The Coloma Convent Girls' School New science Curriculum Project aimed to improve the uptake of science-related studies by primary school-going children. The project was conducted by motivating teachers to enrich their understanding of science, and in turn, transfer the acquired knowledge to pupils. It was aimed at emboldening teachers to be confident and develop leadership skills to optimally impart and impact scientific knowledge way beyond the classroom setting.
The background of the study is poised on the fact that even though science is a core subject in the educational curriculum, its uptake has slugged. More pupils shy away from science-related studies in favor of languages as well as Mathematics. In a research conducted by Ofsted (2013, pg. 5), it was realized that the major reason why science is not widely embraced is due to the fact that senior teachers have failed to set ideal standards for teaching science (LSEF, 2015, pg. 4). Progress of the pupils pertaining to scientific studies is also nevertheless monitored.
Notwithstanding its place in the National Curriculum as a core subject area, science is no longer considered as a priority. It was as a result of this that the administration of Coloma Convent Girls' School decided to empower teachers with precise science-related training (LSEF, 2015, pg 2). The school, therefore, provided primary teachers with science-related training for them to effectively deliver the new primary science curriculum. Overall, the project was aimed at bridging achievement gaps in the delivery and execution of science-related knowledge.
The needs assessment for the project is vested on the fact that the new science curriculum poses a challenge to many primary school teachers. Much more is the hurdle for students to grasp content entailed in the new primary science school curriculum. The project is addressing the notion of science as the backbone of understanding other subjects such as English and Maths.
During the planning phase and at the inception of the project it was observed that most teachers have a limited view of scientific knowledge. Most did not study science past the age of sixteen years; therefore the teachers have very limited knowledge of scientific topics like digestion and nutrition in plants and animals, fossil formation, the body, growth and reproduction and other controversial topics at the primary school level.
Alternative Programme Evaluation Theories
Project execution called upon insight from theorists of earlier years. In particular, the project is highly dependent on Adam Smith's Human Capital Theory. Others include Human Rights Theory and Critical Theory. Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant and the Frankfurt School Philosophers are the theorists informing the basis of the case study evaluation.
Modern researchers and scholars have improvised on the Human Capital theory. Notable amongst them is Gary Becker who popularised the theory and led to its widespread utilization in the modern world. Human capital theorists operate in a framework through which investment in human capabilities is considered a valuable resource to organizational efficiency and the human race at large (Rafiq, et. al., 2019).
In particular, the Human Capital Theory is a virtual asset of the company and is not recorded on the company's financial statements. Precisely not in the balance sheet. This is an intangible asset that immensely contributes to the company's bottom line but is not necessarily reported to the shareholders and stakeholders of the company. Activities conducted by the company such as on the job training, medical covers and advanced training to its personnel are what makes up the human capital of the firm.
The other theory of subliminal reference to the Coloma Convent Girls' School New Primary Science Curriculum Project (CCGS'_NPSCP) is the Human Rights Theory. This theory posits that all humans are equal. In all fairness, there are the bare minimum standards of living as humans that should be acceptable and practicable across all nations and racial divides. Human rights are actively protected as natural legal rights under the dictates of International Law (Nickel, 2019). Human Rights Theory seeks to protect all human beings irrespective of political affiliation or the social background, or even religion and educational status.
As for the lenses of the critical theory, there is a limited and expansive significance in reasoning and throughout the entire existence of the society. Critical Theory in its entirety adheres to the German rationalists and social scholars in the Western European Marxist convention, known as the Frankfurt School. As indicated by these scholars, a "critical" hypothesis might be recognized from a "customary" hypothesis as per a particular case scenario (Nickel, 2019). According to this theory, a hypothesis is as basic as the degree to which it looks upon for human liberation from servitude.
Why the Human Capital Theory
The assessment conducted for this particular case study considers the Human Capital Theory as the appropriate lens through which the project can be evaluated. This is because CCGS' New Primary Science Curriculum Project is geared towards teacher empowerment. It seeks to empower teachers to deliver and instill scientific knowledge to primary school-going children in the best manner possible, thereby increasing the productivity of the teachers.
The Human Rights Theory is not so much related to this particular project. However, it is relatively important in that through the lenses presented by the theory, teachers have to engage all students. The teachers have to minimize bias in their teaching methodologies and impact knowledge to the best of their capabilities (Blazar & Kraft, 2017, pg. 146). Nevertheless, the theory cannot be explicitly applied in this context given that what is at play is the capability of the primary teachers to impart scientific knowledge in the best way possible.
