Sharing & Learning Together

Monday, September 29, 2008


Hey guys, if you ever check this blog - goodbye - it was nice - time to move on.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Dear Tara and everyone else

If I didn't post at once it was not meant to be in any way a kind of discouragement , please!

You know that March is the busiest month for plus two teachers.
Geeta Kamat was telling me that for elementary teachers it's a bit more relaxed.
For us we have classes going on for twelfth ISC , plus exams, invigilator's work, question paper setting, correction of answer papers and soon around the corner - report writing.
Added to this is the fact that I'm also doing a Saturdays course in Srishti.

I want to actually share something about how PPSE has been useful fo me - recently in a class I took out two of the graphic organisers we got from the GO buffet and used it and honestly it was a big help to the students.

The graphic organisers I used were the fish-bone exercise and one which divides a story into four sections - beginning , end, conflict, consequence....

Regarding the PPSE course being helpful to all of us - there's no doubt - and I'm excited when I think of how this program can grow and be a help to many more teachers in the future both inside and outside our school.

Hope we can chip in and help too - Tara.

Ahhhh! I am saddened!

Dear PPSE-ites

There is no response to two posts that I have uploaded! I am truly disheartened! I had f2f assurances from soem of you about a post or comment that very afternoon when I met you last week, and there is none!

Hey, I do want us to continue this communication - this community of practitioners. Do you al not feel it would be worthwhile?

Well, at least give it a shot!

OOOOOO JI OOOOOOO!!! Can you hear me?!!!!!!!!!!


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Happy Ugadi to PPSE-ites

O wow! Thanks Neela! That was a hugely complimentary comment to my previous posting, and coming on Ugadi day, it marks an auspicious beginning for me!

I would like to thank you all for being so involved, wholly participative, and most importantly, utterly honest with us, on this first round of the PPSE. It meant a lot to us who were trying to put the course together. Seeing the energy that this course seems to have brought into your practice for many of you, is my chief sense of joy, and continuing dialogue with you about your professional thoughts and practice will be a great source of learning for me. So I do request you to all to spend ten minutes every week, reading and writing on this blogspace.

I also hope this space of interaction with each other proves to be useful as well. If you have any moments of insight, depression or elation in your work, do express it here!

Let me start with sharing some insights that I have gained in the last week.

As you may be knowing, we at CERTAD, are planning to start a two year advanced diploma for graduates and post graduates who may be interested in entering a profession in education. In this connection we are meeting with people who may be consultants and teachers on this course. When we were debating what this course could do for the people on it, Poonam said, "You will be empowering and capacitating people - that is important. What the content of the course is not."

I found this a very thought-provoking statement. So I wanted to ask you all - did you find that the interactions, the reading, the writing, the classroom experiences that you had on the PPSE, made you feel empowered in any way?

Tara Kini

Friday, March 16, 2007

Ah got here at last!!!

Okay PPSE-ites

Here I am at the blog again - I had a problem getting in because the Blogger sites have been upgraded to enable signing in with a google account - which is what I am doing now.

Just to keep you all in the loop!

I am putting the finishing touches to the consolidated grade scripts and the examiners' validation sheet for all of you who have completed the PPSE. I have also printed out the assessments for Modules 7 &8 that have already been sent to you by email. Once all the signatures are done, I will send the hard copies of all these documents to you. As it is the first time all this is being put in place, it is taking long!

We at CERTAD, are in the throes of setting up a pre-service training course - for people who are graduates and post-graduates, and who want to become teachers/ teacher resources/ researchers in education. We are in the stage of concretising the programme and resources and will launch it in August.

We will also start cohort three of PPSE (Rekha is the only one in cohort two) by August and offer it to other schools as well. I look forward to chatting with you all about all this.

In April I am going to do four and three days of training in Drik Pathshala, a school for slum children, started by Anitha Reddy in Chittoor, and in Peepal Grove School in Saddum, respectively. Then I am going to Munich to visit my daughter's new home! Enroute I shall visit friends in London and meet Robin about the new course in Oxford.

Do post on this blog and just say what you are doing currently - it will be great to keep in touch.

Tara Kini

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Hi - good to be back again.

Friday, February 02, 2007

And now the Fruit!

Dear PPSE-ites

I am very happy to inform you that an awards ceremony and function is being organized by CERTAD on February 11th, Sunday, at Ramanshree California Resort, Doddaballapur Road, Yelahanka, between 4 and 6 pm. All the graduating teachers, will be awarded a Diploma in Professional Practice and Studies in Education by the Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology. Please do set this time aside in your calendar to attend this function and receive your award. Tell your spouse in advance to keep this time free so he/she can attend the function. A formal invitation will follow.

The function will award diplomas for two programmes that have been running simultaneously and independently, the PPSE at Aditi, and the training of faculty in Drishya Kallika Kendra.

Mr. Robin McClelland, of Oxford Brookes University will give the commencement address. Mrs. Anne Warrior, Chairperson of the Ujwal Trust and Mrs. Anitha Reddy, Managing Trustee of the Dwarakanth Reddy Ramanarpanam Trust, will be the chief guests and will make the awards.

