New Delhi, Aug.5 : A leading Australian expert in high school science teaching is currently in India on a nearly month-long visit to deliver science education workshops to students and teachers in Indian schools.
A recipient of the 2015 Prime Minister's Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools for his leadership in science teaching, Dr.
Ken Silburn, Head Science Teacher at the Casula High School in New South Wales, told ANI in interview that he come to share his experiences and exchange views with Indian teachers, and added that he has met about 50 of them so far.
He said that while had visited India for the first time in 2009, this visit was being undertaken under the Australia-India Education Council's (AIEC) Eminent Researcher Lecture Program.
He said so far he has visited two schools that form part of the Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (KVS) and interacted with the science faculty and students of Delhi University's Miranda House and the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS).
Dr. Silburn, who is also Australia's Coordinator for the development of the iSTEM (Invigorating Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) program, which seeks to bring students out of their schools to a place where they can talk to their peers and science professionals, said there is a plan to make a presentation to 45 science teachers of Delhi Government-run schools, and also undertake visits to Jaipur, Hyderabad and Mumbai to participate in similar workshops and interactions.
He said that he has already spent a fortnight in Ladakh. Dr. Silburn said that he is keen advocate and promoter of a hands-on students approach to the subject of science and added that he would like to convert students into innovators.
"The response from the academic community in India so far has been fabulous. The reception in Indian schools has been very warm and welcoming. I am happy to see Indian teachers being so open and also impressed with the quality of the students and the kind of questions that they asked.
We need students to be trained in innovation," Dr. Silburn told ANI. He also made a special mention of the Ministry of Human Resource Development's Rashtriya Avishkar Programme, which that aims to inculcate a spirit of inquiry, creativity and love for science and mathematics in school children.
"This program highlights the direction in which science and innovation is going in India. The Prime Ministers' of India and Australia have spelt out their ideas and thoughts, and this programme is good for both nations both in the short and the long term.
I also see a lot of similarities in the medium of instructions," he said Dr. Silburn said that his visit to India will be used to have an exchange of science pedagogy between Indian teachers and himself, and added that explorations would also be made for new and substantive academic collaboration in the schools sector The AIEC is a bi-national body co-chaired by the HRD ministers of India and Australia and is one of the nodal bodies that drive Australia-India education, training and research agenda.