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Jaipur's special education institute tries out team teaching methodology to advantage
The demand for special education teachers to teach at the elementary school level has shot up since last year with the government's intentions to provide access to school education for differently abled children as their fundamental right. Many school leavers after their senior secondary are joining diploma in education course called Dip Ed in Special Education.

However, these prospective teachers have to under go a thirty-hour course in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) which is taught by computer science teachers who take up the material from computer courses since no textbook is available for this course.

It was decided at Disha in Jaipur to go for team teaching methodology for the ICT course in which a computer science teacher and method master can join hands to co-teach. The new methodology has set an example of team teaching along with learning of computer science which is being liked by the trainees.

"Co-teaching is being seen as one the viable strategies for inclusive education in which two teachers combine their expertise to provide assistance to students who are differently abled along with mobilizing fast learners to support the slow learners who need more guidance and time on a given learning task. We are trying out this methodology for classroom instruction for the first time and it seems to be working as indicated by the positive reactions of the trainees," said the method master as the team member.

The computer science teacher, Santosh Nirala, who himself is physically impaired, said that he was excited by new methodology since the other team member had not only provided much needed mobility but helped him to carry out the teaching through an appropriate method of classroom instruction.

"After three hours of team teaching in which a teaching activity sheet will be followed by one-page reading sheet as a part of reading-to-learn skill assisted by me, the whole process of preparing reading material will be demystified and two to three students as teams will prepare their own one-page documents through information processing for 17 topics and share their learning through serial presentations to cover the theoretical portion of ICT. There after, 10-hour practical course in computer science will be held by designing proper record sheets," said Nirala.

Teacher education institutes need to become places of training in different methods, teaching skills, pedagogical experiments and designing appropriate learning materials rather than resorting to book teaching and much abused lecture method, I feel.

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