Thank you for your enthusiastic participation in this programme. I trust we will continue to meet, share ideas and blog on a regular basis to keep this community of learners alive and active.

Tara Kini

Friday, November 24, 2006

All PPSE teachers meeting with all Tutors!!!

All PPSE teachers are requested to attend a meeting from 3 to 4 pm on Thursday, November 30th, in the staff lounge, to meet with Geetha Narayanan, Tara Kini, Shuchi Grover, Dharma Kannan and Suchitra Narayan. You are requested to mail any questions you may have to any or all the tutors for Modules 7 & 8 by Monday, regarding
  • clarification of concepts or
  • the assignment itself

We will discuss these at a common platform on Thursday.

Looking forward to seeing us all together!

Tara Kini

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Dharma's meeting schedules

Tuesday Morning
Gulab Jain 9.15

Friday Afternoon
Sreenivasan 1.45

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A 'Purposeful & Proud Set of Educators' (PPSE)!

A community of practitioners, professionals, educators, learners, facilitators, mentors, friends, colleagues....& survivors (who lived to tell the tale)!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Free Concept/Mind Mapping Tools

Hey people!

Here are the links to the 2 software tools for creating rich, interactive concept or mind maps.
  • Freemind - search for 'Freemind' on

    Note that you also need to download the Java Runtime Environment in order to run Freemind (that was what I was doing during the late morning session - the 'fires I was fighting' in the Tech Hub).
  • CMAP Tools - download from the website we studied today -

Please find some time to familiarize yourselves with these very easy-to-use, tremendously useful tools for curriculum & lesson planning, presentations, and building rich, interactive concept-maps in general.


Thursday, October 19, 2006

Big Ideas (from Day 2 of Module 7)

Standards are a set of norms and guidelines that need to adapt to changing times

Misconception causes/is a block in the flow.

Life is about changing contexts, changing codes. Learn to flow.

Unlearning is an incessant journey towards openness like you experience a new sunrise, everyday.

Transformation is a dance of energy.

Grouping of randon elements into one particular order (alignment) that may bring harmony.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

ASCD Materials


This is in response to Koshy's query in response to the previous post.

One copy for each course should be fine. You'll have to work out among yourselves who will do the copying/printing. Please do make sure that the materials are comprehensive and every page of the lessons, readings, templates, worksheets, and anything else the course may contain, must be part of the folder/CD. Thanks!

Have a great Diwali, everyone!


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Important Notices!

Hark all ye PPSEites!

  • A bus will start from Bangalore Club at 8am on Monday the 23rd and Tuesday the 24th of October and come to school via Jaimahal. On the way back it will start at 4 pm and go via Nandi Durg Road to Bangalore Club.
  • You are requested to bring lesson plans for any unit that you will be working on from October 25th or the following week.
  • You are also requested to bring the ASCD printed material in a file or on a CD, so that the material can be filed in the Teacher Resource Centre.
  • Please print out the ASCD certificate of completion and give one xerox copy to me and one copy for your file in Yvonne's office.

These are the allotted tutors for the assignment for Modules 7 and 8 - you will meet your tutor for 20 minutes each on the 24th afternoon. Please come ready to discuss the idea that you would like to implement for the unit plan for the assignment.

Geetha Naraynan

  • Balakrishnan V.P.
  • Geeta Kamat

Dharma Kannan

  • Rekha Kiran
  • Srinivasan K.
  • Mohua Roy
  • Gulab Jain

Shuchi Grover

  • Anitha K.
  • Neela Tatu
  • Gudrun
  • Joel K.

Suchitra Narayan

  • Raji Nair
  • Sandra Kunder

Tara Kini

  • A.V. Koshy
  • Hemamalini
  • Kalpana Uday
  • Anupama M.
  • Vijaya Rajeshwari
  • Amaranathan
  • Udayaraj Karpur
  • Anitha Santanam

Rustam Vania

  • Maheswaran

Toodleoo then and hope you are all looking forward to the sessions on the 23rd and 24th as much as we are!!! (Firecrackers may be lit only after the sessions!)

Happy Divali!


Friday, October 13, 2006

For the October 23rd and 24th sessions

Now that the next assignment has been spelt out, with grading criteria, you are requested to come ready with an idea of what your unit plan is going to be centred around. The class you are planning it for, the duration of the unit and when it will be implemented.

On October 24th we will fix a twenty minute f2f session for each of you with your tutor when you can discuss your idea and what your thoughts are. You are also requested to fix your schedule of six meetings with the tutor (five more after this initial meeting) in the time span of October 24th to December 7th.

You can pop across to the CERTAD room any time to discuss any clarifications you may need before October 23rd.

See you soon,


Assignment for Modules 7 & 8

Professional Practice and Studies in Education

Module 7: Unpacking the Meta-curriculum
Module 8: Teacher Created Materials


The three suggestions that emerged for a suitable assignment that would unpack the thinking that goes into a curriculum, are:

1. Following the teacher as architect metaphor, create a detailed and effective unit plan that enables students to access different ways of sense making and world making through a wide variety of materials, tools and resources. The vulnerabilities and deprivations that students would experience because of what is excluded in the choice of codes could be the guiding philosophy for the construction of the plan.

