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TISS organizes fellowship programme 'Rachana' for aspiring teachers, Free Press Journal, December 4, 2022
The Centre of Excellence in Teacher Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai, India, organised a six-day Winter School (November 26- December 1, 2022) for student teachers from all over India, who were selected as Rachana Fellows. This winter school is the first of its kind for student teachers, and over 75 students from 14 Indian states participated. The fellowship and winter schools is an initiative of RACHANA--Educational Resource Centre and Design Lab of CETE. The Rachana fellows got an opportunity to explore their pedagogical interests which included mathematics, science, language and social sciences.
Over the six days, students involved themselves in academic and pedagogical sessions along with cultural activities. Prof. Padma Sarangapani (Chairperson, CETE, TISS) set the tone for the winter school through her keynote address emphasizing the importance of the diverse community which would be formed through this fellowship. Academics and resource persons from diverse fields in education engaged the students on various topics. From understanding the deeper implications of the Right to Education Act, the importance of storytelling in teaching the winter school provided the fellows with a holistic experience.
Tejesh Vyas, Rachana Fellow in the language pedagogy sessions reflected that he got to understand how language and literature can shape the learning process. He was particularly interested in the discussions on social marginality in education. Ms. Writika Monocha, Rachana Fellow in the social science pedagogy reflected, “Through the pedagogical sessions, we could trace the journey of different objects and people around us. Dr Richa illustrated how a mere chair can be connected to the possible areas of social studies. I learnt how history can be recorded through the lived experiences of people i.e., their memories of a certain time. In one of our other sessions, we explored the Education Resource Centre at CETE. The ERC had a variety of materials based on keeping a learner in mind i.e., the materials were flexible and varied from books, storybooks, activities, games and kits.” At the cultural performance night, the Rachana Fellows put-up performances from group dances to a skit on their experiences in the TISS campus, and showcased their talents.
During the closing ceremony, Prof. P.K. Shajahan (Dean, Academic Affairs, TISS) noted that such fellowship programmes provide opportunities for peer learning. Dr Yadav, who was a teacher educator, in the winter school wonderfully summed up the experience by reflecting, “In order to understand the drastic change being brought in by the new National Education Policy we need to find new pathways, we need communities. This winter school will become on such pathway because learning with peers, after all, is the best type of learning.”
Dr. Shamin Padalkar (Assistant Professor, CETE) who anchored the winter school appreciated the fellows for their enthusiasm and diverse perspectives: “This fellowship has given the student teachers an exposure to contemporary pedagogical practices. I am certain that the RACHANA fellows will take the learnings from this fellowship forward to their respective states and institutions. We will maintain continued interaction with the fellows through the communities of practice.”
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