WES 2012 :: NAVCHETNA – Innovation in promoting Interactive Research for Collaborative Learning

WES Track: School Track

Title of Paper: NAVCHETNA – Innovation in promoting Interactive Research for Collaborative Learning
Author Name: Chitra Ravi
Email: chitra@ezvidya.com

Designation:Founder & CEO
Organization: EZ Vidya Private Limited
Address:  66, Kamdar Nagar Second Street
Nungambakkam, Tamil Nadu. Chennai – 600034

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Co-Author 1:
Author Name:
 Chitra Ravi
EZ Vidya Private Limited
66, Kamdar Nagar, II Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600034

Co-Author 2:
Author Name: Ganesh Subramanian

Email: ganesh@ezvidya.com
Organization:EZ Vidya Private Limited
Address: 66, Kamdar Nagar, II Street, Nungambakkam, Chennai – 600034


NAV CHETNA – Objectives EZ Vidya introduced Navchetna, a two year programme, collaborative intensive research in the teaching-learning domain, has the following objectives as outlined below –  Enable teachers to identify and solve academic and school related issues with the help of a systematic approach  Facilitate a spirit of teacher collaboration  Gradually move teachers to view themselves as ‘researchers in education’ rather than ‘transactors in curricula’  Facilitate a spirit of continuous improvement  Provide schools with means to improve and sustain the process long after the intervention has been concluded Whilst the focus was on the above it was also ensured that each teacher’s evolution and progress would be tracked simultaneously. Each teacher would be given feedback about his/her progress from teacher to researcher. The school would also be in receipt of the same . Six different schools from all over the country enrolled to participate in the programme,initially. Since each school was different with its own set of systems and a different culture, we had to accordingly modify some of our core elements. Therefore, it was decided that each school’s culture would be examined, common approaches would be applied and its impact documented. More importantly the emphasis was on closely examining and analysing the different issues that arise in each school and resolving these with the help of Navchetna. Structure/focus area(s) The implementation of Navchetna is guided by the four key pillars on which it rests – empowerment, reflection, collaboration and sustenance. At each key stage we hope to strengthen each of these aspects focusing on a group of teachers. A detailed explanation of the four key pillars is given below – Empowerment Empowerment in education would be defined as a process whereby teachers are made aware of the right to participate in educational reforms and decide upon what should be taught in school and how (Bolin, 1989). In Navchetna empowerment refers to facilitating teachers’ understanding of key areas within the teaching-learning process. Teachers will become familiar with the more popular and adaptable educational ideas and key theories. With particular focus upon the ‘what should be taught and how’ teachers are slowly expected to become researchers in education. Collaboration Teachers are expected to collaborate with each other periodically and discuss key areas for change and improvement in this respect. Collaboration is a useful technique which we assume would allow teachers to explore pedagogy, their own professional development (Cunningham, 2003) and find answers to pressing matters in education while working on these collaboratively. Reflection The key goal of having this pillar was to encourage teachers to introspect and look into their own teaching processes and reflect upon the positives and areas for improvement. By having periodical sessions of classroom participation, teachers were given the opportunity to receive feedback and reflect. Another opportunity to reflect was through the practice of journal writing. While putting down their thoughts on paper we believe teachers may have been persuaded to think deep, look into their own practices and evaluate them. Sustenance The main difference between the first three pillars and sustenance is that we have not yet been able to examine its efficacy. More importantly, Navchetna being a relatively new endeavour, we are yet to install the fourth pillar in schools completely. Sustenance would refer to creating systems in the school that would ensure the continued practice of teacher empowerment. The process of sustenance starts in the second year and hope that teachers are able to sustain the different practices taught by us without our intervention. Activities in Navchetna Activities would entail a wide variety of workshops and sessions oriented towards the achievement of each pillar and encourage teachers to use different teaching methodologies. The goal is also to engage teachers in learning from each others’ experiences through collective sessions and help each other resolve issues in teaching. We carried out workshops for different educational theories and concepts (Example: Big Ideas, Multiple Intelligence, Classroom Participation, Focus group discussions, reading sessions among others). Sessions on Big ideas, Multiple Intelligence, Brain based learning (BBL), Collaborative Learning (CL), Critical thinking, creative thinking, Teaching for Understanding (TFU) were also included. These were done so as to familiarise teachers with the different key theories which necessitate teachers’ understanding. These workshops also consisted of information for understanding ideas of Core, expected learning outcomes (ELO), types of thinking. Journal writing: A Navchetna journal is a document which acts as tool to record instances from the teacher’s teaching session. It helps store instances which made the teacher happy or look deeply into her teaching methods, challenging classroom experiences, treasured moments and learners’ responses to her and her teaching.

Brief Biodata of Presenter:

An MBA from premier institute, Ganesh has had wide ranging corporate experience in the area of business development in leading educational services and information technology industries. His expertise is in conceptualization and product management. He has gained tremendous insights while working in overseas markets. Ganesh with his innovative and creative ideas, has added a lot of value to EZ Vidya’s services. His versatility sees him contributing immensely to all areas in the organization



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