Sunday, September 18, 2011

43. Another Practical Examination

[Kerala University English Teacher Educator’s Forum - KUETEF]

In an article on Pre-service professional  development, Reynolds and Conroy wrote:

“The “Ivory Tower” concept is prevalent in society and higher education is regularly criticized for bloated beliefs involving an egotistical sense of superiority and a matching lack of familiarity with practical, real-life issues. Likewise teacher education courses are habitually criticized for being inauthentic and/or failing to address the real issues that future teachers will encounter...”

The context obviously is American....but don’t you think it  is relevant for our teacher education programmes too?

Well... another Practical Examination starts tomorrow.  What should be our expectations? What will we  be actually looking  for ?  Its going to be  a tough task... For the first time in Kerala University, we will not be given the marks awarded for Internal Assessment. We will be expected to evaluate the trainee based on  class room teaching which we will be observing for say, 15 to 20 minutes followed by  a face to face meeting  in which we ensure the trainee knows what  is expected to be known and then assess  and evaluate the work done by the trainee. 

Please share your experience as an examiner in the comments section of this blog  or email your views to

With warm regards

Dr. C Praveen
Secretary, KUETEF

42. A Lesson Plan based on Interactive Model

[Kerala University English Teacher Educator’s Forum - KUETEF]

This is a specimen Lesson Plan received by eMail to be published in the KUETEF blog by one of its members, Ms. Bindhu TS, Assistant Professor, Fathima Memorial Training College, Kollam. She can be contacted by email at 


Lesson Plan based on Interactive Model
Name of the teacher                :           Ms. Bindhu.T.S
Name of the School                :          
Topic                                       :           A Fable for Tomorrow (Prose)
Curricular Objectives
·         To enable the pupils to develop eco-friendly attitude for sustainable development
·         To think critically and take one’s own stand regarding issue related to development and indiscriminate use of pesticides.
·         To enable the pupils develop various discourses in language
·         To read and analyze texts and identify the theme.
Class room process
Phase I

A puzzle is provided to the students related to the name of ‘Kollam town’. Various visuals on the past and present condition of the town are displayed. Students are asked to go through the visuals and a discussion is initiated
Phase II

The Major things listed out by the students in the visuals and discussion are analysed.
“Development, Multi-storeyed buildings, Road widening, Cutting of trees”
Phase III

Students are initiated to discuss about the negative impacts of the development process.
Phase IV

Teacher links the lesson ‘ A Fable for Tomorrow’ with their discussion; the 3rd , 4th, 5th and 6th paragraphs are read aloud and students are asked to discover the key aspects of the portion dealt.
Phase V

The scope of students understanding is broadened by asking them to do the following task:
Related to the ban of Endosulfan, a display of photographs with adequate captions are invited from the students of standard IX. Photographs are supplied to the group and are instructed to prepare captions.

Assignment     : Prepare a write up on the ‘Beautification of Kollam town’
            The components of the Model consist of;
                        Syntax of the model comprises the following:
                        The phases are
·         Engager
            The purpose of the stage is to help students mentally leave behind potential outside distractions and bring their attention fully into the classroom.
·         Frame
           This phase provides students with an answer to the question why they are going to spend time on this topic.  If possible how might the information be useful to them in their personal life?
·         Activity
           This involves the students’ physically, mentally, socially or emotionally making them feel or experience the importance of engaging in the topic/experience.
·         Debrief
           This is the teaching component of the session, where the teacher links the lesson with the experience in which the students have just participated, based on the presentation of the lesson the teacher can allow students to discover the key aspects of the lesson for themselves.
·         Metaphor
           In closing the lesson, the scope of student’s understanding can be broadened by making the students apply their understanding to a wider perspective; real life experience.
            Social system is moderately structured as the teacher and students share equal responsibility.
§  The teacher tries to bring about an improvement in the social efficiency of the students.
§  Support system consists of visuals based on the topic using LCD projector, newspaper cuttings and activity cards.
The model has the following instructional and nurturant effects.
·         Instructional effects
*Sensitization of  social issues
* Meaningful assimilation of information
·         Nurturant effects
* Develops spirit of creativity
*Develops habit of critical thinking

Thursday, September 8, 2011

41. Onam Greetings

[Kerala University English Teacher Educator’s Forum ( KUETEF)]

Wishing all the KUETEF fraternity

A Very  Happy Onam 

Dr. C. Praveen

Secretary, KUETEF

40. Some Teacher’s Day Thoughts

[Kerala University English Teacher Educator’s Forum ( KUETEF)]

The following are quotes on teaching and teachers by Swami Vivekananda:

The first test of true teaching must be,  that the teaching should not contradict reason. (II :390)

All teaching implies giving and taking. (IV: 178)

He alone teaches who  has something to give, for teaching is not talking, teaching is not imparting doctrines, it is communicating. (IV: 177-78)

Until the inner teacher opens, all outside teaching is in vain. (VII : 71)

[Source : The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda, Advita  Ashrama]

 In an interview Laxman Gnawali of Nepal  was asked the question: “Are teachers in your country generally members of teachers’ associations?”

This was the answer given: “Yes, almost every teacher is a member of a teacher association but these associations are trade unions. These associations use their energy in putting pressure on the government for non academic issues. They hardly do any professional activity.”

[Source :]

Are things different in  India or in God’s  Own Country, Kerala?

I have a nasty experience to narrate: The Head of a leading  Teacher Training College in our State,  recently stated :  At the Post Graduate Level, (MEd) any one (meaning even a teacher with a background in Psychology) can teach the paper, Advance Methodology of Teaching English and even assess and evaluate  Seminars and Assignments in  the Paper! 

What is pathetic about the whole issue  is that the ‘Head’ in question is a teacher of English! It appears that the Head’s sole objective was to grab a Professor’s  post in the  offing  should a MEd department be set up in the college in which the ‘Head’ teaches…

It is not surprising to note that this finds a parallel in Teachers’ Associations in Nepal. The   Teacher Educators Association  which the ‘Head’  is an active member,  pretends to be ignorant neither of the stance taken by the ‘Head’ nor of the uproar it has created in Teacher Training Colleges across the State  which  attempted to emulate the stance taken by the ‘erring Head’ in question.

Let us vow to keep our Forum clean of  individuals  with selfish  interests.

Let us pray that  the minds of such ‘opportunists’ open up through teachings similar to Swami’s  quoted above...  
A very warm Teacher’s Day greetings to all  KUETEF members…

Dr. C. Praveen
Secretary, KUETEF