July 2008

‘Research to Innovation’

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Research based learning in today's world has encouraged learners to become researchers in their own right. Research activity fosters innovation and can therefore provide a valuable model for developing higher cognitive skills.

Central to Intel Teach, a professional development training program for teachers is the belief that if you empower children with the ability to be masters of their own learning through research and collaboration then the overall depth of the learning will be far more, than by guided teaching.

A paradigm of this belief is the Children's Academy School, Asha Nagar, Mumbai. Principal of the school Nafisa Bhinderwala, feels that 'Intel Teach has empowered the students of her school and helped create an environment which induces research and furthers innovation.”

This research driven education in the Children's Academy, she felt, has facilitated higher order learning skills and critical thinking powers, providing students of the school with an all round developmental perspective, creating a new generation of young innovators. The result of this transformation in the education system is that the students are 'successfully dealing with research driven projects which are not curriculum based, and instead deal with real-life problems where the ensuing projects are linked to community solutions'.

Bhinderwala, who is herself a part of the first batch of MT trainers in Mumbai says, when she first joined the Intel Teach Program she could not save a file on the computer and had never heard of a power point. But today she feels empowered.

Intel Teach Program – A professional development program that helps classroom teachers effectively integrate technology to enhance student learning.  It is the most successful professional development program of its kind. More than 4 million teachers in over 40 countries have trained since 1999.

89% of teachers report using technology with their students as a result of the Intel Teach Program which in turn enhances student's learning abilities.

In India, the Intel Teach Program has impacted over 8,69,000 teachers across 15 state governments, 2 Union Territories, 55 Universities and across Central government relationships like NVS, KVS & NCTE.
In a discussion on the projects her school is successfully handling, Bhinderwala spoke about the wide scope and array of the projects, most of which had received recognition outside the school.

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