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Vision and Curricular Thrusts

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The Education of Teachers: Vision and
Curricular Thrusts
NUEPA-MHRD, 14 December, 2011
Poonam Batra, CIE, Delhi University
batrapoonam@yahoo.com
Recognition of Major Challenges in
School Education
• the current system of schooling imposes a
tremendous burden on our children
• This burden arises from an incoherent curriculum
structure that is often
(a) dissociated from the personal and social milieu
of children and
(b) from the inadequate preparation of teachers
who are unable to make connections with
children and respond to their needs in
imaginative and dynamic ways
9/23/2014
Teacher Education: Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
2
Challenges of Teacher Education I
• Initial training of teachers continues to suffer
from intellectual isolation
• Education as an area of interdisciplinary
knowledge is not merely an application of a few
core disciplines, but a praxis and a context where
theories and practical wisdom are generated
continuously
• The BEd programme that serves as a �frame’ for
teacher education has outlived its relevance
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
3
Challenges of Teacher Education II
• DIETs and institutes offering BEd continue to exist
as insular organisations even within the
university system they may be located
• This precludes the larger academic debates on
equity, gender and community to enter the dayto-day discourse of teacher educators
• The training of teachers happens in insular,
intellectually impoverished environments that are
severed from ground realities as well as the lofty
aims of education they espouse
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
4
Specific Concerns of Current Teacher
Education Programmes I
• Experiences in the practice of teacher education
indicate that knowledge is treated as �given’,
embedded in the curriculum and accepted without
question
• School curriculum, syllabi and textbooks are never
critically examined by the student-teacher or the
regular teacher
• Language proficiency of the teacher needs to be
enhanced, but existing programmes do not recognize
the centrality of language in the curriculum
• Teacher education programmes provide little scope for
student-teachers to reflect on their experiences
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
5
Specific Concerns of Current Teacher
Education Programmes II
• Disciplinary knowledge is viewed as independent of
professional training in pedagogy
• Repeated �practice’ in the teaching of a specified
number of isolated lessons is considered a sufficient
condition for professional development
• It is assumed that links between �learning theories’ and
�teaching models’ are automatically formed in the
understanding developed by student teachers
• There is no opportunity for teachers to examine their
own biases and beliefs and reflect on their own
experiences as part of classroom discourse and enquiry
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
6
Specific Concerns of Current Teacher
Education Programmes III
• Theory courses have no clear link with practical
work and ground realities
• The evaluation system followed in teacher
education programmes is too informationoriented, excessively quantitative and lacks
comprehensiveness
• Apart from conceptual and pedagogical aspects,
existing programmes need to develop certain
attitudes, dispositions, habits and interests in a
teacher. The present evaluation protocol has no
place for evaluating these aspects
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
7
Dominant Models of Teacher Education:
Disempowering Processes I
• Disciplinary knowledge is treated as a �given’, provided
through general education, independent of its
engagement with professional training in pedagogy
• Often, in the Indian context, this is also interpreted to mean
that the level of engagement with disciplinary knowledge
need not exceed the levels at which it is taught in schools
• The current manner in which teachers view knowledge,
teach students to view knowledge and structure classroom
experiences reflects a universalized a-historical, decontextualised understanding of knowledge
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
8
Dominant Models of Teacher Education:
Disempowering Processes III
• “…The odd mix of a technical-rationalist
approach embedded in a matrix of folk
pedagogies shape the practice of training
teachers and therefore the practice of teaching
children in much of the country”
• Focus on psychological aspects of children
without adequate engagement with contexts
• Engagement with generalised theories of children
and learning, thus viewing child as an abstract
notion
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
9
Institutional and Structural Issues
• intellectual isolation; insular organizations
• teacher education is the only significant focus
in education
• socialization culture of teacher education
institutes self-perpetuating
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
