About Us

Shikshangan assists schools in three ways : Professional development of school leaders, teachers and young adults; Development of teaching-learning material; and Assessment of the school and plan for improvement.

Professional Development for School Leaders

Shikshangan has put together a 40-hour, spread over 6 days, residential School Leader's Program (SLP) for principal, vice-principal, coordinator and any one in leadership role, or aspiring for one. So far, more than 300 school leaders have benefitted from this program.

SLP addresses the three components of school leadership, namely, Personal Leadership (ability to lead one-self), Academic Leadership (deep understanding of education domain) and Organizational Leadership (ability to lead the organization towards its goals). A broad outline of each component follows:

Personal Leadership:

  • Self-awareness – managing one's emotions and stresses, motivating oneself, accurate self-assessment leading to self-confidence; becoming proactive and a professional;
  • Problem solving & Decision making – interpreting data, understanding cause-effect relationship, creative solutions generation, weighing pros/cons of decision options;
  • Managing time – saving time by eliminating time wasters & working efficiently, allocating time for important activities to minimize fire-fights; recognizing the most important objective of your role;
  • Planning – visioning/goal setting, managing priorities, breaking a large task into manageable actions, assigning responsibility, reviewing the progress, ensuring coordination;
  • Effective communication – listening effectively (inquiry), organizing one's ideas, writing and speaking effectively (advocacy); dialogue;

Academic Leadership:

  • Purpose/goals of education
  • Idea of curriculum – what is worth teaching, how should we teach; whether students is learning or not
  • Idea of curriculum mapping; Student misconceptions;
  • How children learn – Brain/Mind Leaning principles
  • Multiple intelligences
  • Learning styles
  • Tracking student learning

Organizational Leadership:

  • Recruiting right people; Ensuring their development; Creating a motivating environment; Establishing good academic processes;
  • Managing financial resources
  • Managing school infrastructure
  • Creating awareness of the school
  • Managing admissions
  • Planning time schedules
  • Making stakeholders (school management, parents, students etc.) partners in progress
  • School effectiveness framework
  • Planning reviewing

Professional Development for School Teachers

Shikshangan trains teachers in both subject-related and other areas. An indicative list of areas in which Shikshangan trains teachers follows. However, Shikshangan prefers to understand the specific needs of the school and designs a program for its teachers.

Professional Development Programs for Teachers

  1. Understanding the Context
    • Purpose of Education
    • Translating purpose into a plan – or Curriculum – What should learner learn; How should I teach; Whether learner is learning;
  2. What should learner learn?
    • Conceptual & Procedural knowledge
    • Syllabus Mapping
    • Curriculum Planning
    • Misconceptions across subjects
  3. How should I teach?
    • Understanding the learner
      • i. Brain/Mind learning principles
      • ii. Idea of Multiple Intelligences
      • iii. Idea of Learning Styles
      • iv. Differences in student achievement
      • v. What motivates students to learn
    • Teaching Strategies
      • i. Effective teaching strategies across subjects
      • ii. Project based learning
      • iii. Teaching Math
      • iv. Teaching languages/English
      • v. Teaching Science
      • vi. Teaching History
      • vii. Teaching Geography/Civics
      • viii. Reading to learn
      • ix. Differentiated teaching
    • Orderliness in Classroom & School
      • i. Classroom Management
      • ii. School-wide discipline
      • iii. Understanding and dealing with high-need students
  4. Whether learner is learning?
    • Idea of Formative & Summative assessment
    • Implementing CCE
    • Tracking intellectual development of learner
    • Bloom's Taxonomy
    • Idea of Rubrics
    • Developing structure & plan for assessment
  5. Preparing lesson/teaching plan
    • Developing broad structure of a teaching plan, including for differentiated teaching
  6. Other topics
    • Role of parents/home in student learning
    • Managing our time
    • Examining our motivation
    • Teaching study skills to students

Shikshangan collaborates with Indus International School, Bangalore for conducting Cambridge International Diploma for Teachers & Trainers (CIDTT). Currently, a batch of 12 trainees is in the process of completing the Diploma.

