RACHANA is a resource centre and design lab at the Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education (CETE), TISS, Mumbai. RACHANA has been visualised as a space for the professional development of teachers, student teachers and faculty of education. It is meant to create a common forum wherein practitioners can take responsibility for their own professional development. We recognise that learning is socially constructed and takes place through interactions with others and the ERC aims to provide opportunities for such interactions.
On this virtual space, we promote the use of educational resources (both digital and physical) in our classrooms. The virtual space is meant to be used by teachers, students, parents and whoever is interested in teaching and learning with educational resources. We have shared various digital resources, annotated lists of selected physical and digital resources, interesting short videos tutorials on the usage of some resources, useful resource-related literature and announcements of our upcoming public events.
Eventually, we hope to develop professional learning communities of teachers in the form of “Subject Forums”. The forums will support the in-service professional development of teachers by seeding networks and communities comprising teachers, teacher educators and researchers. These forums can take the shape of monthly meetings of subject teachers wherein they reflect on their teaching practices in the classroom, plan for their teaching, develop resources and benefit from collective readings and discussions around the year. This may be further supported by forming mobile-based chat groups using Whatsapp or Telegram wherein teachers may share the challenges faced in classrooms, engage in deepening their knowledge of the subject matter and become aware of the various professional development events in which they can participate.
Leveraging school synergy seminars, we plan to build close relationships with schools and institutions to support the teachers in selecting and using digital/non-digital resources, action research, professional development of teachers as well as internships and observations through the students enrolled in various programs at the centre.
RACHANA Winter School and Fellowship
RACHANA Winter School is an opportunity for students enrolled in the final year of B.Ed. and similar teacher education programmes to participate in a week-long residential immersive programme to engage with their peers across India and South Asia.
In the domain of education, student teachers get little to no opportunity for interactions with peers from other parts of the country. This Winter School has been conceptualized as a one-of-a-kind school for student-teachers, specifically due to the emphasis on pedagogy specific inputs in STEM, social sciences and humanities. During their regular classes student-teachers do not get the opportunity to mull over and explore ideas, however in the conducive atmosphere of the Winter School, we hope that they get exposed to varied perspectives and ultimately become trailblazers.
Applications for the Winter School are open to students in their final year of B.Ed. or B.Sc./BA. Ed/ BE. Ed. Students from other South Asian countries in the final year of pre-service teacher education can also apply.
Selected students will be recognized as ‘RACHANA Fellows’.
RACHANA WINTER SCHOOL 2022
Key Learning Sessions
1. Common lectures on the topics of interest to all students (e.g. inclusivity, assessment, etc.)
2. Pedagogy specific interactions with smaller groups of students. This will include activities to get familiar with a rage of TLMs (Teaching Learning Materials) including digital pedagogic materials,
3. Panel discussions or debates on complex issues such as teacher autonomy and accountability, Private vs. government funded schooling etc.
CLIx and COOL Online Educational Resources (OERs)
It is important to remember that not all digital resources lend themselves to constructivist pedagogies. Our own digital resources, developed at CETE, are designed by researchers in education where active learning is encouraged along with collaboration and creating authentic contexts for students.
Please watch the following video to see a tutorial on using one of the resources.
We arrange various seminars, workshops, and activities for teachers, educational researchers and everyone interested in education.
School Synergy workshop series
The School Synergy workshop series was established in 2018, to build a platform for engagement and exchange of ideas between teacher educators and researchers engaged at the University with practitioners and teachers engaged in schools and other formal and informal learning spaces. The sessions are designed to be interactive in nature and include engagements such as hands-on or group activities with the participants. The sessions usually revolve around certain resources (physical or digital) but the discussion is focused on how students can engage in meaningful and interactive activities using them and what aspects need to be considered in selecting resources, including the affordances and challenges in using a particular resource. While RACHANA was created to focus on the subjects of Language, Maths, and Sciences, a variety of themes and topics have been explored beyond these subjects, including poetry, puppetry and inclusion.
Link of the Week
The Internet is home to a wide array of useful resources, which can help students, teachers, and teacher educators in building their knowledge base, and broadening their horizons. The Link of the Week activity is an initiative by the faculty and staff of CETE which has been designed to highlight important free-to-use resources that are available on the Internet, which can be used by everyone in their work as well as to gain knowledge about specific domains.
Eclipse Viewing and Star Gazing
The centre arranges public talks on diverse themes around education from time to time.
Educational Design Workshops
Educational Design: We offer Educational Design course / workshop to teachers, educators, curriculum designers and introduce to “Design Thinking” methodology for creating meaningful, pedagogically valid teaching-learning resources. The workshop/course aims to help participants: (1) Challenge their assumptions and discover new ways of exploring, creating and curating tools and resources for addressing teaching-learning problems. There is focus on analysing their own context and identifying affordances and limitations of digital learning therein. (2) Engage in constructing and repurposing lesson plans that can be implemented/taught using constructivist pedagogies and pedagogy content knowledge (PCK)
Educational resources or Teaching Learning Materials (TLMs) can provide a great way to engage students with difficult concepts in an interesting way. If students are given a chance to explore a well designed TLM they usually learn enough to understand the content in a much deeper way. Teachers need to ensure that students are learning the intended concept and then formalize the knowledge gained by students by providing terms and formulae and so on. Well designed resources lend themselves well to constructive pedagogies. Teachers can always prepare resources of their use but some resources are prepared by experts in the field and are tried and tested over years. A list of some of the useful resources can be accessed here.
The resource centre houses a diverse collection of books for teachers, teacher educators, student teachers and school students. The collection includes books across educational disciplines like philosophy of education, psychology, sociology, research methods as well as books on pedagogy of school subjects (mathematics, language, science, social studies, art). We hope the resource centre becomes a space that teachers and students from nearby communities can access for borrowing resources. A special highlight of this collection is a burgeoning number of books on literature and children’s literature from independent publishers curated with a lens of diversity and inclusion.
With advancement in digital technology and increasing availability of computers and smartphones digital educational resources have become another key area which all teachers should be aware of to teach their subject. In fact knowledge about the digital educational resources, best way to use them and their advantages and limitations is known as ‘technological pedagogical content knowledge (TPCK). TPCK is considered an essential aspect of teachers’ knowledge by some researchers. Here we are listing some of the main portals where you can find useful resources.
Below are links of some educational magazines/periodicals.
Riyaz: Riyaz is a magazine brought out by CETE and School of Education (TISS, Mumbai). It features the contributions of students and staff to express their experiences and thoughts in the area of education. Its objectives are to promote discussions about different aspects of education and to inculcate articulating and writing habits among students.