10
Erroneous Assumptions
• theory-into-practice model; theory merely for application
• knowledge is treated as �given; level of engagement related
to the stage of teaching
• universalized a-historical, de-contextualised understanding
of knowledge
• child as an abstract notion; focus on psychological aspects
of children without adequate engagement with contexts
• Disciplinary knowledge is assumed to be sound and is
viewed as independent of professional training in pedagogy
• Language proficiency is assumed
• Teaching is a skill and has little to do with content or a
socio-historical understanding
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
11
Consequences
• fragmented knowledge domains and isolated lessons delivered
• day-to-day discourse severed from ground realities as well as the
lofty aims of education
• teachers as implementers; adjust to the given educational system
• technical-rationalist approach embedded in a matrix of folk
pedagogies
• curriculum, syllabi and textbooks are never critically examined
• glorification of the individual narrative; student-teachers also work
individually
• Training schedule packed
• no opportunity for teachers to examine their own biases and beliefs;
little scope for student-teachers to reflect and examine their
positions in society
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
12
Process-based Teacher Education I
• Teacher education programmes need to be redesigned to engage teacher practitioners with
the larger socio-political context in which
education is situated
• engage with children in real contexts
• enable critical questioning of their own
assumptions and beliefs about knowledge,
the learner and learning
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
13
Process-based Teacher Education II
• examine their positions in society vis-à -vis
gender, caste, class, equity and justice
• such processes, unfolded within the frame of
critical pedagogy, are likely to develop habits
of independent thinking and reflection,
collaborative learning and
• the capacity of the educational system to
adapt to the changing learning needs of
children and society
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
14
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
15
Proposed Curriculum: Key Areas of Focus
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Childhood, Child Development and Learning
Social Context of Learning, Diversity and Gender
Aims of Education, Inclusive Education
Reconstructing Disciplinary Knowledge
Self Development
Pedagogical Theory and Approaches
Theory-Experience Dialectic
School Internship
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
16
Curricular Area A: Foundations of Education
• Learner/Child Studies
Childhood, Child and Adolescent Development
• Contemporary Studies
Teacher and Learner in Society
Diversity, Gender and Inclusion
• Educational Studies
Aims of Education, Knowledge and Values
Developing the Self, Identity and Aspirations as a
Teacher
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
17
Learner Studies: Childhood, Child and
Adolescent Development
• Theoretical Frames and Constructs from
Psychology, Sociology, Linguistics and Education
• Constructs
of
childhood,
adolescence;
socialization; language; cognition, thinking and
learning; school health, emotional and physical
health; self, identity; inclusive education
• 2-3 theory courses with inbuilt field-based units
of study; Practicum courses, workshops,
seminars, group and individual assignments
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
18
Childhood, Child Development and Learning
• observing children in diverse social, economic and
cultural contexts and interacting with them rather
than through an exclusive focus on psychological
theories of child development
• this would also include the close observation and
analysis of the learning and thinking processes of
children
• the programme design of teacher education provides
�spaces’ for the direct observation of children at
play and at work in diverse socio-economic, cultural,
linguistic and regional contexts.
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
19
Social Context of Learning I
• major shift from an overwhelming emphasis on the
psychological characteristics of the individual learner
to her social, cultural, economic, political and
humanitarian context
• Learning is to be appreciated as occurring in shared
social and everyday contexts
• engagement with issues and concerns of
contemporary Indian society, its pluralistic nature
and issues of identity, gender, equity and poverty
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
20
Social Context of Learning II
• Courses are designed to help teachers to
contextualise education and evolve a deeper
understanding of the purpose of education
and its relationship with society and humanity
• rigorous engagement with issues of
contemporary India are to be examined
through an interdisciplinary engagement
with concepts drawn from a diverse set of
disciplines, including sociology, history,
philosophy, political science and economics.
