History of Teacher Education in India - Atheneum Global
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Analysis of history and structural framework of Teacher Training in India

History of teacher education in India

The history of teaching in India can be dated back to the 19th century. At the time, in Europe, the emphasis was on the 3 Rs, i.e., reading, writing, and arithmetic. Similar models of teacher education have been adopted in India.

These were templates based on the concept of a regular school as prevalent in Europe. By the end of the 19th century, high school teaching institutes had become more common and had also become affiliated with universities.

Teacher education can be interpreted as a collection of policies and procedures that allow prospective teachers to carry out their tasks effectively for the learners, the school, and the broader community. This involves being acquainted with the collection of behaviors, expertise, unique mindsets, and skills needed for a good instructor.

Teaching is also described as a noble career in India, with teachers considered sacred and respectable since the Gurukul period. Despite the respect attached to the profession and the pupil, limited consideration has been given to the teaching of teachers. The skills and attitudes needed for teaching have been considered to be innate among teachers.

Formal teacher training institutes were founded in India during the British period. This was then taken further and established after independence by the Indian government and educators. This was achieved to transform Indian education on a priority basis.

Important reforms in the field of teacher education

Several educational commissions and commissions have set out the importance of reforms in the field of teacher education in India. The efforts made in this direction are as follows:

  1. The University Education Commission (1948-49) named immediately after independence, proposed making teaching courses more practical and versatile. The school procedure was recommended for not less than 12 weeks. It recognized that "theory and practice must go hand in hand, and each must help and shed light on the other" (pg. 212).

    Emphasizing the need to give the teacher education system a particular context, the Commission suggested that the philosophy of education be versatile and adaptable to local situations if it is to mean something meaningful to its students: "Real education is a life to be lived and a purposeful endeavor to be shared."

  2. The Secondary Education Commission (1952–53) proposed that the scope of teacher education should be broadened, especially in practical terms, and that a graduate teacher in pedagogy should be educated in at least two subjects.

  3. The Education Commission (1966) is one of the key milestones in the history of Indian attempts to improve the quality of education. A variety of topics related to teacher education were discussed at length.

    It suggested the reorientation of subject knowledge, the revitalization of the development of special courses and programs, the review and enhancement of curricula, the professionalization of teacher education in India, the development of an integrated program, and the development of comprehensive schools and internships.

He professed, "The destiny of India is now being shaped in her classrooms." Thus, the National Education Policy of 1986 emphasized that such excerpts portray the essential and inevitable role that the teachers of our society play in the development of the country, as well as the individual, in guiding them to explore, inspire, and remain motivated in their eternal quest. In this regard, teacher education in India is becoming the foundation of the education system.

1. Comprehensive Integrated Teacher Education Program (ITEP) of the National Council for Educational Research and Training (NCERT)

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2. The National Commission for Teachers, I (1983–1985) recommended the following in the study entitled "The Teacher and Society":

  • Length of one year B.Ed. - The course will be extended by two summer months, providing a 220-day academic period with longer working hours.

  • Comprehensive teacher education courses that recommend a minimum duration of training for secondary teachers to be five years after 10 + 2.

  • Each state may begin by establishing at least one 4-year integrated college of education in the NCERT RCEs.

  • The educational program for both secondary and elementary teachers will be made up of two components: general education and vocational training, including teaching practice and material cum technique, and a range of teaching skills specific to the position of the teacher.

3. Teacher education institutions must build methods for assessing the success of their pupils. This should be sufficiently detailed to take into account factors such as the attitude of the trainee towards work, the interest of children, the scientific outlook, etc.

4. The National Policy on Education (1986) recommended the technical orientation of the teacher education program. At the same time, it also addressed the quality issues posed by the previous committees.

Its endorsements led to a centrally funded scheme of teacher education, including the establishment of the District Institutes of Education and Training (DIETs), the Institutes of Advanced Educational Studies (IASEs), and the Colleges of Teacher Education (CTES).

It has rightly been emphasized that the status of teachers represents the socio-cultural ethos of society and that no one can rise above that. Good teachers are concerned that it can only be created if we have a successful and efficient program of teacher training.

It suggested a complete reform of the system as a requirement for improving quality and introduced new programs of teacher training, which underscored continuing education for teachers.

It emphasized, "The status of the teacher reflects the socio-cultural ethos of the society; it is said that no one can rise above the level of its teachers." program of action (1986) by which the National Council for Teacher Education has been given statutory status and the necessary resources to play its role.

5. The Yashpal Committee (1993) recommended the redesign of the course content of teacher training programs to ensure their relevance to the evolving needs of school education, the longer period of training, the focus on self-learning and critical thought, and to make the entire teacher education system more realistic.

