Essay on Innovation in Teacher Training – The best course for the UGC to follow would be to leave the recruitment policy for education departments as it is, and at the same time launch a programmed to involve teachers and scholars of other disciplines in the task of reorienting education.
If the UGC accepts the view taken by the Education Commission, that teacher education suffers from isolation, then the right thing for the UGC to do would be to build bridges between education and other disciplines rather than to make such bridging impossible.
By allowing such linkages to develop, the UGC will eventually widen the intellectual horizons of teacher trainees. What the trainees require is a wide-ranging exposure to ideas and research pertaining to education and children, and the freedom and capacity to develop their own, locally effective strategies of communication. More than anything else, they deserve to be taught by the best available scholarship in the country rather than by an inbred clan.
The other crying need is to integrate elementary teachers’ training with that of secondary teachers under a new comprehensive programmed. The delinking of the two is a legacy of the Victorian era, and it has fostered a pernicious hierarchy within the teaching profession.
Indeed, much of the pedagogical knowledge imparted in our elementary training institutions (run by the Government or privately) is itself Victorian. Few people working there are familiar with the new research on education or have even heard of the work of Ashton-Warner, John Holt or Sudhir Kakar.
The primary need today is to make education at all levels child-centered. This goal cannot be achieved without letting fresh winds blow through our mausoleums of teacher training. This is why the demand for a closed-door employment policy for departments of education in universities must be summarily rejected.