Professional Development for Young Adults

By young adults we mean students who are pursuing their college education, or have recently completed it, and want to improve their employability. Shikshangan has put together a 60-hour program – Enhance your Employability (EyourE) – for such young adults. A brief outline of EyourE follows:

EyourE, is a comprehensively designed coaching program, targeted at those who have missed out on skill-oriented and, perhaps English based schooling, to help them become more employable.

Typical employer is looking for following three abilities in a potential employee:

  1. Technical knowledge to perform the job.
  2. Basic abilities to perform a broad range of jobs – also known as work-life skills, and by various other names.
  3. Ability to communicate in English – since English has become the language of the work place.

Basic abilities are abilities that are required for performing any job. Shikshangan has evolved a list of ten such essential abilities:

  1. Problem Solving : ability to find a good solution to a given problem – requires analytical and creative thinking, apart from other skills
  2. Decision Making : ability to arrive at a decision in a given situation, weighing various pros and cons
  3. Presenting your ideas : ability to present your thoughts and ideas clearly, effectively and empathetically
  4. Critiquing other's ideas : ability to understand other's thoughts and ideas, critique them and engage in a dialogue
  5. Making sense of given information : ability to analyze and synthesize various pieces of information and arrive at some conclusion
  6. Identifying and accessing relevant information : ability to judge which pieces of information would help in a given situation or to solve a problem
  7. Self-awareness : ability to understand one-self, for example, what one is good or bad at; what motivates one-self; what drives one angry; etc, so that one is able to deal with one's emotions, stresses, ambitions etc.
  8. General awareness : ability to understand the world around one-self and developing a sense of history, that is, how did we get to where we are
  9. Planning the work : ability to break the entire task into smaller jobs, understanding their sequencing, giving time-lines, assigning responsibility etc.
  10. Basic numeracy : ability to understand basic numerical operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fraction, decimal, percentage, etc and its applications.

EyourE focuses on building these ten basic abilities, and the ability to communicate in English. These two abilities, combined with technical knowledge, make one more employable.

The fundamental approach of the program is to build the ability of learning to learn, so that after the initial push provided by EyourE, one can go on growing on one's own.

School Assessment and Improvement Plan

Shikshangan uses the idea of school effectiveness to inform its assessment process. School effectiveness simply means effectiveness of the school in enhancing student achievement, or as we like to say – good learning for every child.

Shikshangan uses School Effectiveness Framework put together by Robert Marzano through his meta-research. Marzano has captured this meta-research in his book – School That Works (ASCD publication). A brief outline of the framework follows:

Marzano's meta-research has led him to suggest following factors for school effectiveness:

School-Level Factors

  • Guaranteed and viable curriculum – how clearly the curriculum guides the teacher regarding content to be addressed in specific courses and at specific grade levels, and is there sufficient instructional time to achieve that?
  • Challenging goals and effective feedback – does the school have high expectations of students and does it provide regular feedback to students on how they are doing against these expectations?
  • Parent and community involvement – to what extent are the parents (in particular) and community (in general) are both supportive of and involved in the school?
  • Safe and orderly environment – does the school provide a minimum level of safety and order conducive for learning?
  • Collegiality and professionalism – the manner in which staff members in the school interact and the extent to which they approach their work as professionals;

Teacher-Level Factors

  • Instructional strategies – what is the range of instructional strategies that teachers have at their disposal and do they use more effective instructional strategies?
  • Classroom management – the extent to which the classroom has environment conducive to successful instruction;
  • Classroom curriculum design – how well does the teacher design the sequencing and pacing of content along with the experiences students have with that content?

Student-Level Factors

  • Home atmosphere – the extent to which parents talk about school work with their child; monitor their child's learning; and communicate high expectations; and what is school doing about it?
  • Learned intelligence and background knowledge – the extent of previous knowledge that students bring to the school; and what is school doing about it?
  • Motivation – the extent to which students are motivated to learn; and what is school doing about it?

While doing school assessment, we check how a school is doing on each of the above factors, as well as assess student achievement. Based on this assessment, Shikshangan prepares a plan for school improvement, and also helps the school implement the plan.

Teaching Learning Material

Shikshangan helps schools with meaningful teaching-learning material for use by teachers and students. These could be lesson/teaching plans for teachers, or textbooks and supplementary material targeted at learners.