The Framework for Teacher Education Curriculum in India

The curriculum system, in its formulation for the Secondary Teacher Education Program, offered 20 percent of the weighting of the pedagogical Theory, which included Pedagogical Psychology as a text. The 20 percent weighting was allocated to community-based and 60 percent to community-based content and methodology. Significant recommendations of the Teacher Education Curriculum System (1978):

  1. Importance of the Curriculum to the Personal and Social Needs of Children and Schools, as well as the Interests of the People and the National Philosophy
  2. The structure indicated that there is an urgent need for versatility, not only to break down the barriers between the training programs for wise teachers but also between the various disciplines.

  3. The Interdisciplinary and Integrated Approach to Teacher Education The curriculum should be structured in such a way that convergence between theoretical courses takes place and that integrated pedagogical knowledge flows into the skill-dominated fields of teaching methodology in different subjects.

  4. The semester framework was proposed to replace the year-wise course.

  5. Promotion of study and innovation in educational institutions for students. (pg. 4-12)

The Curriculum Framework for Teacher Education (1988): The core areas relating to the substance and method of school education visualized by NPE (1986) established the conceptual basis for its formulation. This structure summarizes the changes that have taken place in the previous year and underline the need to respond to the increase of information and technology in teaching curricula.

The evolving position of the teacher has been strongly stressed in this context – the future teacher will be a qualified educator and skilled instructor, as always planned, but this will mean that he will need to be an efficient communicator, a planner, a user of learning tools, a learning facilitator, and an active participant in community life.

The framework sought to resolve the core areas outlined in the 1988 NCERT National Curriculum System for Elementary and Secondary Education, underscoring the learner-centered approach and reorientation of the education process through the use of interactive teaching styles, a focus on non-scholar areas, etc., and the need for a balance between theory and practicum. It gave the foundation courses 20% weight. (As stated in Siddiqui, 2009)

  1. A draft Structure for teacher education (2006): an effort by the NCTE, in conjunction with the NCERT, to reform the teaching education program in light of the 2005 NCF.

  2. National Teacher Education Curriculum System (NCFTE) 2009

  3. Report of the Justice Verma Committee, 2012.

  4. The layout of the NCTE curriculum for the two-year B.Ed. program in 2014.

All of the above-mentioned commissions, committees, and structures have proven to be of great value to the development of teacher education in the country. They also received helpful ideas for improving the area of teacher training in India.

The UNESCO Commission on Education (1972) claimed that education is a lifelong process and its purpose is to create a learning society, i.e. a society that knows how to learn, develop, and adapt itself to the needs of an ever-changing world. It is only through learning that one acquires knowledge and that knowledge comes mainly through schooling.

The cycle of education is influenced and formed by a human personality called a teacher, who plays a key role in the country`s education. To meet the demands of globalization, the country`s education system needs both more effective and professional teachers. The standard of teachers depends, for the most part, on the teacher education system of any country.

The current scenario of Teacher Training in India

After having gone through the historical evolution of teacher education in India, it is important to look at the current scenario of the sector to determine the functional status of the program. As can be inferred, the teaching process in the classroom is highly affected by the teaching process as a functional and social practice.

However, the major issues relevant to the teaching cycle in India have remained unchanged over the years. These are, in particular, the separation of teaching institutions from the main university campuses as well as from their workstations, i.e. colleges.

Another problem in this regard is the perception of pedagogy as a pure technique. The teacher training organization operates based on the norms already defined that describe the overall relationship and function of the system. Such conventions assume the role of rituals, which ultimately assume the role of laws to be complied with.

As described above, the placement of institutes is such that they are distant from other major disciplines. It, too, has a consequence because of the importance attached to them. The isolation of the institutes not only restricts the contact of prospective teachers with the outside world but at the same time restricts the involvement of talented young people from other fields of study in the aspects of education. The only way to be part of the system is to be a teacher yourself. This limits the extent of the growth of the teacher training program.

Another issue associated with the current state of teacher education is the lack of appropriate interaction with the subject matter. Focusing on the pedagogical quality of knowledge and the importance of discipline is rarely part of a teacher training plan. Understanding the topic of information and its impact on the learning process has not been highlighted.

While analyzing the current scenario of teacher education, it is also important to analyze the entrants to the profession, the quality of the curriculum content, the systemic aspects of the system, the transaction of the curriculum, as well as the quality and mode of assessment.

The current high-quality teacher training in India

Montessori Teacher Training Program

Montessori education is highly important in early childhood. It is a method given by Dr. Maria Montessori and it focuses on hands-on learning and personalized teaching. Montessori-trained teachers, who undergo rigorous Montessori teacher training, create carefully prepared environments where children explore and learn at their own pace. A Montessori course equips an educator with the tools to facilitate this unique pedagogy.

Special Education Needs Training Program

Understanding Special Education Needs (SEN) training is paramount for teachers and teaching assistants. An accredited SEN course helps an educator with all the essential skills to support students with diverse needs.SEN Training for Teaching Assistants ensures they can assist teachers in creating an inclusive classroom environment. Altogether this training ensures that students with special needs get an inclusive classroom environment.

