Indian education is in the midst of a crisis of quality – starting from primary schools to universities, the dominant view is that our students are not learning as much as they ideally should and what is more worrisome is that rote learning and memorisation seems to be the dominant mode at all levels. This is not to say that there are no exceptions or that all institutions are equally bad; the main issue that confronts us today is that majority of our educational institutions do not pay adequate attention to pedagogy. In the attempts to grapple with improving transaction and the experiences children have in schools; the government has primarily focused on the delivery system and inputs. The focus is on the teacher's role and what she does rather than engaging with children, how they are learning, what they are learning and the effort they make in the classroom. Globally it is unanimously accepted that no pedagogical discourse is possible without seriously engaging with what is to be learnt, what are the assumptions about learners and learning processes. Equally notions about what does it mean to learn and the transactional experiences of children are ignored in most teacher education programmes. In the last two decades various attempts to evolve a set of principles that moved away from teacher centred and information focussed transactions have been multi-pronged. The NCERT over a series of documents tried to move the discourse away from mere teaching to teaching-and-learning. The educational policies in the late eighties and the nineties also laid stress on the child being active and her learning gauged by the competencies developed rather than the amount of information she holds.
The much discussed model of minimum levels of learning gained a lot of prominence in the 1990s but was given a rapid burial due to the inadequacy of the ideas it espoused. The advent of DPEP saw the flourishing of the terms activity based and child centred in multiple forms. These even though fairly imaginative and often with serious efforts behind them were limited by the lack of clarity on questions of purpose of education and the other underlying assumptions behind the edifice. There were attempts outside the government framework that informed and influenced the discourse. These include the effort of the Rural Education Centre of the Rishi Valley institution in Chittoor district of Andhra Pradesh, the Hoshangabad Science Teaching Programme, PRASHIKA etc. The significant part of the efforts emerging from Elkavya and associates was the emphasis on pedagogy being more than methods and not being a stand-alone piece to be worked with. It is an integral part of the system to provide education. The studies of the DPEP effort and the village study done exhaustively engaged the question of what constitutes pedagogy. These studies brought out the elements that influence it substantially.
This understanding of pedagogy was central to NCERT’s efforts in 2005 to reimagine and reformulation the National Curriculum Framework (NCF). A large number of educators and educationists were involved in thinking through the content and process of education – leading to a comprehensive set of documents on elementary and secondary education. The sad reality is that even after 10 years these ideas have barely reached all schools.
The world we are living in is changing at a very fast pace and this places enormous demands on the quality of human resources capable of innovative and out of the box thinking. We need to explore what kinds knowledge, skills and training of the mind is essential in today’s world.
It is with these questions in mind that we feel it is time to start reflecting on pedagogic practices in school education in India. It is in this context that IIAS seeks to bring together experts and practitioners to initiate a national dialogue on pedagogy at different levels of education in India. We propose to limit the scope of this workshop to school education and teacher (pre-service) education.
The meeting will explore existing theories and practice, the lessons and identify gaps in research and documentation. It is proposed to bring together experts working on elementary & secondary education and teacher education to sit together, share what we know, identify what else we need to explore and create a road map for engagement with pedagogy. Among the key issues that the meeting would explore are the notion of pedagogy and what implications it has for school education in India. How can we bring a sense of urgency in the debate and encourage administrators, political leaders and the education community to move towards a more holistic understanding of pedagogy in school education.
A limited number of participants will be invited for the seminar. Those interested in participating should send a synopsis (700 words) of the proposed paper to following Email ID's:-
A limited number of participants will be invited for the Conference. Those interested in participating should send title and a synopsis (700 words) of the proposed paper along with their C.V. to:-
The last date of submission of title/synopsis of paper alongwith abstract is 21 December 2014. The date for shortlisting of participants to be invited is 23-30 December 2014. It is the policy of the Institute to publish the proceedings of the seminars it organizes. Therefore, all invited participants will be expected to submit complete papers to the Academic Resource Officer, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla – 171005 by 23 March 2015.
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