Ritu Sharma is the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) and Work Experience Coordinator for Science at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College, London, UK.
Established in 2002, Shooters Hill Sixth Form College is fully inclusive inner London school with a wide range of diversity and ability levels for students between the ages of 16–19, located in Shooter’s Hill in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, London, England. It offers GCSE Sciences up to A level and BTEC courses (vocational).
Ritu Sharma prepares students for entrance exams for dentistry, veterinary and medicine courses. She has been working as STEM coordinator and Science Lead Teacher at the Institution for the past two years. She also runs STEM club where students are prepared to face competitive exams for various courses. Taking a cue from her mother who was a Professor of Language and believed that woman empowerment is via education, she works towards passing on the knowledge to the next generation.
Science as a subject taught in India Vs Britain
Science teaching in India is far better and far progressed up to 10th and 12th standard, however, when we were in University, in comparison to English University, the curriculum is simple and teachers deliver it too slowly.
In Indian schools, the layout of labs and the equipment are excellent. I also found that technicians are excellent in providing support in Indian schools but this kind of behavior is only shown in few British schools.
In British schools, curriculum is related to what is been taught and the learning is really interactive. However, in Indian schools chalk and talk is a more prominent method and you are very scared to ask anything in case you are wrong and you get on to the wrong side of your teacher.
Innovative measures to improve teaching
With her broad and deep subject knowledge, Ritu Sharma follows many innovative methods to help students. Some of them are:
- Literacy strategies to make course content more accessible to learners.
- Active learning to engage learners and making learning a fun process.
- Embrace independent study skills which later would enhance their university studies.
Insight into British school curriculum
Ritu Sharma points out that the curriculum at Shooters Hill Sixth Form College is examination oriented.Since the school is a science lead practitioner, rote learning is not encouraged.Teachers encourage active learning along with exam technique to help students learn exam techniques and to achieve the best in exams.
Rote learning pattern in Indian education system
Rote learning, in my opinion, needs to be changed. I found that when I started studying in England I was left far behind and I had to learn many skills such as essay writing skills from the scratch. I guess learning is not all about books it has to be holistic; a student needs to be taught as how to use these skills in the wider world. Also, I feel that there is so much potential in Indian schools and children from Indian schools; yet we are just result oriented in India and we do not let children develop that learning or any other associated skills.
Lack of representation by girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math subjects
Ritu Sharma attributes various reasons for lack of representation by girls in STEM subjects.
- There are no role models or representation in STEM subjects for the girl students
- The STEM is considered as male-dominated
- Lack of career opportunities and less progress in STEM subjects because of the male domination
Relevance of science
Ritu Sharma opines that most students are worried about science because of the huge range of mathematical and analytical skills needed to achieve in the subject.
Also, students mostly at GCSE level are not very clear as to how science can help them in getting a job.
Features of an ideal science department
According to Ritu Sharma, an ideal science department should have:
- Subject specialist
- Broad and robust curriculum
- Enhancement and enriched curriculum.
- Cross-curricular enrichment
- Upskilling teachers
- Teamwork and team cohesion
- Developing or creating innovative resources and sharing resources.
- Sharing innovative teaching and learning ideas.
Ritu Sharma lists her achievements as:
- Gold medal in1994 for achieving excellence in university exam
- Sc Human molecular genetics with excellent marks
- Achieved PGCE education certificate
- QTLS by IFL (SET)
- Setting up Biology department for a new University Technical College
Shooters Hill Sixth Form College
Red Lion Ln,
0208 319 9707