The critical theory is not entirely suitable to this analysis as it relates to improvisation is varied scenarios to fulfill individualized necessities. Since such speculations mean to clarify and change every one of the conditions that subjugate individuals, many "basic hypotheses" in the more extensive sense have been created. Critical theorists have developed numerous social developments that recognize changed components of the mastery of individual skills in present-day social orders (Nickel, 2019). In both the expansive and the restricted faculties, in any case, a basic hypothesis gives the distinct and standardizing bases for social requests planned for diminishing control and expanding opportunity in the entirety of their structures.
Program Evaluation as per the Human Capital Theory
The human capital theory is relevant to this case study as it relates to adding value to human capabilities. This theory is ideal for the Coloma Convent Girls' School administration and the productivity of the teachers is improved and in return, the project boosts the reputation of the school. This is achievable by the results score of the students with improved performance in science-related subjects.
The new primary science school curriculum is targeted at improving pupil learning of science-related disciplines in the new school curriculum. 38 teachers were selected from twenty-six schools in six boroughs from London. Coloma Convent Girls' School offered to train the teachers in improved methodologies to best deliver scientific concepts to the primary school-going children. It was intended that the few select individuals in the programme will then transfer the skills and knowledge learned in the programme to fellow teachers.
Impact of the Programme to Young People
From Croydon, Merton, Lambeth, Bromley, Southwark to Lewisham, programme participants acknowledged the remarkable improvement in the manner in which science concepts were being grasped by the pupils. 29% of teachers acclaimed that students had made 'much more' progress (LSEF, 2015, pg. 4). Headteachers too commended the increased morale and motivation of the teachers to teach science-related subjects. The teachers were more willing and responsive to pupils' thirst for knowledge. The remarkable improvement was measured from focus groups conducted for the pupils as well as the work temperance conducted by the teachers during training sessions.
Cost of Running the Programme
The venture conveyed a lot of significant worth and the monetary allowance was spent astutely. In the subsequent year after the programme was launched, there were 11 excellent instructional meetings for up to 28 instructors (LSEF, 2015, pg. 2). Termly visits to the participants in their schools boosted and encouraged project goals extensively. Direct conveyance costs, for example, the select instructors, were planned for termly in-school support by specialists.
The executives and administration costs for the project took considerably more time to plan than had initially been anticipated. The LSEF gatherings and detailing necessities took longer than foreseen when the programme was being scheduled. The cost of training was budgeted for the three Science and Leadership experts who would run 11 instructional meetings. Refreshments were also accounted for and the total budget for exposure and marketing totaled PS1,000.
With LSEF's consent and agreement, a further PS1,079 was spent on building up a website that will enable the continuation of the program in the approaching year without any support from LSEF. Instructor supply/cover costs of -PS50 was paid to the schools for every educator per session visited or to discharge them for the advisor's visit. Each school also got 3 Science books and one Leadership book. One year Association of Science Education membership was also catered for by the programme. Towards the end of the programme participant members requested an additional PS400 for their schools' science resources. Overall, the Coloma Convent Girls' School New Primary Science School Project cost PS83,000 (CPSPE-Final Report, 2015, pg. 10).
Time Frame and Project Delivery
The venture did not go according to design in the first year since it began late and time for preparation was restricted. There were 10 (not 20) educators from five schools in Croydon and four 2-3 hour sessions occurred, with participation shifting from four to nine. In the subsequent year, Dr. Sara Bubb, the pioneer of the project assumed control over the undertaking initiative. More individuals were selected: 28 educators from 21 schools in six districts of London. The boroughs included Lambeth, Croydon, Southwark, Bromley, Merton, and Lewisham.
Once on track, the programme was delivered through eleven half-day instructional courses. These courses helped to improve the uptake of information in points where instructors needed certainty. The topics stressed upon included working scientifically, electricity, rocks, Earth and space, evolution and inheritance, and light. Termly visits by a specialist to each school were also conducted to monitor the progress of the project.
The Link Between Programme Objectives and Outcomes and the Human Capital Theory
As per the dictates of the Human Capital Theory, investment in the abilities of staff increase employee productivity and thus the profitability of the organization. As such, the Coloma Convent Girls' New Primary Science Curriculum Project was able to produce the desired results at the start of the programme. In particular, the project managed to boost the confidence of teachers in teaching science. The quality of teaching subsequently imp...
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