Building towards an international partnership in pedagogy: creating a Virtual STEM Hub

The relationship between the University of Glasgow’s School of Education and the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Pune has been strengthened over the last two years as staff from both institutions work collaboratively on a range of projects to strengthen and promote STEM pedagogies and Collaborative, Online, International Learning (COIL) for pre-service and in-service science teachers.

Most recently, two online in-service teacher development projects have been co-developed and will be delivered this term.

In one, Dr Sally Zacharias and her IISER counterpart are exploring the language of infectious diseases and in particular, how information about Covid 19 has been represented in science and media texts and, as a result, how knowledge about Covid-19 has been constructed. Participants will be secondary science teachers. 

In another, Dr Gabriella Rodolico and IISER Pune colleagues are working collaboratively to deliver a STEM challenge with the innovative feature of being hands-on and yet remotely delivered.   In the series of workshops, Scottish and Indian in-service science teachers will collaborate to successfully build a model sustainable house with lights powered by wind or solar energy, appropriate to their specific local context and conditions.  Input and discussion with sustainable energy, engineering and architecture experts from both countries and virtual reality technology are additional features of this innovative project.  Importantly, the final step will be for teachers to plan how to adapt and deliver the same activities to their own students in the classroom. 

The STEM challenge was piloted in Scotland and showcased at the Festival of Social Sciences, Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) in November 2020 and published on the GTCS news magazine pp 50-51. In this international collaboration, the teams are working cooperatively on appropriate adaptations to make the resource relevant to the local environment and curriculum.




Other activities have contributed to the strong foundations of this partnership such as webinars on Taking higher education online during the Covid pandemic, workshops of the Internationalization of Higher Education and participation in Gendered Journeys research.

Working groups have been established at both institutions to discuss and plan how to build from these collaborative projects to a create a Virtual STEM Hub. 

For more information, please contact Dr Srabani Maitra (


First published: 7 September 2021

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