I seek ways to improve the teaching and learning of science in schools and informal settings. In designing better ways to convey science to children and adults we inevitably confront questions of cognitive origin: like, How do we learn? Why do we learn certain things easily and not others? Do children have their own ways of learning and reasoning and could we build on these? These questions lead us further to inquire into classroom interactions and sociocultural issues in education. Finally we ask, what kinds of knowledge resources and modes of thinking are useful for professional development of science teachers?
Meaningful learning of science from an early age requires alternatives that challenge the dominant rote learning paradigm prevalent in our school education. One line of research towards this goal explores the possibilities of perceptual, visuospatial and embodied modes of learning. Another strand investigates children’s natural predisposition towards curiosity and questioning, an urge that is effectively suppressed through school education and societal norms of discourse. See Research.
As part of TIFR Hyderabad’s Outreach program we work with neighbouring schools of the Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) to support meaningful, laboratory-based science learning.
In collaboration with Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR we provide support to schools and teachers who are implementing the Homi Bhabha Curriculum for Primary Science in a few schools across the country.