Welcome to St George's College, Aruvithura

Student Peer Teaching Platform (SPTP)

Student Peer Teaching Platform (SPTP)


 

Introduction

Student Peer Teaching Platform (SPTP) was envisaged as a novel academic venture at the beginning of the academic year 2016-17, with a view to enrich, energize and ennoble the student community. The programme aimed at making maximum use of free hours by promoting and encouraging students themselves to manage the class.  Spearheaded by students and supervised by the respective departments, the programme efficiently inculcated in students an academic culture and thinking. An idea hatched and pioneered by the Principal Dr M V Georgekutty, SPTP succeeded in turning free hours into avenues for full-fledged academic deliberations monitored by students themselves. Now the programme has completed one full year at the highest level of functionality and the results are truly amazing. Crowning the year-long efforts, Principal Dr M V Georgekutty was selected into the list of 54 candidates shortlisted for the prestigious‘Teacher Innovator Award 2016’ by the Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) from among hundreds of nominations received.

Brief History

SPTP is the embodiment and realization of a visionary Principal’s dream. Upon taking charge as Principal of St George’s College in 2016, Dr MV Georgekutty charted a course for the academic edification of the student community. He came up with the unique and hitherto untried idea of a platform turning students into teachers and authors.  This idea came to be christened Student Peer Teaching Platform or simply SPTP. This dream, hatched and pioneered by the Principal, soon became the collective vision of the institution. SPTP was jointly inaugurated by Dr. Babu Sebastian, the Honourable Vice-Chancellor of Mahatma Gandhi University and His Excellency Mar Joseph Kallarangatt in the presence of a host of eminent personalities and academicians in a gala ceremony on 14th of July 2016. Since its inception, the programme has made much headway, with a marked improvement in general discipline and student performance. The Mahatma Gandhi University is keenly monitoring the progress of SPTP and has promised to send a team of delegates to review and evaluate the activities conducted in the college under the auspices of SPTP.

 

The Initial Implementation Design of the Initiative

The activities of the Student Peer Teaching Platform are implemented in two phases. Each phase has well-defined goals and objectives and special care is taken to ensure that the transition of students to teachers and then to authors is smooth and effective. 

Phase I: The Student as Teacher

The initial phase of SPTP is envisioned as a platform that elevates the student to the position of a teacher and leader. The intention behind this is to equip and prepare students for the challenges that lie ahead, making them responsible students. In this phase, five students from each class are selected as peer teachers. A rigorous training, aimed at bringing out their latent talents and spurring on their leadership and class-management skills, is imparted, turning them into ideal students. These certified peer teachers are in-charge of managing the class during free hours. Subject to the consent of the department concerned, the freedom to choose the minutiae of the session is vested in the peer teachers.

Phase II: The Student as Author

This is the next stage in the evolution of student peer teachers. They are offered a unique opportunity to become published authors during the course of their under-graduate programme itself. This phase is envisaged as a radical transformation of the very notion of ‘student’, introducing them to the world of academic writing and publishing at a very young age. Here, each peer teacher prepares five papers on topics of academic/interdisciplinary relevance and these topics could be imparted during free hours. The best among these papers are compiled into a proofread and edited volume, one each from every department, at the end of the academic year. These volumes are then made available to the student community as reference books in a specially devised Open Library, monitored and managed by students themselves.

Current Status and Stages of Implementation of SPTP during 2016-17

The five certified peer teachers were in-charge of managing their respective classes during free hours right through the academic year 2016-17. Each student peer teacher prepared notes on topics of academic/interdisciplinary relevance and these topics were imparted during free hours. The initiative has yielded rich dividends, academically and otherwise. Student performance in academic activities show a marked progress, and as a bonus, general discipline too has improved remarkably. The student community has by and large been enthusiastic about the initiative, with more and more students expressing the desire to become student peer teachers. The biggest gain probably is the perpetuation of an academic culture, with students getting actively and creatively involved in the programme. Overall, the initiative has proved greatly beneficial to the student community throughout the duration of its implementation.

Coinciding with the culmination of the academic calendar, the focus shifted to the next stage in the evolution of student peer teachers. This shift was characterized by the transformation of student peer teachers into authors, with each one being introduced to the world of academic writing and publishing at a very young age. Five student peer teachers from each batch of every department in the college worked industriously to become published authors by collating the lecture notes from SPTP into a nice and expertly bound collection of articles, titled The Companion: An SPTP Inspired Initiative. All the 17 departments of this institution have put in untiring hours towards realising this dream, and thus we have 17 books awaiting publication. These books will be made available to the student community as reference books in a specially devised Open Library, monitored and managed by students themselves.The Companionefficiently conveys to the students the essential message that academic ventures like these are indeed possible provided the major pillars of education unite and put their brains together for an enlightened campus life.