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
21
Contemporary Studies: Teacher and
Learner in Society
• Draw upon social sciences: sociology, history,
philosophy, psychology, political science and
economics
• Issues contemporary Indian society and
concerns of; human and child rights;
environment; classroom as social context
• 1-2 theory courses with in-built field-based
units of study, projects, seminars, group and
individual assignments
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
22
Contemporary Studies: Diversity,
Gender and Inclusion
• Draw upon social sciences: sociology, history,
philosophy, psychology, political science and
economics
• understanding identity development ; diversity
and inclusion; examining curriculum, texts and
pedagogic practice from the lens of diversity,
disability and gender
• 1 theory course with inbuilt field-based units of
study; group projects and individual assignments,
seminar presentations
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
23
Educational Studies: Aims of Education,
Knowledge, Ethics and Values
• Draw upon educational theory, philosophy,
history and sociology
• Basics of teaching-learning; theoretical
constructs, educational thinkers; vision of
education in India, issues and concerns; school
culture; school knowledge; school as a learning
organization; peace education
• 1-2 theory courses with inbuilt field-based units
of study; assignments, group presentations, term
papers
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
24
Educational Studies: Developing the Self,
Identity and Aspirations as a Teacher
• Draw upon educational theory, philosophy,
history and sociology
• Self and identity; interpersonal relations, adultchild gaps; personal and social constructs;
schools as sites of contestation and social change
• 1 course, workshop-based with a debrief on
theory; workshops on issues of gender; identity;
diversity; social and personal conflict; childhood;
relationships
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
25
Self Development
• �learning spaces’ are provided through a focused
study of issues related to self and identity, human
relationships, adult-child gaps, assumptions,
beliefs and attitudes
• Student-teachers will get the opportunity to engage
with their own childhood experiences, personal
aspirations and aspirations to become a teacher, their
views on issues of gender and other social
categories and identity, personal, familial and
social conflict
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
26
Curricular Area B: Curriculum and
Pedagogy
• Curriculum Studies
Knowledge and Curriculum
Language Proficiency and Communication
• Pedagogic Studies
Language Education
Mathematics Education
Social Science Education
Science Education
• Assessment and Evaluation Studies
Perspective and Practice of Learner Assessment
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
27
Curriculum Studies: Knowledge and Curriculum
• Focus on key concepts of the basic disciplines of
language, mathematics, social sciences and
sciences; sociology of knowledge and curriculum
• engagement with subject content and school
curriculum, textbooks; philosophical and
ideological basis of curriculum; design and
selection of knowledge; Knowledge as
construction; disciplinary knowledge
• 4-6 theory courses with inbuilt field-based units
of study; investigative projects; recording and
analysis of observations
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
28
Reconstructing Disciplinary Knowledge
• prepare
teachers
to
present
subject-content
in
developmentally appropriate and meaningful ways it is
essential that through simple observations and experiments,
followed by discussion, several theoretical concepts learnt
during general education in school and college be revisited
and reconstructed
• Engagement with content is designed to be part of pedagogy
courses and as part of school internship during planning of
teaching and reflection on the practice of teaching
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
29
Curriculum Studies: Language Proficiency
and Communication
• Focus on key concepts of the basic disciplines of
language, mathematics, social sciences and
sciences; sociology of knowledge and curriculum
• Language proficiency and communication skills;
meta-linguistic awareness; skills of speaking,
listening, reading and writing in varying contexts;
content area literacy
• 1 course designed as workshops with hands-on
activity in the use of language for communication
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
30
Pedagogic Studies: Language, Mathematics,
Social Sciences, Sciences
• Draw upon pedagogical theory, constructivist and
socio-constructivist perspectives
• Nature
of
discipline
and
knowledge;
understanding school curriculum; critical
engagement with principles of
teaching;
epistemological issues
• 4-6 optional theory courses offering areas of
specializations; practicum courses comprising of
curriculum and text analysis and creation of
alternative learning materials
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
31
Pedagogical Theory
• shifting the focus from pure disciplinary knowledge and
methodology to the learner and her context as well. For
instance, the course on language pedagogy would promote an
understanding of the language characteristics of learners,
language usage, socio-cultural aspects of language learning,
language as a process and the functional use of language
across the curriculum. This would mean moving away from
the conventional focus on language as a subject
• such an approach would help forge linkages between the
learner and her context, disciplinary content and the
pedagogical approach
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
32
Assessment and Evaluation Studies: Perspective
and Practice of Learner Assessment
• Draw upon critical reading of psychometric
approaches; sociological frames of analysis and
constructive approaches.
