Prof. MV Vithanapathirana

Prof.Vithanapathirana

Prof. MV Vithanapathirana

Associate Professor, Dean

Associate Professor, Dean


Department of Educational Psychology,
Faculty of Education,
University of Colombo
Sri Lanka.

TP: +94 (0)112588812 (Office)
email: manjulav@edu.cmb.ac.lk, vibhasini@gmail.com

  • PhD, Institute of Education (IOE), University of London (2005), for the thesis titled ‘Improving multigrade teaching: Action research with teachers in rural Sri Lanka’
  • M. A. in Buddhist and Pali Studies (Distinction pass), Postgraduate Institute of Buddhist and Pali Studies, University of Kelaniya, 2006 (English medium)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Buddhist Studies (Merit pass), Postgraduate Institute of Buddhist and Pali Studies, University of Kelaniya, 2005 (English medium)
  • Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education, Staff Development Centre, University of Colombo, 1998
  • Master of Education, Open University of Sri Lanka, 1996 (English medium)
  • Post Graduate Diploma in Education, (Merit pass) Open University of Sri Lanka, 1992
  • BSc Hons. (Zoology) 2nd class Lower, University of Colombo, 1984


  • Visiting Scholar, US institute for Scholars and Secondary Educators, 6 weeks, Sponsored by USA State Department, 2011
  • Travel and hospitality award from University of Leipzig/Germany and Cape Peninsula University/South Africa to make conference presentations, 2009
  • Official Representative of SLAAS, Indian Science Congress in 2008
  • Travel and hospitality grant by UNICEF Eritrea to lead the teacher training on Multigrade teaching, 2008
  • Travel and hospitality awards and sponsorships from Aga Khan Education Service/Pakistan, 2006
  • Recipient of a research grant to the University of Colombo to conduct a study as an extension of the doctoral study conducted on Multigrade teaching. Functioned as the Coordinator, of the research team for the study titled ‘ Multigrade Teaching: An Investigation (Phase 2), A collaborative international study between Institute of Education of the University of London; Faculty of Education of University of Colombo, and CERID of Tribhuvan University, Nepal) funded by Department for International Development (DFID), UK, 2003-2006
  • Scholarship awarded by the Institute of Education, University of London/DFID for a PhD in Multigrade teaching in small schools, 1999


  • Improving Multigrade teaching in Sri Lanka and comparative perspectives of multigrade teaching across the world
  • Science Education in secondary grades
  • Psychology of cognition through a Buddhist perspective
  • Teaching and learning in Higher Education contexts
  • Collaborative action research with practitioners
  • Innovations to support skillful parenting to support child upbringing practices in Sri Lanka



Chapters & Web Documents

  • N.A.L.A. Nettikumara & M.Vithanapathirana (2015) CLIL in secondary Science: Reorganizing the monolingual curricula for bilingual education in Sri Lanka, In Dawn Garbett and Alan Ovens (Eds) Teaching for Tomorrow Today, Auckland: Edify Ltd
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2013) Diagnostic Testing of Learning Difficulties and Remedial Education Intervention for Improving Teaching and Learning in Primary Classes in Sri Lanka”. Evelin Witruk and Arndt Wilcke (Eds.) Historical and Cross cultural Aspects of Psychology. Peter Lang publishers
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2010) ‘We are passing through the stage of early childhood in Action research’: A review of the development of Action research at the Faculty of Education, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka.. Paper submitted for publication NIE/CARN Study Days, . http://www.esri.mmu.ac.uk/carnnew/studydays/2010
  • Vithanapathirana, M,V. (2010) Volitional action as a personality construct: A comparison between the Buddhist view and the Cognitive-social perspective in western psychology. Submitted for publication in the Prof. K. Sinnathamby felicitation volume
  • Vithanapathirana, M. V. (2006) Adapting the primary mathematics curriculum to the multigrade classroom in rural Sri Lanka. In A. Little (Ed.) Education For All and Multigrade Teaching: challenges and opportunities. Amsterdam: Springer 2006
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. Research based training modules for Multigrade Teachers. Published in www.ioe.ac.uk/multigrade and also published by Open University of United Kingdom for the Teacher Education in Sub-Saharan Africa 2006/07, portal for Resources for Distance Research and Development training in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2004) Multigrade teaching in rural Sri Lanka: Prevalence, invisibility and necessity. Professor. S. Sandrasegaram Felicitation Volume