The plan must consist of understanding goals, learning outcomes, standards that are being addressed, activities, pedagogical tools and process, materials and resources.

Choose the duration and scope of your unit to match the six weeks that you have to accomplish this task. Whatever the choice, prioritize the accomplishment of the unpacking to the greatest detail possible.

The deliverable must consist of –

• A detailed unit plan with –
o The duration of the lessons and unit clearly planned and indicated
o Instructional strategies that will be used
o Cognitive tools and instructional materials which will accompany and support each lesson
o Alignment between goals, learning outcomes and the learning experience

• Teacher created materials that would enable the unit to be taught effectively and creatively.

• An ‘archeologist’s box’ with all the resources for the construction of the plan and the materials. This box must not simply be a set of teaching aids.

A formal presentation to peers of the plan and the materials created is optional but is encouraged in the spirit of sharing.

2) Deconstruct an existing curriculum to evaluate its effectiveness through the lens of literacy as code, ways of sense and world making, materials, tools and resources and vulnerabilities and deprivations.

This would be accompanied by an ‘archeologist’s box’ with all the resources for the evaluation of the curriculum and associated materials.

3) Develop a code, pedagogy and materials that conform to international standards to create a framework for a new curriculum that serves a band of grades (such as elementary school / middle school / high school). This framework must pay special attention to include ways of world-/sense-making and including the excluded (vulnerabilities and deprivations) that are shortcomings of the existing curriculum.

This would be accompanied by an ‘archeologist’s box’ with all the resources for the design of a curriculum and samples of teacher-created materials.

All teachers will meet their assigned facilitators once a week between October 25th and December 7th when the assignment is due, to discuss ideas and construct the way forward. (Six meetings in six weeks).
Grading criteria for assignment one:

A An excellent unit plan that will evidence thoughtful and perceptive exploration of processes / tools / materials that will enable effective sense and world making for the learner. The author of the plan should be able to show ‘flow’ and ‘alignment’ in the components of the plan, like the goals, outcomes and standards, the pedagogical processes and activities.
The archeologist’s box will be a comprehensive set of books, quality resources and other artifacts that have clear links with components of the plan.
The teacher-created materials will have a sound pedagogical and cognitive base, and will be innovative and cater to the needs of the targeted group of learners.

B+ An interesting unit plan reflecting thoughtful analysis of processes / tools / materials that link to sense and world making for the learner. The plan should have a ‘flow’ and ‘alignment’ in the components of the plan like the goals, outcomes and standards, the pedagogical processes and activities.
The archeologist’s box will be a set of books, quality resources and other artifacts that have clear links with components of the plan.
The teacher-created materials will be pedagogically sound, will be well organized and cater to the needs of the targeted group of learners.

B A sound unit plan that explores processes / tools / materials that link to sense making for the learner. The link between goals and outcomes, pedagogical processes and activities is evident.
The archeologist’s box will contain books, resources and other artifacts that support the plan.
The teacher-created materials will be well crafted and organised and cater to the average level of the intended learners.

C A fairly detailed unit plan that shows some evidence of processes / tools / materials that link to sense making for the learner. The link between goals and outcomes, pedagogical processes and activities is established to some extent.
The archeologist’s box will contain books, resources that are loosely linked to the plan and teaching aids are used as fillers.
The teacher-created materials are well laid out, but are adapted from existing material without much attention to context.

F A sketchy unit plan that has little use of processes / tools / materials that will enable sense making for the learner. There is hardly any link between goals and outcomes and pedagogies and activities.
The archeologist’s box has a random collection of materials that show very little link with the plan and teaching aids are used as fillers.
The teacher-created materials show a lack of care in organisation and presentation.

The above grading criteria will be adapted to read ‘curriculum’ instead of ‘unit plan’ for the second and third options of assignment.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Wacky Lesson

This lesson happened sometime in June. I had to teach spelling in std 02 and the topic was the sound of y. Y is a consonant but disguises itself as a vowel to imitate sounds of 'i' or 'e'. I thought, disguising myself will help the children grasp the concept of something acting as something else easily and I can concentrate on the sounds the disguised Y makes. So I walked into the class wearing a daisy duck mask and interacted with the kids in a changed ducky voice for a few minutes. Then I wrote the sentences " My name is Daisy Duck. What is your name?" on the board and asked them to find out how many Ys there were in those sentences and what sounds they make. I had introduced my lesson. The rest of it was brought out from the kids themselves by questioning and brain-storming. Later, my team teachers, who were also surprised and amused when I walked in with that mask, told me it was a very good lesson and that the kids would remember it for a long time. The very next day I ran into Shuchi and asked her if it qualifies as a wacky lesson, since I had not exactly planned for it as a PPSE lesson. She told me to go ahead and blog about it. Don't ask me why I took so long to do it , for I myself don't know, but here I am. Quack Quack.