Empowering teachers through learning!

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New Delhi based Learn Today is aiming to transform and channelize the learning processes towards holistic development of children.

With over 80 workshops, including nine Post Graduate Certification courses and ten certifications in Creative Classroom Practices in the last one year, New Delhi based Learn Today aims to transform the school education landscape of India through the promotion of professional standards, setting up excellent schools, educational research and the development of teacher education.

Post graduate certification courses…

Dr. Saroj Thapa (right) talking about learning

“We have planned a series of workshops, which can be taken in clusters towards a Post Graduate Certification. The workshops are spread out over a few months giving the participating-teachers time to try out the ideas in their classrooms and come for subsequent sessions with questions to seek clarification or evidence of successful practices. Self-reflection, reports, portfolio or e-portfolio, action research, etc. would be some of the strategies used to provide a meaningful learning experience,” tells Dr. Saroj Thapa, education development specialist and head, teacher development, Learn Today.

Each workshop is a 4-hour module. A PG Certificate involves 20 hours of contact and a report/paper; or 24 hours of contact with many assessment strategies interwoven in the course; or 16 hours of contact with one hour of class observation in the school where the participant teaches and gives a written feedback.

These courses include PG Certificate in Educational Leadership, PG Certificate in Planning and Assessment for Learning, PG Certificate in Creative English Writing (writers’ workshop), PG Certificate in Teaching in Multi Ability Classroom, PG Certificate in Including Children with Special Needs, PG Certificate in Education Technology, PG Certificate in Life Skills, PG Certificate in Drama in Education and PG Certificate in Creative Pre-school Practices (early years).

Certification courses

Certification programme in Creative Classroom Practices involves 12 hours of contact and a report/paper/ portfolio or 16 hours of contact and presentations. These are offered in various disciplines like Social Studies in Primary School, Science in Primary School, English in Primary School, Math in Primary School, Pedagogy, Education & Design, Heritage as a Pedagogical Tool, Teaching Strategies, Creative Writing for Primary and Middle School and Effective Communication. Not only this, they have also planned a Post Graduate Diploma in Education for in-service teachers to be completed at their own pace. This course is yet to take off.

Different models of intervention

Teachers from different schools can either come and attend the Learn Today workshops at Vasant Valley School or the Learn Today team goes and conducts workshops in their school. The course is contextualised to the needs of the school. “It can be just one workshop or with a follow up to ensure implementation of the learning that has taken place,” added Dr. Saroj.

On an average, there are 10-12 participants in each workshop, which makes it very interactive and individualised to the needs of individual learners, but once in a while numbers go up to 20-25.

After workshop support

“We also provide online support to the participating teachers through Moodle, which is an online platform to share resources and collaborate after the workshops. For us, the workshop is not just one off event; it’s the creation of various professional learning communities for collaborative learning,” tells Dr. Saroj.

The Learn Today philosophy guides the focus of our workshops to provide holistic development of our participants and indirectly that of their learners in the classrooms. We believe in making the workshops interactive, activity based as well as contextualised and customized to the requirement of individual learners. They provide a wide range of teaching learning experiences and empower the teachers to focus on individual children rather than teach to a class. The emphasis is on fostering skills that will help students in their lives with a cohesive understanding and application of knowledge.

Learn Today stats…

Learn Today is a division of India Today, India’s most diversified media group. The India Today group owns and manages the Vasant Valley School – a school that has pioneered many approaches in school pedagogy and set benchmarks in the area of holistic curricula rooted in democratic values and ideas. Led by executive director Arun Kapur, renowned educationist and visionary, Learn Today is committed to excellence in education.

With a team of 50 people, Learn Today works towards their own assessment, team building and taking care of the special needs of the schools. “There is a lot of in-house learning going on and we have a think tank every week on pedagogical learning,” stated Dr.

Saroj. “Teaching should be a passion and not just a job, as teachers have the tremendous responsibility of shaping the generation that will be the future of the nation.”