Nursery Teacher Training Program

Nursery teachers play a crucial role in early childhood education. Their importance lies in their ability to provide a strong educational foundation during a child's formative years. Nursery teachers, with a Nursery Teacher Training course, possess the knowledge and skills necessary for the development of young minds. Investing in  NTT courses for nursery teachers is essential for quality early education, as they lay the framework for a child's lifelong learning journey.

Quality of curriculum content

Among the numerous issues of pre-service teacher education systems, the most important and prevalent issue is the incomplete awareness of curricular courses offered to student teachers. The curricular areas are not related to the wider goals of teacher education, nor are they compatible with the wider field of information.

Various subjects that are part of the foundation classes, such as psychology or philosophy, are presented in a much-fractured manner. These are not put together nor provide any practical access to the actual complexities of the teaching-learning process in the classroom. For example, students study child development, but this knowledge is not linked to pedagogy courses on specific teaching subjects. This is a huge problem.

Thinking regarding pedagogy classes, the phenomenon that has been identified is also a problem for educators. Apart from not being related to the foundation courses, the pedagogy courses do not pay attention to the content of the particular teaching process.

There are standardized pedagogical approaches that concentrate on the teaching curriculum and are supposed to extend to all subjects of the school. Many of these include the lecture method, debate method, inductive and deductive methods, and so on. This leads to a lack of attention to any new method built in the related field of research.

To have a holistic pedagogy in the teacher training program in India, it is important to have an understanding of the learner and that the topic is integrated with the socio-cultural context and the theory of education and learning.

Nevertheless, something is missing in the current system of teacher education. In the actual scenario, the concept of realistic teaching is pursued in a somewhat piecemeal way, with students concentrating only on technical aspects rather than talking about improving quality by analyzing and worrying about whether and how to improve it.

The focus of both students and teachers is more on the number of lessons taught and how the lesson plan looks rather than reading and focusing on the content. There is an immediate need to direct the teacher education system to train reflective, compassionate, and efficient teachers.

Teacher education is usually split into three levels, based on the length of the training:

Initial teacher preparation: this is a pre-service teacher education program. It takes place as a qualified teacher before joining the classroom.

Induction: This is the method of preparing and offering support to teachers when they are new to the school or in their early years of teaching.

Continuing professional growth: as the name implies, this is the continued professional development of teachers when they are at school as students. This is an in-service teacher preparation program.

Teacher Education and Misleading Paradox

Giroux (cited in Dalal, 2014) pointed out that the teacher education system is caught up in a misleading paradox. On the one hand, teacher education programs are responsible for providing the necessary knowledge, skills, and attitudes that are desirable for 21st-century teachers.

This is achieved to improve their skills and attempt to help them appreciate the learning process holistically. On the other hand, they were nothing more than pure reproductive institutions replicating social inequalities, both economically and socially, and morally. They appear to reduce the imagination and excitement of the learners and allow them to respond to the demands of a society that abides by the rules and concepts devised for them.

However, these educational institutions have the impression of being impartial. Recently, several scholars have tried to examine and understand this whole scenario because the institutions that are supposed to be creating individual citizens are proving to be state entities that are essentially reproducing the people who should be. Around the same time, though, it is necessary to note that these problems are themselves of a political type.

The key problem in this regard is the fact that these things, the situations are taken for granted and acknowledged without being challenged by the parties concerned. Such questions are unquestioned and acknowledged as common sense elements that should be embraced by all.

In this regard, Giroux (cited in Dalal, 2014) points out, "What is overlooked are the forms in which teacher training imposes work styles and patterns of communication that direct individuals as to how they reason and behave in their relationship in the context of schooling." Thus, Giroux (cited in Dalal, 2014) underlines the need to consider this phenomenon as it operates in the context of schooling. While it`s been decades since Giroux put this forward, it still holds even in the present scenario.

These days, too, although educational institutions claim to provide the relevant skills and attitudes required of prospective teachers in the form of theoretical curricula as well as practical aspects, such as fieldwork, at the same time, the school scenarios these days are rarely more than those of reproduction agencies that tend to produce state citizens in large numbers rather than in large numbers.

Looking at the situation from a different perspective, it could be seen that, although the analysis of the teacher education program in India reveals that they highlight the institutions as reproductive agencies, at the same time, provide scope for exploring tensions and inadequacies in the system and thus open up options for reform and change. While the teaching programs have different weaknesses and weaknesses, the programs also have room for discovering new possibilities and changes.

It can therefore be said that the curriculum has both the duty and the potential to provide critical thinkers to the community who can provide a revolutionary and enlightening vision for fellow workers as well as students.

It can be seen that the areas which appear to give rise to inconsistencies and concerns about the teacher education system can also be used for improvements and depth of reflection to bring about the necessary changes to the program. This may contribute to significant changes in the country`s overall education system.

Published by- Atheneum Global

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