi Valley Institute of Teacher Education contributes to the induction of new teachers into the philosophy and practices of the school. Its faculty also participate in facilitating the on-going learning of teachers.
Teacher development at Rishi Valley includes:
- Orientation sessions at the beginning of an academic year
- A series of workshops on selected pedagogical themes, once a term
- Mentoring new teachers
This is a platform that aims at the enrichment of teachers' knowledge and perspectives. It could take the form of:
- presenting and discussing contemporary educational issues
- sharing of resources and good practices by teachers
- reading an education-related text and discussing
Library of Educational Resources
A library of educational resources houses books and other resources for teachers and teacher-educators is being developed. We are in the process of building up a collection of:
- Books on education, teaching and learning
- Textbooks and curricular material of high quality
- A set of audio-visual resources for teachers and teacher educators
- Documentation of good practices and resources for teachers
As part of its outreach programmes, the Rishi Valley Institute of Teacher Education has been organizing short term programmes for teachers from a wide range of schools. These programmes include:
Two to four-day residentialworkshops are designed for promoting innovative and child-centred pedagogy in specific subject areas. Invitations are sent to a wide range of schools. The workshops are conducted by experienced resource persons who are experts in their respective areas.
A mini-course was designed and conducted in the teaching of Hindi to non-Hindi speaking students. This was conducted for teachers from local schools in and around Madanapalle.
Exposure visits for schools
Four days to week-long exposure visits for groups of teachers from like-minded schools are also organized. These are customized to the needs to specific groups. The programme includes: a) orientation to the school's philosophy and practices b) more detailed sharing of curriculum and teaching methods c) some classroom observations at the main residential school as well as the rural education centre d) discussions on practical and philosophical issues of education.
CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS
1. Science curriculum, materials and methodology for middle school level at the Rural Education Centre
Curriculum designer: Kavita Krishna
Aim: To conceptualize, design and prepare a set of teaching-learning materials in science for middle school students of the Rural Education Centre.
The teaching-learning programme will be based on the principles of the 'School in a Box' kit being used at the primary level, while building in themes and approaches suitable for the middle school level.
The materials will be tested in the classroom and a methodology for science teaching-learning will be evolved. Requirements for teacher training will also be identified and developed.
+ Exploring Science
Exploring Science is a programme initiated at the Rishi Valley Rural Education Centre. Our aim was to create a relevant and engaging science programme for middle school students. We wanted to shift the focus of learning science from rote memorisation to a meaningful and contextually-relevant approach. We wanted to communicate that science was not merely a collection of facts to be learnt, but an exciting way of studying and understanding the natural world.
2. Materials and methodology for Teaching Hindi at an intermediary level
Curriculum designer: Chandrika Mathur
Aim: To conceptualize, design and produce a Hindi language learning programme for non-native learners, based on sound pedagogical principles.
The programme will build and enlarge upon the principles incorporated in the beginners' language learning programme, 'Hindi Ki Duniya, Pehle Kadam' published by Scholastics India Ltd.
Teacher training requirements and programmes will also be developed.
+ Pedagogy of Hindi
Rishi Valley Education Centre (RVEC) has been working to develop and re-energize the field of teaching Hindi in schools for the last 18 years. Our special focus has been on teaching Hindi as a second language to non-native learners. Curricular materials informed by research in the fields of child development, psychology and second language learning have been developed. Over the years these have been classroom-tested to align them to the interests and language learning needs of children. The Hindi Ki Duniya series of textbooks and workbooks for classes 1 to 5, published by Orient Blackswan in 2013, has been an outcome of this.
The work of developing modern pedagogies for teaching Hindi has been taken forward by the Rishi Valley Institute of Teacher Education (RVITE) by offering Teacher Development workshops to Elementary School teachers of Hindi.
3. Social Studies units for class 6 (for Rishi Valley School)
Aim: To review the current social studies curriculum and and participate in selection and working out of a set of teaching-learning units for a social studies course at class 6 level in Rishi Valley School.
Alok Mathur (Director)
(Harvard Graduate School of Education, 1991)
B.Tech. (Mechanical Engineering)
25 years of experience in teaching and educational administration at the Rishi Valley School.
Taught Mathematics, Chemistry, Geography at the middle school and secondary school level.
Chandrika Mathur (Jt. Director)
(University of Ottawa, 1991)
DPFE (degree in teaching French as a foreign language)
(University of Sorbonne, 1982)
(Jawaharlal Nehru University, 1984)
25 years of experience teaching French language and literature at the University of Ottawa, Canada; Alliance Franciase, Ottawa, Delhi and Bangalore; and Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi; later teaching French and Hindi at the Rishi Valley School.
Special interest in teaching of new languages (French, Hindi)
Published '' Hindi Ki Duniya, Pehle Kadam' Scholasics India Ltd.