Conference Papers

  • R. M. D. Rohan & M. Vithanapathirana (2015) Efficacy of “Micro Teaching” in Teacher Education, University of Colombo Annual Research Symposium
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2014) Active learning in Science through Content and Language Integrated Learning, Annual Research Symposium, University of Colombo, 2014
  • Nettikumara, L. and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2015) Lesson planning for Science in Bilingual education: an effective approach to uplift the content and language integrated learning (CLIL) in Sri Lanka, 8th International Conference on Teaching, Education and Learning (ICTEL), Malaysia
  • Nettikumara, L. and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2014, A Teaching in the bilingual stream: a study on the perceptions of secondary science curriculum, Annual Sessions, SLAAS
  • Nettikumara, L. and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2014). Education for peace: a study to develop innovations to enrich the secondary school bilingual science curriculum to promote social cohesion in Sri Lanka. Joint World Conference on Social Work Education and Social Development, Melbourne Australia
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2013). Reflective practice during teaching practicum: A study on student teachers’ reflective notes during professional development program, The Second International Conference on Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya
  • Nettikumara, L. and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2013) An analysis of the secondary grade science curriculum for bilingual education based on Content and Language Integrated Learning Model (CLIL). The Second International Conference on Social Sciences, University of Kelaniya
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2013). Challenges of Early adult transition of female undergraduates in Education. ASAIHL International Conference, Colombo 2013
  • Udagama, P., Vithanapathirana, M.V. & Wijayanama, C. (2013).Developing a Service Learning Model: an Effective Educational Tool in Higher Education for Sri Lanka. SLAAS Annual Sessions 2013
  • Vithanapathirana, M. (2012) Academic Service Learning for sensitizing BEd undergraduates on the future professional role: a design based research initiative. Research Symposium 2012, University of Colombo
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2011) Improving non-cognitive skills of learners: a priority in post-war contexts ,Proceedings of the International Symposium on Post war Economic Development through Science, Technology and Management, South Eastern University, Sri Lanka
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2010) Multigrade Innovations in Sri Lanka: Challenges of Scaling up. Proceedings of the Southern African Multigrade Education Conference, Cape Peninsula University, Cape town, South Africa. Netherland Institute for Curriculum development, Netherlands
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2010)Teacher isolation in one teacher, two teacher schools: Haven’t we ignored for too long. Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Sri Lanka Studies, Royal Asiatic Society of Sri Lanka
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2009) Diagnostic Testing of Learning Difficulties and Remedial Education Intervention for Improving Teaching and Learning in Primary Classes in Sri Lanka”. Proceedings of the international conference on “Historical Aspects of Psychology – with Special Reference to the 130 th Anniversary of the Psychological Institute in Leipzig” and “Learning and Adjustment Disorders – with Special Reference to Disaster Affected Regions”. Germany, Leipzig University
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2008) “Developing the quality of education in small schools through multigrade teaching: a teacher education initiative” , Proceedings of the Academic Sessions University of Colombo, 2008
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2007) Remedial intervention as a means of improve learning, National Symposium on Quality Improvement of School Education System. Faculty of Education, University of Colombo/Ministry of Education
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2006) Improving Multigrade Teaching: Action Research with Teachers in Rural Sri Lanka, Proceedings of the International Conference titled ‘Quality in Education Teaching and Leadership in Challenging Times’, Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2004) Multigrade teaching in primary grades in rural schools, Proceedings of Annual Sessions of Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2004) Action research intervention for teaching of primary mathematics in a multigrade setting, Proceedings of the Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. ( 2001) Teaching approaches in Primary Education. National Seminar on Primary Education, National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka

Journal Papers

  • Vithanapathirana, M. V. (2013) Critical Psychology in Sri Lanka: the Buddhist psychological perspective. Annual Review of Critical Psychology, 10: Critical Psychology in a changing world; Building bridges and expanding the dialogue. (ISSN 1746-739X)
  • Vithanapthirana, M. (2014). Curricula and Evaluation in Chemistry for a sustainable economy, Guest of Honour’s Address. 43rd Annual sessions and the 73rd Anniversary celebrations, June 2014, Chemistry in Sri Lanka, 31(2),11-15
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2014) Curriculum and Evaluation in Science Education in Sri Lanka: Learning points from global research. Chemistry in Sri Lanka, 31(3). 19-23
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2006) Team leader and author of the national study “Development of a Programme for Remedial and Diagnostic Programme for Primary Students” sponsored by GTZ. National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC), University of Colombo
  • Little, A. W., Pridmore, P., Bajracharya, H and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2006) Learning and Teaching in Multigrade Settings, Final report on project LATIMS to DFID. http://ioe.ac.uk/multigrade
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2002) Concept paper for the SAARC conference on Small schools, by invitation of the Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka, 2002
  • Gunawardena, C., Wijetunga, S., Gunawardena, R., Wickramaratne, V., Karunasena, N. V., Vithanapathirana, M. and Leelaratne, S. (2002). A Study to Investigate the Effectiveness of Implementation of Reforms at Key Stage I of Primary Cycle in Sri Lanka. National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC), University of Colombo
  • Dias, S., Peiris, A., Gunawardena, S., Karunaratne, S and Vithanapathirana, M.(2001) A study of teacher focused interventions to strengthen the implementation of curriculum in Grade 1. National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka

Unpublished Thesis

  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2005) Improving multigrade teaching: Action research with teachers in rural Sri Lanka. Unpublished PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London
  • Vithanapathirana, M. (2006) Early Buddhist interpretation of perception leading to Dukkha, Unpublished MA dissertation in Buddhist and Pali studies. Postgraduate Institute of Buddhist and Pali Studies, University of Kelaniya
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (1996) Infant day care practices of working mothers of sub-urban areas of Colombo. Unpublished MEd thesis, Open University of Sri Lanka

Technical Reports

  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2006) Team leader and author of the national study “Development of a Programme for Remedial and Diagnostic Programme for Primary Students” sponsored by GTZ. National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC), University of Colombo
  • Little, A. W., Pridmore, P., Bajracharya, H and Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2006) Learning and Teaching in Multigrade Settings, Final report on project LATIMS to DFID. http://ioe.ac.uk/multigrade
  • Vithanapathirana, M.V. (2002) Concept paper for the SAARC conference on Small schools, by invitation of the Secretary, Ministry of Education, Sri Lanka, 2002
  • Gunawardena, C., Wijetunga, S., Gunawardena, R., Wickramaratne, V., Karunasena, N. V., Vithanapathirana, M. and Leelaratne, S. (2002). A Study to Investigate the Effectiveness of Implementation of Reforms at Key Stage I of Primary Cycle in Sri Lanka. National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC), University of Colombo
  • Dias, S., Peiris, A., Gunawardena, S., Karunaratne, S and Vithanapathirana, M.(2001) A study of teacher focused interventions to strengthen the implementation of curriculum in Grade 1. National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka

  • Educational Psychology
  • General Psychology
  • Developmental Psychology
  • Bio Psychology
  • Counseling Skills
  • Primary Education
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Qualitative and Action Research Methods
  • Stress Management and Counseling in Organizations



Invited Presentations

  • Multi-grade teaching and Multi-level teaching: innovations and challenges, UNESCO Bangkok Asia Education Summit on Flexible Learning Strategies for Out-of-School Children, February 2016
  • Research based innovations of Multigrade and Multi-level teaching in Sri Lanka
  • World Conference on Multi Grade Multi Level Methodologies and their Global Significance, Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, India, February 2016
  • Curricula and Evaluation in Chemistry for a sustainable economy, Guest of Honour’s Address. 43rd Annual sessions and the 73rd Anniversary celebrations of Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, 2014
  • Curriculum and Evaluation in Science Education in Sri Lanka: Learning points from global research, Theme Seminar Presentation at the 43rd Annual sessions and the 73rd Anniversary celebrations of Institute of Chemistry Ceylon, 2014
  • The role of General Education for sustainable development. Proceedings of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences Theme seminar presentations on ‘Science for sustainable development and prosperity’, 2012
  • Empowering the science teacher: Concepts and modalities of teacher professional development. Presidential address of the Section F (Social Sciences). Proceedings (part II) of the 68th Annual Sessions of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Sciences, 2012
  • Keynote speaker for Asian region, Southern African Multigrade Education Conference, Cape Peninsula University, Cape Town, South Africa and Netherlands Institute for Curriculum development, 2009
  • Quality in Education Teaching and Leadership in Challenging Times, International Conference at Aga Khan University, Institute for Educational Development, February 21 – 23, 2006

Editorial Work

  • A member of the three member editorial committee of ‘Seekers and builder of our world: Inspirational stories of 25 scientists’, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, Sri Lanka, 2014
  • An Associate Editor of the journal ‘Educational Research and Reviews’. Academic Journals, 2013 to date
  • A member of the Editorial Board, South Africa Rural Educator, online international journal, 2011 to date
  • A member of the Editorial Board, University of Colombo Review, 2005 to date
  • Editor, Compendium to celebrate 50 years to the Faculty of Education, University of Colombo, 2000
  • The editor of the Sri Lankan Journal of Education Research published by the National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka 1994-1997
  • The editor of the and SAARC Journal of Education Research, published by the National Institute of Education, Sri Lanka 1994-1997
  • Co-Editor, Sri Lanka Adhyapana Paryeshna Wara Sangarawa (Journal of Education Research) Vol. 5, 1996, National Institute of Education (in Sinhala)
  • Editor of “Paryeshana Sanvada” a local publication of translations of research articles (in Sinhala) 1996 Sept-Dec. Issue. NIE
  • A member of the editorial panel of the English-Sinhala Glossary of Educational Research 1995, Department of Educational Research, NIE, ISBN 955-597-339-3

