SNDT – Post Graduate Research Program
SNDT Women’s University Mumbai
This project was initiated in 2004 through the Department of Human Development, which is part of the Department of Postgraduate Studies and Research in Home Science of the S.N.D.T. Women’s University in Mumbai India.
Originally named the “Barrington Recognition – Reward of Teachers Scheme ” (BRRTS), the projects aim was to identify, encourage and reward innovation and dedication among teachers from disadvantaged schools in Mumbai and to identify the best preschool teaching practices used by these teachers in the classroom. Our partner here was the head of the department, Dr. Ravikala Kamath who was later replaced by Dr. Reeta Sonowat, and the project forms the basis for the M.A dissertations of three or four selected students every year. The students have worked each year with head masters, administrators and teachers in about 80 -100 selected schools and have developed appropriate research methods, collected data and identified the best practices for teaching young children.
The annual felicitation ceremony is attended by the teachers from these schools as well as all the students of the faculty, guest speakers are invited and the M.A. students present their findings. The participating schools receive gifts of equipment and books and the teachers are awarded certificates and personal gifts. The result has been that it is now regarded as a privilege for a school to be included as part of the program.
The students in the third year of the project, under the guidance of Dr. Sonowat took the project a step further, focusing on a number of educational themes and conducting workshops with the assistance of well known experts in the selected fields. The selected topics were: “Creativity”, “Music & Movement”, “Language Development”, and “Science” for Preschool Children. The schools and the children participated and therefore benefited directly during the year and the final results have been published in four booklets which will be distributed to teachers throughout the school system.
In year four and year five of the program the students have selected a number of challenging topics to be researched in selected schools and the results have been documented in the form of publications which have been appreciated by schools, parents and teachers alike. These include:
- “Best Teaching Practices as Perceived by Preschool Teachers”
- “Implementation of the three R’s and its effects on children”
- “Child Rights Advocacy – Development of a module for Preschool teachers and parents”
- “Preschool teacher’s perception & practices regarding Multiple Intelligence”
- Teaching Practices adopted by Preschool Teachers for Developing Love for Nature
- A Study on the Approach of Teachers towards Child’s Rights
- Perception and Practices of Primary School teachers regarding the Concept of Multiple Intelligences
- Early Childhood Education: Assessing the quality in Mumbai City
- E.Q. among preschool teachers
The program has been extended well beyond its original scope and has now become an integral part of the post graduate program at the SNDT University.
The department has carved a niche for itself in the field of Early Childhood Education and today is regarded is one of the most trusted and reliable source of information related to ECE.
The graduates of this program have been able to earn a name for themselves and the job market has welcomed them with open arms and opened numerous windows of opportunities.
Hopefully the future will bring additional new developments and innovations which will spread to many schools and teachers and so help further the aims and agenda of The Barrington Education Initiative.
In 2014 BEI initiated a collaboration project between SNDT and three Kenyan NGOs supported by BEI. The project is a teacher training program which is designed by Prof. Reeta Sonowat and is scheduled for implementation in August 2015.