Bhargavi Sharma – Science Teacher – Indus International School, Bangalore
Indus International School, located in Bangalore, has more than 1200 students from various countries, about 30% of them being residential scholars, the school has up to grade 12 offering IB PYP, IB MYP, IGCSE, and IB DP curricula.
Bhargavi Sharma has been teaching science at Indus International School for the last 4 years now after undergoing training in International education. With M.Phil in Biotechnology, Bhargavi knows the power of education and feels “Science was the only way I could understand how the world works.” She took up teaching science initially to mould the upcoming generation.
Student reservation on learning science
•When asked why students fear learning science, Bhargavi Sharma points out that science is all about curiosity.
•Students have fear about the subject because they are reluctant to speak in class, use laboratory apparatus and are afraid of failure.
•Anxious parents and teachers also add to their inhibition of science.
•It is the teachers’ responsibility to make the students realize laboratories offer lots of opportunity for one-on-one help from an understanding instructor and to provide a supportive environment to overcome fears.
Innovative teaching in school
Bhargavi Sharma says that the school encourages teachers to think innovatively and bring out the best in students.The development programs for teachers and students make the students think how to solve tough questions which would otherwise have been neglected.
She says that all curriculums are indeed examination-driven. Maybe because the parents want the wards to do the best, resulting in more pressure and rote learning than understanding the concept. She feels sad that similar to any place in the world, India is unable to do much to avoid this. All the educational institutions are only training the students to be factory workers.
Limited representation by girl students
•Bhargavi Sharma reiterates that there is a great amount of gender difference in the fields of education and employment.
•Women are still paid less than men and do not have many opportunities to become entrepreneurs.
•Such gender gaps continue to exist at all levels in spite of various policies to stop this differentiation.
•She also cites three reasons – 1) Aspirations that are moulded by social norms and parental expectations; 2) information failures that affect the decision to enter and stay in a STEM field, and 3) institutional factors that constrain women’s ability to enter a STEM job for the reduced number of girl students’ participation.
•Girl students are also made to believe that boys are better in science subjects and only a few exceptions are seen.
•Even if parents encourage their girls to pursue science subjects, lack of employment despite brilliant academic records force girls to stay away from science.
•They do not have any role models or mentors to guide them to overcome such concerns.
Ideal science department in schools
Though an ideal science department depends on the preferences of the stakeholders, Bhargavi Sharma feels students should be encouraged to develop skills to understand how the world works and how they could contribute in solving a problem, in trying to make the world more sustainable.
Students must be taught to view something only through the lens of science. A transdisciplinary curriculum and a totally new approach towards the world should be developed.
Teaching should not be selected only because one did not get a job in any other field.Teaching is not a women’s job alone. More young men should also enter the foray of teaching.The satisfaction from the job is immense though monetarily teachers are paid less. It is not instant gratification as found in other jobs. Teachers are often criticised and may not get much appreciation.
Bhargavi Sharma concludes by saying that teaching a subject is just one part of the job, it’s a complex activity.
For more information, please visit: http://www.indusschool.com/international-school-bangalore/
Indus International School
Billapura Cross, Sarjapura – Attibele Rd, Sarjapur,