Core Team

Devika Nadig : Devika has done her MA in English, followed by BEd. Apart from teaching English, she has headed a private English medium school in Pune for twelve years. Devika had founded Sparsh, a teacher resource centre, in 2003 for training teachers.

Vijay Gupta : Vijay has done his BTech from IIT, Kanpur, followed by MBA from IIM, Bangalore. He has worked with Wipro Corporation for over 15 years, handling diverse assignments. He has also headed Wipro's initiative in the area of quality school education, and has been associated with Azim Premji Foundation.

Associates

Jyoti Kumta : Jyoti holds an Msc in Child Development from Lady Irwin College, Delhi; a BEd degree from Annamalai University and a PG Diploma in Guidance and Counselling, Distance Education. Her work experience includes teaching Primary grades in several Army and Air Force Schools for six years; being a trainer in Behavioural Interviewing Skills in DDI, Pune; and developing a Life Skills Curriculum for Army Schools.

Anita Kamtekar : Anita is a commerce graduate with a degree in education as well. She is a trained teacher on cooperative learning, Primary Math, and is certified by the Wipro Applying Thought in Schools program. Anita has spent more than a decade in teaching the Primary classes English and Social Studies, and now does personal mentoring for High School students. She has been conducted workshops in Creative Writing for school going students, and has worked as a volunteer for the AFS (American Field Service). She has translated teaching material from Marathi to English and conducted few sessions for teachers under the Sarva Shiksha Abhiyaan Training Programme. Apart from content development for schools, Anita has also translating literature from Marathi to English for Jnana prabodhini, a centre for psychological testing.

Pooja Sudhir : Pooja holds a BA degree from St Xavier's Mumbai and Master's degree in English Literature from Mumbai University. She is currently pursuing her second Master's in Education from IGNOU. Pooja has four years of teaching experience in national as well as Cambridge and IB boards; has been a journalist and reporter for Deccan Chronicle, Asian Age; and has done copy editing for Solus and Nutshell, magazines in the Advertising field.

Harsha Pathak : Harsha has been a Primary and upper primary Science teacher for ten years at Kalmadi High School, Pune. She has also led SEED tutorials, an initiative to bring about a change in the teaching learning process in the domain of Science and Maths; developing content for soft skills in the SEED tutorials. Harsha has conducted NLP training for MBA Students as well.

Campus and surroundings

An open air amphitheatre for screening films/ holding concerts/ experiencing theatre/ puppetry/ folk music and dance, built with sensitivity to the natural contours of the land.
An 80ft sweep of a verandah, enclosing open to sky courtyards ( aangans) overlooking the spectacular silence of the valley. Suitable for group discussions and training sessions.

A deck , jutting out over the edge of the cliff, apt space for team work . Also ideal for meditation and reflection.

Recognition and Accolades

2008 : Accredited by Australian Council for Educational Research as professional developer.
2008 : Article published in the special issue of Learning Curve on Mathematics brought out by Azim Premji Foundation, Bangalore.

2009 : Presented paper at the Quality Council of India And DAV Schools conference, Mumbai.
2009 : Presented paper at a teaching conference for the Association of International Schools (TAISI) Jaipur.
2009 : Speakers at Quality Council of India Conference at Mumbai.
2009 : Speakers at the Association of International School of India conference at Jaipur.

2010 : Speakers at IIT Delhi EduExcellence Conference at Delhi
2011 : Speakers at IIT Delhi EduExcellence Conference at Delhi
2011 : Speakers at IIT Delhi EduExcellence Conference at Bangalore

2013 : Moderators at the IIT Delhi EduExcellence Conference. The theme was Academic Leadership and Values. Devika and Vijay moderated the discussion at the breakout sessions, and presented its conclusions at the plenary session.

2013 : Panellist at the National Forum of School Leaders, organized by National Institute for Leaders in Education (NILE) at Bangalore. The theme was Leadership, Pedagogy and Inclusion - Implementation Challenges. Devika participated at the opening panel discussion on 'Changes in K-12 Education'. Devika and Vijay presented a workshop on Building an Effective School in one of the breakout sessions.