• Critical reading of evaluation perspective and
practice; place of assessment for learning;
qualitative and quantitative measures; hands-on
experience clinical interviews, observation
formats and interpretation of qualitative data
• 1 theory course with complementary practicum;
analysis of question types and assessment
formats; group and individual assignments
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
33
Curriculum Area C: Practicum and
School Internship
• Sustained engagement with schools; internship as
a partnership model; teaching and participating
in school activities; recording observation of
learners, analysis and reflection on teaching;
developing and maintaining teaching-learning
resources; developing unit plans and maintaining
reflective journals
• 4 days of teaching for a period of 12-20 weeks,
including an initial one week of classroom
observations; case studies, classroom research,
development of learning resources
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
34
School Internship
• A sustained contact through internship would help
teachers to choose, design, organize and conduct
meaningful classroom activities
• critically reflect upon their own practices through
observations, record keeping and analysis and
develop strategies for evaluating children’s learning
for feedback into curriculum and pedagogic practice
• the school would benefit from such an alliance in
terms of witnessing possibilities of non-conventional
pedagogies
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
35
Theory-Experience Dialectic
• Through such a pedagogic process, the onus of
drawing connections between experience and
theory is not left to the student-teacher alone or to
chance
• �learning spaces’ are structurally provided in the
design of teacher-education programmes for
drawing such connections
• because the learner is central to such a process,
learning becomes a search for meaning
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
36
Duration of Initial Teacher Education:
Critical Aspects I
• The practice of teaching is usually of short
duration, no more than five to six weeks and that
too, piece-meal in approach
• It is commonly believed that the �practice’ of 40
lessons will develop �skills’ of teaching
• �lessons’ are planned with virtually no reflection
on the content of subject-matter and its
organization
• Lessons are �delivered’ and the �outcomes’ of
these lessons are �assumed’
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
37
Duration of Initial Teacher Education:
Critical Aspects II
• Thus teachers are neither proficient in general
pedagogic skill nor are they adept at reflecting on
the subject content
• Foundational knowledge, pedagogic
understanding and perspective and skill, engaged
with through the programme are expected to be
integrated and applied during this period
• Short-duration programmes do not allow such an
engagement
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
38
Duration of Initial Teacher Education:
Critical Aspects III
• It is time we pay heed to the specific suggestion of
increasing the duration of initial teacher education,
recommended by the two most significant policy
Commissions of post-independence India, namely the
Kothari Commission (1964-66) and the Chattopadhaya
Commission (1983-85)
• It would no doubt be a wasted effort to provide �more’
of the �same content and approach’ that is already
being critiqued heavily and has proven dysfunctional in
creating opportunities or spaces for change
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
39
Duration of Initial Teacher Education:
Critical Aspects IV
• It is recommended that initial teacher education
be of 4 years duration after Higher Secondary; or
of 2 years duration after a Bachelor’s degree
programme
• This would provide time and opportunity for self
study, reflection and involvement, engagement
with teachers, school, classroom and pedagogic
activity and rigorous theoretical study
• Any compromise on the duration of the initial
education of teachers adversely affects the
quality of teacher and teaching in schools
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
40
Medium and Long-term Recommendations I
• It is recommended that current models of
teacher education at all levels of school
education be gradually replaced by models of
teacher education that integrate general
education with professional development
along with an intensive internship with schools
• These integrated models should be designed
using the specific features outlined in the
curricular areas and transaction process
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
41
Medium and Long-term Recommendations II
• The time-frame recommended to ensure the
institutionalisation of these models would be
between 4-6 years from the approval of this
document
• As an interim measure, current models of
teacher education such as the BEd and DEd are
required to redesign their courses as well as the
programme structure to include the specific
features and structural mechanisms proposed in
the new Framework in terms of curricular areas
and transaction processes
9/23/2014
Teacher Education Vision and Curriculum
Poonam Batra
42
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