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Research Projects

A STEM Education lab of Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, TIFR


Research Projects

Concept Mapping

Re-representation of knowledge in non-linear network forms such as concept mapping are known to help in meaningful learning. We refined this technique to help students develop rigour over-and-above meaningful learning, called Refined Concept Mapping. This technique focuses more on the predicate space of knowledge representation, which is necessary because models used in science deal with variable properties and relations between them rather than simple linkages between objects. The technique was developed through field studies involving teachers and students. The work is published in international concept mapping and computer science forums with focus on education.

Shared Memory Space

Instant Messaging as a constructionist social learning context (Rafikh Shaikh)

A collaborative framework was also found to be effective for primary school children in Rafikh’s study. In this study instant messaging (chatting) through networked computers (using OLPC) was used to facilitate numeracy and literacy skills. The study demonstrated the effective use of externalized shared memory in a collaborative and competitive (game like) setting promoting accelerated learning as well as building motivation. Using a very similar research framework as that which was adopted for Shraddha, we began to study primary school children’s mathematics learning in a constructionist social learning environment. In this ongoing study we used an instant messaging (chat) application designed on wireless-networked computers in a rural school (Khairat) for facilitating both numeracy and literacy skills. The chatting game turned out to be a highly engaging and popular activity among the primary school students. This research applies a situated cognitive constructionist framework to design and deploy studio based learning contexts in science education. [18]

The gnowledge lab took a pioneering role in supporting the pilot implementations of the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project in Goa and Khairat village in Raigad district. This is being done in collaboration with Digital Bridge Foundation. Khairat is the first OLPC implementation in India. OLPC and the Sugar Learning Platform (SLP) is explicitly designed on the basis of the studio based contructionist philosophy of Symour Papert by his colleagues at MIT. SLP is produced by geeks, with several contributions from the learning students who became makers themselves, at http://sugarlabs.org/. Walter Bender a leading hacker of the SLP who visited gnowledge lab in

  1. The bottomline of this project is: learning and making can happen together. Gnowledge lab intends to transform this machine so as to rewrite the bottomline into: Learning, making and investigation can happen together in a studio environment.