Revolutionizing Science Education in India
Ashoka Fellow, Tamil Nadu, India
Speech Topics:While some elite schools in urban India are trying to change the way science is taught through expensively equipped labs and well-trained teachers, most rural government schools continue to suffer from rote memorization techniques. To counter this methodology, Balaji Sampath is introducing “Science Dialogues” into middle and high schools through a “reach-and-teach” strategy uses simple teaching techniques of dialogues and experiments that bring materials to life and helps students internalize concepts far better. After developing his materials, Balaji created a program to train volunteers to disseminate and demonstrate his techniques and the use of his materials in schools. Balaji uses a volunteer base of rural young people, most of them high school dropouts, to spread his Eureka Science Experiment Kit — a collection of 300 low-cost experiments. In effect a mobile lab, the Eureka Kit, along with a training manual for teachers, is offered to schools at a minimal cost of Rs 5,000 (US$120). By overhauling the framework of traditional teaching techniques and materials, Balaji is forming a whole new generation of thinkers who can apply well-understood, progressive principles to all aspects of life and become catalysts in the advancement and development Indian society.
- Teaching Methodology