Research Reviewer

  • Reviewer, SpringerPlus journals 2016
  • Reviewer, National Science Foundation Social Sciences journal 2014
  • Reviewer, Kalyani, University of Kelaniya Research Journal 2015
  • Reviewer, Modern Sri Lanka Studies: A Journal of the Social Sciences of the Faculty of Arts, University of Peradeniya, 2014
  • Reviewer, Sri Lanka Journal of the Humanities. University of Peradeniya. 2012
  • A member of the Editorial Board, South Africa Rural Educator, online international journal, 2011
  • A member of the Editorial Board, University of Colombo Review, since 2005 to 2014
  • Reviewer, International Journal of Educational Development, Elsevier, 2010 todate
  • Reviewer, Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood. Symposium Journals, 2010
  • Reviewer, OUSL 30th Anniversary International Conference, 2010
  • Reviewer of the Colombo Business Journal: International Journal of Theory and Practice, published by the Faculty of Management and Finance, University of Colombo since 2008

Visiting Lecturer

  • Visiting lecturer, MSc in Occupational Safety and Health Management, Department of Building Economics, University of Moratuwa, 2014, 2015
  • Visiting Lecturer in Counseling Psychology for Advanced Diploma in Counselling Psychology, at the American College of Higher Education since 2004 to date
  • Curriculum Developer and Visiting Lecturer (on voluntary basis) in Developmental Psychology and Buddhist Psychology for Diploma in Counselling at the Damrivi Foundation, Isipathna Mawatha, Colombo 4 from 2003 to 2008
  • Visiting Lecturer in Educational Psychology, Advanced Certificate in Teaching for Maldivian teacher trainees, National Institute of Education. Maharagama, 2002- 2004

External Examiner for

  • PhD examiner, University of Madras, India 2016
  • PhD thesis, University of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa 2014, 2016
  • PhD thesis, Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa 2013
  • PhD thesis, Faculty of Education, University of New England Australia, 2011
  • PhD thesis, Department of Education, Periyar University, Tamil Nadu, India, 2011

Resource Person for

  • staff development at University of Moratuwa, 2008, 2009
  • Resource person, Ministry of Education, EFA Mid Decade Assessment. 2008
  • Resource person for the study titled ‘Towards an understanding of child mental health in Sri Lanka’. A collaborative study with Birkbeck College, University of London and University of Colombo. 2007-2010
  • Research Department, National Institute of Education. Maharagama, Sri Lanka

Secretary for

  • The SLAAS Corporate Plan committee, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
  • Secretary of the Buildings Committee, SLAAS 2008.2009, 2010, 2011
  • General Secretary of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS), 2006, 2007, 2008
  • Secretary of the Section F (Social Sciences) SLAAS, 2004 and 2005
  • Joint Secretary, “Prof. J.E. Jayasuriya Memorial Foundation” From 1997 to 2005

Membership

  • member of the Council of the Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) 2006 to date
  • Member, Family Policy formulation group. Department of Social Services 2012, 2013
  • Member of the Board of Management, National Education Research and Evaluation Centre (NEREC), University of Colombo, 2011
  • Member of the Academic Committee of the Staff Development Centre, University of Colombo, 2011
  • Member of the team of resource persons on course design and teaching on the collaborative teacher education program between Faculty of Education, University of Colombo and the British Council titled ‘Diploma in Global Teacher Education’ 2011
  • Member of the Academic Committee of the National Institute of Library and Information Sciences (NILIS), 2006-2011, University of Colombo
  • Member, Science Education Committee, SLAAS, 2006 and 2007
  • Member, Committee for Popularization of Science, SLAAS 2004/2005

SLAAS Executive Positions

  • General President, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, 2016
  • Chairperson, Science Education Committee, Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science, 2012
  • President, Section F (Social Sciences), Sri Lanka Association for the Advancement of Science (SLAAS) 2011
  • Rapporteur of SLAAS Section F, 1998, 1999

Other Responsibilities

  • Coordinator, MPhil/PhD 2016-2018 program
  • Faculty of Education Team Leader for Quality Assurance 2015
  • Activity Coordinator, QIG W 3 Post Graduate Research 2012-2015
  • President, Faculty of Education Teachers Association (FETA), 2014
  • Faculty of Education team leader on Soft Skills development on the HETC project , University of Colombo, 2010-2012
  • Served as the Department Coordinator and a Domain Coordinator of the Core group of the Self Evaluation for the Institutional Review, University of Colombo, 2010
  • Co-ordinator, MPhil/PhD program of the Library and Information Science, Member of Higher Degrees Committee, NILIS, University of Colombo, since 2007
  • Coordinator Master of Education (English medium)programme 2011-2012
  • Co-ordinator, Postgraduate Diploma in Education (English medium) Part time course 2002 to 2009, Faculty of Education, University of Colombo